travel

Lofoten’s December

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During our visit to the Lofoten Islands last December, it was gloomy weather for the whole three days while we are there. In December, the islands are very quite, we hardly saw any other tourists. Although there are many activity you can’t do during the winter there, I still love the place, it is so beautiful! I just love how the winter turn everything into black and white.

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These panoramas are taken around Reine, one of the fishing village there. Reine is one of the bigger towns there, where you can find a patrol stations and some restaurant. (but during our visit there, all the restaurant are not open, and we have to eat at the patrol station most of the time.)

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It’s an incredible feeling taking photographs there, especially when its so peaceful and quite.

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The best advantage of a self-driving trip is that you can stop whenever you want, not only taking photographs at remote places, but you can also take a bathroom break whenever where-ever. 😛

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All these photographs are combination of several images. So they are actually very big, but due to the practicality of this blog i resized them, so it takes less storage capacity and easier to load for the viewers. Viewing the photos at these size don’t do them justice, i will definitely print them out big someday. 😀

Delft, a beautiful town.

Delft located between The Hague and Rotterdam. I visited Delft during my trip to the Netherlands. I was at Amsterdam at first with a couple of friends, then I planned to travel to Rotterdam on my own. I then found out that there is a nice second hand camera shop that recently move to Delft from Rotterdam, thus I decide to visit Delft and it is very convenient for me as you will pass by Delft if you travel to Rotterdam from Amsterdam by train.

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The small town is really beautiful, I was planning just to visit the camera shop, but ended up touring the place for the whole afternoon. 😀 I climbed up to the top of the New Church ( Nieuwe Kerk) to have a better look at the place. It was a though climb, I spent maybe 20minute climbing up a narrow spiral staircase with little openings. If I am any size bigger I would be sucked at many part of the tower. But it was totally worth the effort, the view from on top was amazing.

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There a market going on there, and I was lucky enough to have tried the famous Dutch delicacy- Raw Hearing sandwich. It is much better then I thought, as it was not a good sight when you see how they cut and prepare the fish. The taste and texture of the fish are bearable if you are a sashimi (japanese raw fish) eater, instead of wasabi the raw hearing was accompanied by diced inions.

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I was very happy that i visited the little beautiful town of Delft, and also I have gotten my hand on a couple of vintage camera gear from the nice camera shop there. 😀 if you are anywhere near The Hague or Rotterdam , do visit Delft. 😛

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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Blue Lagoon, Iceland.

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No that is not a Pterodactyl! Its  not a flying dinosaur in an alien landscape, it’s a pair of birds nesting in Iceland’s blue lagoon.

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After enjoying the warm bath in the blue lagoon, I came out fist to take some photos of the surroundings landscape. The environment there is truly unique, it is the weirdest place I have visited in my life.

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Me and my brother took a selfie with my camera on a tripod and using the 10second self timer. The different kind of landscapes you can see in Iceland is truly amazing, ranging from ice cap mountains, black sand desert, awesome cliffs and waterfalls to the blue lagoon, I don’t think you can see such variety in other part of the world. I really enjoyed the trip a lot.

My first reindeer spotting.

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After driving through a heavily foggy mountain, we reached the other side of the mountain where the weather are looking a lot better. Originally we stopped the car after I saw some beautiful light shinning on some farmhouses, but then I realized that there are a herd of reindeers at a distance. I then changed to my longest lens, the 70-200mm f4 L , and starting to walk towards them. Even though I am very far away , they detected me very soon. I then started to crawl towards them while taking photos. They started to move away from me very soon, I wish I am closer to them. 😦

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Photo credit to my brother, he took this photo standing up with his iPhone. Now I know why the herd walked away even though I am flat on the ground. Thanks Bro. 😛 Just joking. I am guessing these two photos are taken at same moment or just a fraction of seconds apart form each other. 😀 We are assuming they are wild, what a cool experience to have during my trip to Iceland.

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. 😀