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Wrapping up! My Iceland Journey.

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It has been some time since my journey in Iceland. I am always been a forgetful person, I always argue with my parents that they didn’t bring me to anywhere when I was younger but the reality is that they did but I have forgotten everything. It’s lucky that I got in touch with photography, it allows me to go back to the time I took the photo whenever I am looking at the photographs. And this is also why I like to write about my journey, it’s a very enjoyable to reassemble those fragments of memories from all my photographs.

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Iceland is a place that can be easily found in anyone’s to-go list. It’s beauty already spreader throughout the globe, but I went there prepared for disappointments.  As I have visited many place that let me down from the high expectations that got built up during the planning stage. This time I went there without any research on where I wanted to visit.

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A road trip with no idea what I will encounter next is just too awesome, furthermore it’s Iceland. One moment we are driving through a green lush canyon, next we are on our way up a dense foggy mountain with ice all around us. It was an epic experience to have a road trip like that, traveling easily through different terrains and weather condition.

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One of the epic place to visit in Iceland is the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. Huge blocks of ice constantly break off the glacier, Breiðamerkurjökull, and large icebergs float on the lagoon. It’s amazing to see those massive peaces of ice clashing among each other near the exit of the lagoon. The color of the ice are also a beautiful bright teal even in a bad weather. It was raining during my visit, but me and my brother both agreed that the weather is perfect for that place, it created a more dramatic atmosphere.

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Another unique place to visit is the geothermal plant.The Kafla Power Station, you will pass through this power station if you are heading to the Kafla volcanic area, and everyone will drive through this pipe gate. The area around the power station are filled with pipes and giant golfball-like structures with steam coming out from them. We visited the tourist information centre in the power station, there they showed the process of how a geothermal power station work. It’s interesting information but the centre it’s very small, but do feel free to drop by for the free coffee inside. 😛

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Before we leave Iceland, we visited the famous Blue Lagoon. The main lagoon where people goes in are packed with tourist, and you will need to book the ticket online prior to your visit. Don’t book the ticket at the last moment as it might be fully booked, as everybody visit Iceland will basically go there. When we are there, it was very crowded, huge tour busses are constantly coming in with more people. After I experience chilling in the relaxing warm lagoon, I decided to get out before my brother to take some photo of the surrounding environment. I saw some smaller blue color lakes during our drive to the carpark, so I decide to do some exploration. Weirdly but fortunately there was just a few people there, the place was just outside of the main lagoon, but nobody seems to realize it. The landscape there are truly unique, weird alien rock formation with nothing but moss accompanied by weird blue lakes with white edges. If you ever go to the blue lagoon don’t forget to check out the surrounding, it’s a nice walk after a relaxing hot bath.

 

Here a short series of my photographs taken in Iceland. It will be in better quality in my website very soon. 😀 Do check them out with all my other work there.

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Iceland. Route 1.

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Missing the journey already!

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And also missing the red civic we rented. 😛

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When the lighting and the subjects are so nice, I can’t stop myself from taking this “advertisement” style photograph. 😀

Reynisflara Beach to Swatifoss ,Iceland

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The black sand beach, Reynisflara. We visited that beach after we checked in to our guesthouse in Vic. It was a nice beach with unique basalt column and a small but intriguing cave. It was a nice stroll along the beach, at the east end of the beach you can get close to the famous basalt sea stacks.

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At the west side of the beach is Dyrhólaey, we didn’t go to there because that it was pretty late then. We only can see it’s silhouette from afar.

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After saying a night at Vic we departed towards Skatafell, after few minutes of driving we saw this beautiful cascade of water at the road side and decided to stop and have a look. It was beautiful but not many people notice it, as it is easy to miss from the road. I was glad that we stopped for it. 😀 There is when I realized that I have lost my filter pouch! fortunately my important filters are still on my lens because of my laziness. But my newly bought variable ND filter was lost, gone together with some step up rings and a cheap infrared filter. 😥 Until now I still have no idea when and whereI lost it.

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After we reach Skatafell we started our hike to Swatifoss, the most visited sight at the Vatnajokull National Park. There are some part of the hike that are quite steep but the waterfall are well worth the effort. The water flow down from a wall of dark lava columns. The hexagonal rocks at the bottom look like they are mathematically perfect, it’s almost hard to believe it was all made by nature.

Skogafoss, Iceland

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Skogafoss is one of the most crowded tourist attraction in Iceland. But theres a reason for it, it is really beautiful and you can personally get up close to the water fall. You can even climbed up from the side and have the view at where the water falls. The water is very so strong during my visit, creating dense water vapors. It was impossible to get a close to get a good clear shot of the waterfall, you and your camera will get wet almost instantly. So I decided to try to take some photograph from a further place.

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I then changed to my borrowed canon 70-200 f4  L lens to focus on the water flowing down. It was very cloudy that day, as the initial few photographs had a very flat/dull lighting, I decide to stay in the same position and gamble. I guess it was a win for me, as just before my brother rushed me to get back to the car (worrying of not getting to the hostel in time) the sun hits the waterfall from a opening of the clouds. 😀  Now I wish I can print it huge and hang it in my house. (but don’t have one yet 😥 )

Saljalandfoss, Iceland.

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Taking a long exposure photograph on a not-so-stable wooden bridge is hard work, especially when there are loads of tourist walking across it. 😛 But my patience paid off, I got a sharp image after standing there for awhile.

Gullfoss, Iceland

The Golden Waterfall , Gullfoss is a iconic tourist spot for Iceland. It is very significant and powerful waterfall, you can really feel the raw power of nature there. The water plummets into a canyon with walls up to 72 meters tall. If you are lucky enough you can see rainbows created by the mist from crushing waters. Here a link to their official website with 360degree view.

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There are no rainbow during my visit, the sun is out but maybe its angle is not able to create rainbows. It is a very big scenic area, you can view the great Gullfoss from different angles, the best part is to walk to the closest part and feel the huge amount of water pouring down.

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At Gullfoss I used my (borrowed from uni) canon 70-200 f4  L lens and created one of my favorite photograph from my trip. 🙂 I was amaze by that lens, and now I am really considering to get one, maybe the IS version. This photo was taken on a tripod of course, but the non-is version i borrowed is very hard to get a perfectly sharp image handheld, so most probably I will get myself a 70-200 f4 IS L in the future. 😀

View on top of the Schilthorn, Switzerland.

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On my way up, the view is already breathtaking! How i wish the cable car have cleaner windows. 😛

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When you are at the peak, you are basically surrounded by all the beautiful mountains there. Although it’s freezing cold there, -19degree, we still can’t stop taking photo of the surrounding beauties.

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We are literally above clouds. 😛 It’s an amazing experience witnessing the clouds passes through mountains from above.

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It is a really amazing experience going up to the peak of Schilthorn. The place is truly magnificent. It was my first time visiting the Alps in my life but I think it is definitely not the last!

Mont Saint Michel.

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On our way to Mont Saint Michel, we saw these beautiful horses at the road side, we quickly stopped our car and get down to take photographs of them. They saw us coming and started to get closer, they pose for us for a few minute then ran away.

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We reach Mont Saint Michel at the evening, the sun is very low then. I can’t wait to see the awesome structure, so right after i drop m bags in the hotel I ran out to scout around our hotel to see whether Mont Saint Michel can be seen there. I found a nice place that have a decent view at the structure, but it’s still very far away.

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We drove to Mont Saint Michel, but I remembered that I saw some website that we can’t do that. But luckily we didn’t face any trouble driving strait to the main entrance. The small island was always highly fortified since the ancient time, but since the 8th century AD it has been the seat of the monastery from which it drawn it’s name. It definitely reminds me of the Disney Logo. 😛 After sometime shooting in the strong cold wind, we decide to call it a day and then went back to our hotel.

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The next day morning, I woke up real early hoping to see the beautiful Mont Saint Michel during sunrise. It’s hard but it is definitely worth it! I walked to the place I found the day before, and started to walk towards the island more. Then I found some tiny stream curving around the grassland. 🙂 Used the streams as foreground , and a long exposure to get the shot above. But it is quite windy then, that why the grass are little bit blurry. 😦

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Just before I started to leave the place, a huge herd of sheep started arriving at the grassland. Controlled by a clever herding dog, they are start to head towards Mont Saint Michel. I am so exited back then. 😀

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I shot a lot that time but personally liked this photo the most. I like how there is only one sheep turn and looked right at me, and the morning sunlight highlighted it from the herd. 😀 Waking up early it’s always fun during trips/vacation.

 

Etretat, Normandy, France

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After Paris, Me and my friend drove to Etretat. I saw some nice photos of the landscape in Etretat and that is why I chose to go there, but landscape it’s not the only thing that is beautiful there, the small town is full of old buildings, I felt as if I am in some kind of medieval computer game. We went out for a walk after our dinner, and we saw this beautiful old building- the old market hall in Place Foch. The market hall was gated and we can’t get into it, the only thing I manage to do is to take a photo through a hole in the gate. The photo above is the interior of the old market hall, it’s a panoramic done with my Samyang 24mm tilt shift lens. When I am taking this photo, a mysterious cat walked in the market hall and stood in the middle of the walkway staring at us for some time, that’s why even with a 30 seconds exposure time the cat is still visible. When I found out that the cat stud there staring at us for so long, it feels kinda creepy. 😛

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One of the beautiful cliffs at Etretat, The falaise d’amont. When I travel I like to go to beautiful natural places compared to big cities. I love begin there, enjoying what mother nature had created. Setting my camera in the extreme wind, with the fear of being washed away by a sudden wave is such fun! Love and enjoy the experience really much. I am thinking of printing this photo out, and mount it on a black board, hope it will look nice. 😀

Starting my Easter break in France

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Got onto a bus that’s headed towards Paris, France after my last class before my Easter break starts. Visited most of the main tourist attraction there, but we kept the famous Eiffel Tower for the sunset. Took the photo above during the blue hour, where the Sun just gone down the horizon and the sky is still blue. I used a telephoto lens for this (bought a used Tamron 70-300 for my Canon 6D before the trip.) I wanted to capture the detail of the tower but it’s hard to get a sharp image since I am using long shutter speed. I used a tripod, but it was very windy that night, with a telephoto lens any slight movement can cause blurriness to the photo. 😦