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Iceland Ring Road Photographers Perspective

I just got back from my second Ring Road trip to Iceland. I wrote a 5 part blog on my adventures along with some tips for travellers and photographers alike. The following links are not business solicitations in any shape or sort, just my experiences. I will freely answer any questions or talk about how a particular shot was done.

Part One here: https://mikereidphotography.wordpress.com/2018/05/15/back-to-iceland-round-the-ring-road/

Two: https://mikereidphotography.wordpress.com/2018/05/17/back-to-iceland-round-the-ring-road-part-2/

Three: https://mikereidphotography.wordpress.com/2018/05/22/back-to-iceland-round-the-ring-road-part-3/

Four: https://mikereidphotography.wordpress.com/2018/05/25/back-to-iceland-round-the-ring-road-part-4/

Five: https://mikereidphotography.wordpress.com/2018/05/30/back-to-iceland-round-the-ring-road-part-5-fiery-stokksnes-sunrise/

I rented a camper van and made the most of the nomadic lifestyle. April was the pre-season and the various sights were less busy than say June. There are many hidden gems beyond the obvious stops...some are better for sunrise, others for sunset. If you have less time, most of the winners are to be found in the South and East.

Personally I don't recommend a tour. It's pretty obvious how to get anywhere and see anything. Rock's book was very helpful to me, even on my second trip there.

My biggest trip expense was probably gas. I found that a 9 day trip was a bit much; A week was ideal for what I was doing.

Once you've seen Iceland, you'll be back.

Posted by mreynolds
Boston, MA
1685 posts

Hi Mike,

Thanks for sharing.
Your pictures of Stokksnes are truly world class and I am sure made the trip worthwhile!

You mention a 9 day trip but your 5 blog posts don't seem to cover too many different spots ; may be a reading comprehension issue on my end (most likely) or did you just get junk weather for more than half the time so only had so much to share for those 9 days?

Posted by seattlenativemike OP
5 posts

Yes you are spot on. I started out over the Northern area and the weather was gunky so I headed around the East and then South East. I also focused on perfecting my Stokksnes images since I didn't get much the last time I was there.

Posted by mreynolds
Boston, MA
1685 posts

Thanks Mike! I did a little more exploring on your website and also noticed you had been to Iceland before and got some of the iconic shots already.
Great work!
I would say that is why I seemed a little confused on my initial post.

It seemed a little odd (though not a bad thing) that for your only trip there and one of 9 nights duration you seemed to focus on one specific area and did not post anything from some of the other popular locations.
Makes total sense now as you have been to the main spots already and now spent your time perfecting what you wanted to photograph most this time.

Iceland's been on my list for a couple of years now and have spent a fair amount of time researching it but every time I get close to making it happen I get dismayed by how popular a location it has become especially for photography which would also be my goal.
I suspect once on the ground the beauty of the place takes over those concerns that you might have "missed the boat" by not going sooner.
Flights are often, direct and cheap from Boston airport so really have no excuse.

Feels like it may be kind of a mix or Norway and Yellowstone National Park to me if I had to compare it to 2 places we have been previously.

Other main issue for me is I just cannot decide on the best time of year. Obvious different advantages to the various seasons but if only planning on going once and never really seen an impressive Northern Lights showing it makes it a tough call.

I also shoot with the A7rii ; for a little awhile I had that and the A7r ; similar to your setup.

Posted by seattlenativemike OP
5 posts

^^ totally agree.

I've noticed the crowds thin a bit in the shoulder seasons and at dusk and dawn. Like most places, a little hiking and you separate yourself quickly from the masses.

I think my next trip is going to involve getting up into the Highlands and more hiking. I also just picked up a DJI Inspire Pro cinematography drone and hope to fly it a bit.