Playing Favourites : Icebergs

Without a doubt my favourite two subjects for landscape photography are Icebergs and Glaciers; and this photograph from the Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon in Iceland last year has both. Icebergs have a magical ethereal quality that I find extremely appealing and photogenic. I made a special effort whilst in Iceland to spend extra time at the lagoon so that I could photograph the many icebergs that have carved off the Vatnajokull glacier. There is great beauty in icebergs – each one a unique sculpture by nature and I am very much looking forward to more iceberg photography later this year in Antarctica.

The combination of Ice and fog is truly magical and I was lucky enough to experience this wonderful combination on a couple of occasions during my visit. A fog was building on the glacier in the distance and began it’s slow roll down to the lagoon as I took this photograph shortly before sunset at 10:30pm. By sunset conditions had deteriorated and I headed back to my accommodation to grab a couple of hours sleep before sunrise.

Birth of a Rainbow – Landmannalaugar Iceland

Rainbows are just about one of the most interesting atmospheric phenomena a landscape and nature photographer can hope to capture when out making images in the wilderness. They usually form at the ‘edges of weather’ and are almost a guarantee of great light. The combination of arctic sunset light and passing rain showers at Landmannalaugar provided a wonderful opportunity for me to capture some stunning light at the beginning/end of a rainbow. The combination of soft whimsical light, rainbow and volcanic landscape has an ethereal other world quality that is quite evocative. Landmannalaugar is one of my favourite locations in Iceland and I am very much looking forward to going back – Sooner rather than later.

Wild Magazine Folio February 2011 – Iceland

If you are a subscriber or reader of the excellent Australian outdoor magazine ‘Wild‘ then please look out for a four page photographic folio of my photography from Iceland in the new and current February 2011 edition – Issue 122 Titled: Land of Fire and Ice. It is a great personal thrill for me to have my work published in Wild as both Wild and its sister publication ‘Rock‘ were two of my favourite magazines as a young ‘whipper-snapper’ rock climber.  This folio contains some of my favourite photographs from the month I spent in Iceland last year 2010.

Some of the photographs in this portfolio will be on display as Fine Art Prints as part of my new Iceland exhibition beginning this March at at Source Photographica in Melbourne and, at the end of 2011 and most of 2012 at the Wilderness Gallery adjacent to the Cradle Mountain Chateau in Tasmania.

Wild magazine was founded and originally owned by Chris Baxter – a well respected climber and outdoorsman in his own right who was largely responsible for a significant portion of the early climbing scene in Australia. I had the privilege of knowing Chris and climbing with him briefly during my youth at both Mount Arapiles and The Grampians – In fact it was Chris who first taught me how to climb on one of the infamous newbie test pieces on Castle Crag Mount Arapiles. I think I was about twelve at the time. Chris forged many new climbs at both of these world famous locations as well as Mount Buffalo and was a full time character in the Australian climbing scene. Chris subsequently sold Wild due to health issues after building up a very successful publishing company that became the outlet for all things bush walking and climbing related in Australia. Unfortunately  Chris passed away last year after a long fight with cancer but ‘Wild’ and ‘Rock’ continues to publish their magazines under new the new ownership of Prime Creative Media.

Cradle Mountain Tasmania – The Ballroom

One of the most accessible and easier walks/treks at Cradle Mountain is the 2 hour stroll around Dove Lake at the base of Cradle Mountain. The walk is relatively flat (only a short uphill section – depending on which way you walk it), well sheltered from the weather for most of its length and takes you through an area known as the Ballroom Forest. This very pretty area consisting of mountain streams, old gnarled moss and lichen covered trees and logs is a great location for forest photography – especially when the weather is inclement; as it was for most of my trip. Overcast skies and mist are ideal for this kind of photography. The dark skies help tame the extreme dynamic range of nature. Bright sunlit days just don’t work photographically under a forest canopy. The extremes of light and dark are to great for the cameras sensor to record; and indeed to great for the human eye. Whilst photography in these conditions is still possible through judicious framing and cropping – and even HDR (although I don’t do HDR) I far prefer a thick cloud cover overhead. Overcast days  add an effect I like to refer to as ‘Natures Soft Box’. The extremes of light and dark and gone and the light is softer and more subtle. In overcast conditions the challenge shifts from having to deal with dynamic range to a compositional battle with nature. The photographer is forced to contend with yet another of my favourite photography sayings ‘Nature is inherently Messy’. It takes a good eye, time and patience to make sense of it some times but the results can be very rewarding.


In my last blog entry I made mention that whilst I was at Cradle Mountain in Tasmania I had visited the Wilderness Gallery located adjacent to the Cradle Mountain Chateau. In the interests of full disclosure it was a pre-arranged visit not without ulterior motive. I have visited the gallery before (Australia’s largest wilderness gallery; with ten rooms of photography) on several occassions and have always enjoyed spending time perusing other photographers work. This time however, I had planned to meet with the Gallery Manager to discuss a potential exhibition for my own work. I am pleased to subsequently report that I will be having an exhibition of my photography at the Wilderness Gallery beginning 2nd December this year that will run for approximately ten months. The exhibition will consist of approximately twenty 24 x 30 inch Limited Edition fine art pigment on paper prints from Iceland and New Zealand’s South Island. Prints will also be available for purchase online from the Cradle Mountain gift shop. I will post more details toward the end of the year before the exhibition opens in December.