Chaos of a Sandur

Sandur – the plain at the foot of a glacier built from sediments interwoven with thousands of meltwater river branches. Endless forms and variations. One of my favorite (if not the favorite) feature of the Icelandic landscape.

We arrived at this place in the middle of a great sunset, and first had a color image in my mind. But ended up with black and white as it conveys a cleaner message this way. This is an occasion when color distracts and confuses.

Chaos of a Sandur

Chaos of a Sandur

Taken with the Canon 5DS R and Zeiss Otus 1.4/55. The wind was strong, so I used ISO 400 to shorten shutter speed as much as possible, weighed the tripod down and used my body as a wind breaker in front of the camera and tripod.

Living in a Cave

Cave-dwelling bacteria decorate the walls of lava tubes in the Snæfellsnes peninsula.

Living in a Cave

Living in a Cave

Since we went there with a regular tour, there was no possibility to bring a tripod and set up shots as I normally would. So the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II together with the great little Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS USM lens, a 600EX flash (was not used for the shot above) and the mighty Nitecore SRT7 flashlight came with me.

The flashlight was used to light this shot. The 35mm is a very sharp lens, and you can handhold it at ridiculously slow shutter speeds. Plus the 1D X II is very good at high ISOs, so they made the perfect combination for this adventure.

Layers

It’s eye-opening to experience how my relation to Iceland evolves over time. I’m here for the fifth time, now spending the entire summer in the country, but haven’t seen the island for a decade. And it has changed a lot. And I also changed a lot.

It was hard to forget the Iceland I had in my fond memories and let myself see what’s in front of me. But once I began to free myself from the past, image making started to get rewarding again.

And the island is still capable of delivering great scenery, just in slightly different ways. Just like the one below.

Layers

Layers

This image was captured at a nice geothermal area – well, it was much better ten years ago, before an explosion wiped most of the features. But this time we went there chasing the reddish glow on the horizon, not the geothermal stuff.

Taken with the Canon 5DS R and Zeiss Apo Sonnar T* 2/135.

Dark Mountains

It’s not over until it’s over – this is a golden truth in photography. We were driving the whole afternoon for nothing. It rained, and the waterfall at our original destination wasn’t in its top shape. But on the way home we literally ran into this majestic scene. Took roughly 50 frames, exploring different compositions, and couldn’t be happier with the results.

some title

Dark Mountains

Captured with the Canon 5DS R with the Zeiss Apo Sonnar T* 2/135 lens. Yes, one must bring a telephoto to Iceland.

Roadside Sunset

Sometimes great photographic opportunities present themselves in unexpected situations. But as the saying goes, luck favors the prepared.

We were driving back to Reykjavík a few days ago when a colorful sunset started to unfold in front of us. We stopped at the first gas station, pulled out my iPhone with the Mark II Artist’s Viewfinder to look for an image. A few minutes later I stepped out of the car with a big smile – knowing that the image I’m going to shoot will work. Just had to take it properly.

Roadside Sunset

Roadside Sunset

Out came the tripod, the Canon 5DS R, the magnificent Zeiss Apo Sonnar T* 2/135, as well as the 11″ MacBook Air. With 50 megapixels it’s essential to check for distractions on the image – in this case I had to exclude the fence that ran across the lower border which escaped my attention when I set up the shot through the camera’s viewfinder. But once I fired up Kuuvik Capture and took a test shot, it became clearly visible on the notebook screen. A quick framing adjustment, and just had to wait for the best colors.

Mark II Artist’s Viewfinder 4.7 Released

IMG_0050My Mark II Artist’s Viewfinder app is now available on the App Store.

The major new feature is the ability to create a custom wide converter, on which I posted recently.

Other than this, we have added support for a few newly released cameras:

• Canon ME20F-SH
• Fujifilm X-T2
• Hasselblad X1D-50c
• Pentax K-70
• Sony A6300, SLT-A68

This is a free update for existing Mark II Artist’s Viewfinder owners.

As you can see on the left, we offer upgrade bundles for former Viewfinder Basic/Pro/Cine edition owners, so they can upgrade for a reduced price.

Please note that if you have ALPA eFinder II, the custom wide converter feature, as well as the new cameras are only available if you also purchased the Camera Pack.

Glacier Hiding

Glaciers are almost always surrounded by clouds. Is it because the water vapor entering the air when ice melts? I think so. Nevertheless, parts of the mountains and ice revealed though holes in the clouds look mysterious and majestic at the same time.

This glacier lies some 20 minutes walk from the parking lot. Guess what? No tourists. This tells a lot about the contemporary tourism in Iceland. But I’m glad that we were finally alone.

Glacier Hiding

Glacier Hiding

Photographed with the Canon 5DS R and the Zeiss Apo Sonnar T* 2/135 using Kuuvik Capture. Yes, I lug a heavy backpack, a tripod and a 11″ MacBook Air with me all the time. Even if it’s a few kilometers walk. But since setting up a shot takes several minutes, it’s a must to pre-visualize what I’m going to do. Fortunately I have an app for that: the Mark II Artist’s Viewfinder.

Cloudy Highland Evening

Weather is ever changing in Iceland. The forecast said partly cloudy (my favorite) for the highlands, but during the two hours it takes to drive from Reykjavík to the southern end of Kjalvegur it had changed completely. So much that we had two drive literally in the clouds on the way back. Fortunately the cloudy weather combined with the rugged mountains could present some great photographic opportunities.

Cloudy Highland Evening

Cloudy Highland Evening

These kind of images with huge open sky over the landscape work really well with the immense resolution the Canon 5DS R and the Zeiss Otus 1.4/55 can deliver. Especially when printed large. While the eye can explore pleasing detail in the mountains, the large sky improves the feeling of being there. This is something I was unable to achieve with lower resolution images.

It was quite windy out there, so initial composition was made with the Mark II Artist’s Viewfinder from the comfort of the car. Focusing and exposure was done with Kuuvik Capture, and the car was used as a wind breaker. But despite this, I had to make several exposures since the fluctuating air can reduce sharpness when photographing distant objects with such a high resolution equipment.