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Westfjords - Iceland

PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 7:26 pm
by MattEmmett
A few early images from the recent trip with Bill Ward to Iceland's north westerly region, the Westfjords. It was a short trip, seven days for Bill with me joining two days later. I knew it would be impressive, rugged, vast etc... but nothing quite prepares you for actually being there and not having the view limited by the straight edges of a photograph. In short (and I know I'm preaching to the converted) it utterly blew me away and as first impressions go, I'm not sure I have had one quite as big before. The landscape is vast and surprisingly almost empty of visitors and locals even. A lot of these images are pano's, somehow the landscape just calls for you to fit as much as you can into the camera, I like shooting pano's anyway so I didn't mind!

A beached ship on the edge of one of the many fjords.
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Clouds drift along the to the edge of a high rocky ridge.
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One of the vast views on the Strandir coast.
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A rocky gorge up in a mountain pass that divides two of the fjords.
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One of the many abandoned farms that are dotted around the region. Having my favourite subject to shoot there was an added bonus I didn't fully realise before we left.
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Inside a second farm house.
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Another shot from the second farm.
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The most northerly glacier in the Westfjords, Drangajökull. Shot from about 6km away.
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Was really chuffed once we had hiked the 4km from the parking spot to find 4 ice caves in the base of the glacier.
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Amazing early morning spent alone out on the vast sands at Rauðisandur.
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Spectacular valley on the Strandir coast.
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I fell in love and I guess that's what happens to most people who go there!
Thanks for looking guys :)

Westfjords - Iceland

PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:44 pm
by LennyBloke
That looks like one stunning trip!

You've given a real flavour of the place, the vastness, the ruggedness, the power of nature over man - rusting metal and rotting wood, superb set. Hope to see many more soon :thumb:

Re: Westfjords - Iceland

PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:53 pm
by MattEmmett
LennyBloke wrote:That looks like one stunning trip!

You've given a real flavour of the place, the vastness, the ruggedness, the power of nature over man - rusting metal and rotting wood, superb set. Hope to see many more soon :thumb:



I have hundreds of shots to go through. Desperate to go back ASAP. The Westfjords will go from a tiny trickle of visitors to the next big thing pretty fast so to see it like this, you'll need to be quick.

Westfjords - Iceland

PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:29 pm
by Derek897
Fantastic shots, it would be hard to overstate the vastness of the views. They just seem to go on and on.
With more spectacular views around nearly every corner.
These are savage, looking forward to seeing more :thumb: :thumb:

Re: Westfjords - Iceland

PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:01 pm
by MattEmmett
Derek897 wrote:Fantastic shots, it would be hard to overstate the vastness of the views. They just seem to go on and on.
With more spectacular views around nearly every corner.
These are savage, looking forward to seeing more :thumb: :thumb:



Cheers Derek, savage is a new one on me but I like it. The landscape is kind of savage whilst being utterly spellbinding at the same time. The kind of place you can go to feel 100% alive!

Westfjords - Iceland

PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:08 pm
by MrB
Amazing photographs - thank you for posting, Matt.

Cheers.
Philip

Westfjords - Iceland

PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:28 am
by Grarea
Great pictures.
But I love number one the most.
I reckon you have made the absolute best out of that.
I doubt I would ever have composed that like that.

Looking forward to seeing more as well.

Re: Westfjords - Iceland

PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:58 am
by MattEmmett
MrB wrote:Amazing photographs - thank you for posting, Matt.

Cheers.
Philip



No problem Philip. I will post some more soon.

Grarea wrote:Great pictures.
But I love number one the most.
I reckon you have made the absolute best out of that.
I doubt I would ever have composed that like that.

Looking forward to seeing more as well.



The pano'd comp on #1 was the only way I could get a good angle on the ship and also get the fab light over the hills in the distance. If in doubt I usually pano it and then I can always crop it back afterwards.

Westfjords - Iceland

PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 12:41 pm
by aliengrove
Great pics, looking forward to seeing more! The first one is excellent, love the composition.

No surprises on you finding some abandoned buildings to look around :)

I'd love to go back to Iceland, it really is an extraordinary place.

Re: Westfjords - Iceland

PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 1:49 pm
by MattEmmett
aliengrove wrote:I'd love to go back to Iceland, it really is an extraordinary place.



You have that 100% right! A photographers wet dream and it was pretty wet whilst we were there.

Westfjords - Iceland

PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 7:19 pm
by MattEmmett
A few more pictures. This holiday was a series of firsts in one go for me.

My first super cell.
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My first Puffin.
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My first ice cave. That's bill waiting for me outside.
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The first huge beach (7km long) that I had ever had all to myself. At least until Bill and a few other campers had got up.
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More coming soon.

Westfjords - Iceland

PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:34 am
by ralphhardwick
Excellent shots. By the look of it, the Westfjords are very reminiscent of the Faroe Islands with their grags, step cliffs and greenery.

A truly amazing place. I'm counting down the days until I return next year.

I'm looking forward to seeing more. This is one area I have never been to.

Re: Westfjords - Iceland

PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 1:16 pm
by MattEmmett
ralphhardwick wrote:Excellent shots. By the look of it, the Westfjords are very reminiscent of the Faroe Islands with their grags, step cliffs and greenery.

A truly amazing place. I'm counting down the days until I return next year.

I'm looking forward to seeing more. This is one area I have never been to.



Yes Ralph, it was an eye opener for me, not sure I have ever seen anything like it before. Bill has done the main ring road route twice before and said that the Westfjords are empty by comparison. I have a sneaking suspicion that they will begin to see a huge upturn in visitors very soon. The new Justice League opening sequence was filmed on the Strandir coast and will launch later this year, boom go the visitor numbers. A local spoke to me at one point about their fears for what is coming, the roads just are not built for too many tour buses.
If you wanted to see it as it is now, then it may be best to see it very soon. I will return next year to do Hornstrandir.

Westfjords - Iceland

PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 4:07 pm
by ralphhardwick
Mmmm, maybe I should reserve one of my planned tours as a Westfjords recce trip. :chin:

Re: Westfjords - Iceland

PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 4:23 pm
by MattEmmett
ralphhardwick wrote:Mmmm, maybe I should reserve one of my planned tours as a Westfjords recce trip. :chin:



I have no doubts you wouldn't regret doing it. If you have a 4WD then the roads really are pretty easy, smaller car is still OK in many places but you would need to drive very slowly by comparison. The main coastal road that hugs the fjord coastline is a fairly long route but I never found it boring at all, the scenery just keeps you interested all the time.
We almost didn't do the strandir coast and I'm so glad we did in the end, I had a look on street view at certain spots where there was a 360 pano and I didn't think it looked amazing but we did the main route a day quicker than we thought we would and so gave it a go. Good thing too as I think it was the most spectacular bit.