Iceland Dispatch #5 – Midnight Sun

After dinner yesterday at a local Reykjavik restaurant (the fish soup was excellent) I went out on a midnight sun whale watching tour with Elding. This is not the first time I have been out photographing whales. In July last year I spent several hours photographing Sperm Whales off the coast of the South Island of New Zealand. But that was during the middle of the day in flat rather dull overcast light. This time the opportunity and hope was to be able to photograph the whales in the perpetual golden light of the midnight sun.

We did see some Minke whales and also some White-beaked Dolphins during the trip, but unfortunately they were at quite a distance and not overly excited by the boats presence. However, the weather was stunningly beautiful with perfect calm seas, lovely light and an endless sunset. It is hard to describe what the experience of the midnight Sun is like in Iceland. Its a seemingly endless sunset/sunrise with beautiful golden light that literally goes on for hours. It is incredibly special to behold.

Midnight Sun

Now I am off for breakfast and to meet up with my guide and small group of other photographers for the next ten days. We are heading over to Skaftafell in the Southeast in the morning where we will be based for two nights. From there we plan to photograph at the Jokuslsarlon glacial lagoon and the glacier and mountain landscape of the Skaftafell National Park. The drive from Reykavik to this first base is around 350 km. This will be my first foray into Iceland’s wilderness and I am itching to get some proverbial landscape ‘frames in the can’.

Iceland Dispatch #4 – And Lunch?

The area around my hotel has a good selection of restaurants and places to eat – its hard to choose when you don’t know where to start! So I started at the end of the street and will work my way back toward the hotel for dinner tonight. For starters lunch today – Black Angus Beef Burger and a Pint of Iceland’s Egills Gull for lunch – Yum!


Iceland Dispatch #3 – City of Reykjavik

Today is my first full day in Reykjavik in Iceland and it has already been a totally amazing experience (and the day is only half over). The capital city of Reykjavik is truly beautiful – Its very small (certainly compared to Australian cities), very quaint and even a little quirky in a very loveable way. If I had to try and summarise what Reykjavik is like I would say its almost fairy tale like with a very pronounced Nordic twist. It reminds me somewhat of Kaikoura (but on a larger scale) in the South Island of New Zealand. I could spend a week just doing street photography near my hotel as there are so many possibilities here for composition, subject and colour. Now its time for some lunch and more exploring.

Getting into the local Culture

Iceland Dispatch #2 – Reykjavik

I arrived in Iceland just before midnight this evening after a long tiring journey from Melbourne Australia. I hope to catch up on a little sleep (as soon as I finish this update) at my hotel; which is very nice (The Hotel Odinsve). I have a full day in the capital of Reykjavik tomorrow to take in the local sites and get accustomed to the city, climate, people, food and location in general. I have booked on a Midnight Sun Whale Tour tomorrow evening evening with the hope of getting some whale photographs during the perpetual golden light that is the midnight sun in Iceland. There are reports of Minke whales and dolphins from recent outings so I have my fingers crossed for some sightings. As I write this its just gone midnight and even though its cloudy its light enough outside to read a newspaper – I think I am already in love with the midnight Sun. Now its time to catch up on sleep, put the rigours of international air travel behind me, relax and get in a creative frame of mind.

Iceland Dispatch #1 – Still Travelling

Iceland is a long way from my home town of Melbourne Australia. Its no less than three international planes, several multi-hour transfers totalling more than thirty hours (since I walked out my front door) of non stop travel across the pond. ‘Non stop’ being the operative phrase. The first leg of the journey from Melbourne to Doha with Qatar airways was about as enjoyable and relaxing as airline travel can be – the large sky beds in business class are comfortable and the multi-course dinner and glass or three of red wine go a long way to making the whole experience ‘almost’ enjoyable . Likewise the flight from Doha to Heathrow London was equally comfortable. The changeover in Doha was a little over an hour and no more or less painful than any international travel change – Doha is a new passport tick for me (if you consider an hour in the airport a visit). I have to hand it to Qatar airways; their business class food and service was outstanding – the best I have experienced. Their business airport lounge in Doha is equally impressive – well above the Qantas / Australian standard.

As I write this I am in Heathrow enjoying *cough* a seven and a half hour layover before my flight to Keflavik airport in Iceland. All I can say is thank god for priority pass airport lounges, wireless internet and more alcohol.

Fire in the Sky over Doha