Friday, 5 October 2012

you can take a horse to water................

but you can't make it drink.........................

I am physically unable to take a photo of a waterfall and gain pleasure from the experience. I can only think of calendars, and supersaturated images with long exposures that leave me cold.

Iceland has many very spectacular waterfalls, but I will never be able to do them justice. Instead you will find me turning my back, looking at the ground, and seeing what I can find.

At the site above ( see if you can spot the photographer up at the top) there was a little mass hysteria from some of the fairer sex on our Icelandic adventure, who had reached their saturation point where waterfalls were concerned. We wandered around, and admired the concrete bridge that made this particular waterfall a little less attractive than some others ; the intended perfect photo being in the other direction with a mountain in the background..........

I really don't like being told how other people do it, just as I don't like reading about places before I get there, in order not to have preconceived ideas about what a place will be like. I had a mini rebellion, taking out my smallest camera , a tiny Lumix, and making some double exposures of the colourful plants beneath my feet. I didn't compose, just snapped away, more concerned with the colour than the forms.

The rebellious girls  mused on the idea of a girls only photo tour that allowed stops whenever someone requested one, be it for a flower, mountain, sheep, cat, dog, house or just to go shopping. It seems that someone has already taken up this idea , offering a tour  for women only with tuition and hiking, but no shopping. But what fun we had with a balance of sexes. I am not sure I could manage without some male entertainment; we had yoga demonstrations, ice-cream eating and endless logging into phones, laptops and iPads to amuse us. It transpires that some groups of male photographers don't feel the need to talk to each other at meals, preferring to interact with their apple devices at the table.

There was so much that we saw that we would like to return to capture. The waterfalls were impressive but not what I came for. Men with massive back-packs dutifully composed the "standard" shot which I didn't attempt,  and went home happy...............

Iceland is a photographer's dream. Whether you like the bigger or the smaller picture you cannot fail to be overwhelmed by the beauty of the landscape.  The mosses and lichens are worthy of a tour in themselves. Dawn at the glacial lagoon is to die for, with low light on the fragments of glacial ice.

We vowed to come back. I would have returned already if I had any annual leave left from my day job.

I have started having nightmares in which I am on my way back, but the plane is overbooked, and I am offered a flight to Vienna or Paris instead.

 It seems that I have been hooked by this beautiful landscape, and I know that I will be back next year.

 I am well and truly smitten.

We had a great time, thanks to Daniel Bergmann, author of Iceland Landscapes our expert local guide and lover of nature.

The colours are extraordinary,  and I hardly know where to begin in creating something meaningful from the 1000 images that sit on my laptop waiting for the editing process to begin.

I will have to make do with listening to the music of Sigur Ros which transports me back there, and working on my images during the long winter evenings that lie ahead. In writing this I find that I can see the results of their Valtari mystery film experiment at the NFT next week; something to really look forward to as I have fallen in love with their music.

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