Iceland Road Trip 2014 Photography - M1key - Michal Huniewicz

Iceland Road Trip 2014 by Michal Huniewicz

Welcome to the edge of the map: photos from the Iceland road trip of 2014 my dad and I went on. We drove around the whole island, and it took us what, about 10 days? (It can be done in a lot less time, or a lot more, depending on how much you want to see.)

This is part 1. Also, I've already been to Iceland before I learnt to use my camera.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.
Uploaded on: 2015-03-08.

Höfn, East, Iceland

The Car

The Car
I don't know about cars, but since we decided to go all around Iceland, I booked this uh, blue car, okay. Upon arrival to Reykjavik however, I was quite sad when it was time to say goodbye to this uh, reliable vehicle.
ISO 200, 18mm, f/8.0, 1/800s.

Dad

Dad
Dad
Here's my dad; he could beat up your dad.
He's a veteran of the Solidarity movement, helped to bring down communism in Poland, and you can read up on him in the Solidarity Encyclopaedia [PL].
ISO 200, 20mm, f/2.8, 1/50s.

Just an Ordinary House

Just an Ordinary House
I love how elegant almost everything is in Reykjavik. This building is in the city centre - Reykjavik is like a cosmopolitan village, both diverse and cosy, a welcoming oasis surrounded by threatening coasts and mountains.
ISO 200, 20mm, f/8.0, 1/1600s.

Souvenirs

Souvenirs
Well, not everything is elegant - these are mostly worthless souvenirs. You can get some less tacky stuff, too.
ISO 200, 20mm, f/2.8, 1/2000s.

Reykjavik Bar

Reykjavik Bar
A good gift is a jumper like the guy in the middle is wearing - good, as it is actually worn by the locals too.
ISO 720, 20mm, f/8.0, 1/40s.

Icelandic Couple

Icelandic Couple
Iceland is famous for its culture, and its current culture at that - supposedly everyone is an artist in Iceland, everyone is encouraged to write, paint, or have a rock band, and it's okay to fail, and try doing something else. [4]
In the photo, Icelandic couple posing with a tourist.
ISO 200, 20mm, f/8.0, 1/400s.

Penis Museum

Penis Museum
Humbling visit to the penis museum. Both being of conservative background, my dad and I were impressed by the Italian family on the left, visiting with kids, very matter-of-factly.
ISO 280, 18mm, f/3.5, 1/40s.

Harpa - Reykjavik Concert Hall

Harpa - Reykjavik Concert Hall
This is the first purpose-built concert hall in Reykjavik, opened in 2011. [1]
Icelandic culture is now financed by the government and local authorities. That's right, in Iceland even artists aren't poor. Icelandic Novel Prize winner Halldór Laxness said "I don't understand this myth of the starving artist. I never missed a meal". [4]
ISO 200, 20mm, f/8.0, 1/640s.

Moving On!

Moving On!
Iceland is, indeed, very wealthy, but it hasn't always been like that. It was the American Army that built the roads connecting Icelandic towns, and the British who built the airport. Iceland benefited from the post-WW2 Marshall Plan more than any other country. [3]
The Americans needed the strategically important Keflavik airport, so they were nice. They built factories and dried marshes. However, as Iceland was meant to be quite conservative at the time, they feared the sexually liberated Americans. [3]
ISO 200, 20mm, f/8.0, 1/640s.

Dad Impressed

Dad Impressed
And so, art is financed by the public, while corporate sponsorship is viewed suspiciously - turns out artists played a great role of creating the positive image of the so called Financial Vikings that led to the country's economic crisis in 2008-2011. [3]
ISO 200, 50mm, f/5.6, 1/400s.

Riding Bikes

Riding Bikes
Before the crisis, Iceland was so wealthy that one man bought a helicopter, and invited Elton John to sing at his birthday party, and the Landsbanki bank flew its customers to Italy, where they were fed pasta covered in not-so-nutritious gold flakes. [3]
ISO 200, 18mm, f/8.0, 1/1000s.

Where Horsemen Ride

Where Horsemen Ride
Finally, after years of prosperity, speculation in Iceland reached the limit, the time came to foot the bill, and a major economic crash followed.
It created, among other phenomenons, the so called crisis literature - a good example of that would be the aptly entitled "Bankster" by Guðmundur Óskarsson. [3]
ISO 200, 55mm, f/8.0, 1/1250s.

And Horsewomen

And Horsewomen
And here is an example of the Icelandic Horse. The ponies are really friendly and easy to ride. They are famous for having five "gears" (gaits). After many days of nagging, I persuaded my dad to ride a pony like this one, and it was good fun, easy-peasy.
You can't bring your own horse to Iceland, I was told, for the fear it would infect the local horses with a bug they have no immunity against.
ISO 200, 18mm, f/8.0, 1/1250s.

Icelandic Hot Springs

Icelandic Hot Springs
Despite the usually terrible weather, the population of Iceland is meant to be one of the happiest in the world. Some say it's because it's more of a large tribe than a nation [3], or that harsh weather conditions require people to cooperate. [4] Changing careers is meant to be easy, too. [4]
ISO 200, 55mm, f/8.0, 1/800s.

Jump!

Jump!
Who can guess what the largest ethnic minority in Iceland is? Of course, it's the Poles.
ISO 200, 55mm, f/8.0, 1/1600s.

Gullfoss Waterfall

Gullfoss Waterfall
The Poles constitute 3.13% of the population of Iceland. [5] Everyone's welcome to stay! As long as they learn the language.
ISO 200, 20mm, f/8.0, 1/125s.

Vik Church

Vik Church
And Icelandic isn't so easy to learn. It's meant to be a linguistic relict, a nearly untouched Old Nordic language. If you're from Norway, it apparently sounds like a medieval version of your mother tongue.
ISO 200, 50mm, f/8.0, 15/1s.

Black Beach

Black Beach
Since 1964, they've had an institution that governs the development of the language. Their job is to come up with new words for new terms.
ISO 200, 40mm, f/8.0, 1/125s.

The Church During the Day

The Church During the Day
The crazy stuff they come up with... How do you say computer in Icelandic? Tölva - literally, "seeress of numbers". [6] And sjónvarp means...? You guessed it, it means television - literally "sight caster".
ISO 200, 55mm, f/7.1, 1/640s.

Vik Graveyard

Vik Graveyard
Most Icelanders are members of the Lutheran State Church, but paganism is on the rise since 1970s (Old Norse gods are making a comeback). It's not a religious society as such - they usually only go to church for weddings and funerals. [4] The numbers of pagans are hard to establish, as most pagans remain formally within the State Church. [3]
Note the basaltic rock tomb on the left.
ISO 200, 18mm, f/8.0, 1/250s.

Where Trolls Live

Where Trolls Live
Then, there is the strange belief in elves and trolls. [7] It may not be surprising, when you are exposed to sights like this one - smoke coming out of mountains.
ISO 200, 42mm, f/8.0, 1/640s.

Inside the Vik Church

Inside the Vik Church
Inside the Vik Church.
ISO 500, 18mm, f/3.5, 1/40s.

Skógafoss River I

Skógafoss River I
Why is language so important in Iceland? There are almost no material historical treasures in Iceland. All they have is their literature and poetry - the most famous being the Edda - the major store of Scandinavian mythology. [3]
ISO 200, 18mm, f/8.0, 1/320s.

Skógafoss River II

Skógafoss River II
On average, in Iceland, there are 20 earthquakes daily.
ISO 200, 18mm, f/8.0, 1/500s.

Skógafoss

Skógafoss
"Iceland is a beast; the island we live on, with its terrifying raw nature, its bitter, ever-changing weather. It's the grim world of Goya's nightmare - beautiful and yet grotesque. It's a capricious beast, Iceland. We cannot run from it. We keep looking for ways to live with it, to tame the beast." -- Harald Jonsson, Icelandic artist.
ISO 200, 18mm, f/3.5, 1/2500s.

Almost Touching Skógafoss

Almost Touching Skógafoss
That was a short intro to Iceland!
In the photo, tourists getting wet at the foot of the Skógafoss waterfall. It's very loud down there.
ISO 200, 18mm, f/8.0, 1/250s.

Waterproof Clothing

Waterproof Clothing
My dad and I were much better prepared - we had special [sort of] water-proof clothing.
ISO 200, 18mm, f/8.0, 1/320s.

Seljalandsfoss

Seljalandsfoss
This is another waterfall, Seljalandsfoss - the waterfall you can walk around. The blurry spots all over the photo are from humidity.
ISO 200, 18mm, f/8.0, 1/160s.

Seljalandsfoss Panorama

Seljalandsfoss Panorama
There you go.
ISO 250, 18mm, f/8.0, 1/40s.

Foss á Siðu

Foss á Siðu
And if the sea wind is strong enough, the water goes up! [2]
This sort of dramatic landscape, with mountains, waterfalls, volcanoes, signifies that the land is geologically young.
ISO 200, 55mm, f/8.0, 1/200s.

To the Glacier!

To the Glacier!
Guide yawning in anticipation of my dad's move down the rocks.
ISO 200, 18mm, f/5.6, 1/400s.

And Up the Wall

And Up the Wall
To me, this was the best part of the trip. Climbing the glacier was so counter-intuitive and seemed gravity-defying - you can easily walk up or down mountains of ice. It's absolutely amazing.
ISO 200, 18mm, f/8.0, 1/250s.

Dad Emerging

Dad Emerging
My dad didn't like it as much, but I insisted so he joined.
ISO 200, 18mm, f/8.0, 1/250s.

Into the Clouds

Into the Clouds
Notice the creases formed as the glacier is pushed downwards by the force of gravity.
ISO 200, 18mm, f/8.0, 1/400s.

Into the Void

Into the Void
The guide explaining why you don't want to fall into one of those holes, possibly leading to series of tunnels, getting narrower and narrower. They are usually filled with freezing water, and there are people crazy enough to dive in those.
ISO 200, 18mm, f/8.0, 1/160s.

Lens Wet

Lens Wet
Again, I failed to take care of the lens.
ISO 200, 55mm, f/6.3, 1/320s.

Going Down

Going Down
After what felt like 5 minutes to me (and 5 hours to my dad), we had to come back down.
ISO 200, 18mm, f/6.3, 1/2000s.

On the Rocks

On the Rocks
I fell into that, and it was pretty cool.
ISO 200, 18mm, f/6.3, 1/500s.

Final Look

Final Look
Goodbye, glacier.
ISO 200, 55mm, f/6.3, 1/800s.

Hvannadalshnúkur

Hvannadalshnúkur
Oh, look, it's Hvannadalshnúkur! The highest peak in Iceland. Its ice is melting into this lake, and then flows into the ocean.
ISO 200, 38mm, f/8.0, 1/1600s.

Girl from the Boat

Girl from the Boat
Glacial lake in a boat, not a touristy thing to do at all.
ISO 200, 34mm, f/8.0, 1/800s.

Ice

Ice
Ice
The place was really beautiful, and you could spot a seal here and there.
ISO 200, 20mm, f/8.0, 1/1600s.

In the Boat

In the Boat
Dad, in the boat.
ISO 200, 38mm, f/8.0, 1/1000s.

Macho

Macho
Showing off, are we.
ISO 250, 55mm, f/5.6, 1/40s.

Fish with Wings

Fish with Wings
Iceland used to live off exporting cod, but they managed to diversify their economy - Iceland is now a major producer of aluminium. [3]
Fish with wings, extremely rare.
ISO 200, 20mm, f/8.0, 1/125s.

Boat with wheels

Boat with wheels
Fish with wings, boat with wheels...
ISO 200, 20mm, f/8.0, 1/800s.

On the Coast

On the Coast
That was us driving in south Iceland, heading to the town of Höfn.
ISO 200, 20mm, f/8.0, 1/1600s.

Atlantic Ocean

Atlantic Ocean
Part 2 will cover the rest of the road trip.
ISO 200, 20mm, f/8.0, 1/1600s.

Goodbye!

Goodbye!
Thanks for viewing the gallery!
ISO 200, 50mm, f/2.2, 1/125s.