Iceland Story with Fuji X-T2

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Andro Loria

"I am a self-taught photographer. My day job is an academic researcher/ lecturer based in London, UK. I started photography properly about four years ago when I switched from Canon to Fujifilm X system, that was X-Pro1 camera, and I have stayed with Fujifilm ever since. I like moving between styles: street, architecture, landscape and travel photography as it helps me to explore the world. I currently use X-T2 and X-Pro2 (lives in my bag) camera bodies and Fujinon prime and zoom lenses."

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Last summer I was lucky to visit both Iceland and Greenland again, this time with a pair of wonderful Fujifilm X-T2 cameras. The Icelandic part of the trip was overwelming because of its combination of magnificent landscapes, waterfalls, ever changing light and weather, textures and colours. There is so much natural beauty on this island that once you have visited it – it will always stay in your heart and you will want to come back, and so I did.

Welcome to Iceland. Two hikers meet on a backdrop of the morning light and steam from geothermal vents at Kerlingarfjöll. (XF50-140mm f2.8 at 50mm 1/320 f7.1 ISO200)
“Close up” of Ófærufoss (The Impassable), Eldgjá Fissure. (XF50-140mm f2.8 at 50mm 1/320 f6.4 ISO200)

Throughout the few weeks I kept one X-T2 with the XF50-140 f2.8 lens (my personal favourite lens) and a vertical grip, as I usually shoot this combo handheld. The second X-T2 body had an L-plate and either the superb XF16-55 f2.8 or, on occasion, the XF10-24 f4 when the landscape was so epic that it would not fit into my idea of a wide view. The latter is a nice lens and works well in good dry weather but gets moody in rain and spray.

Beautiful highlands of Iceland. This is Bláhylur (Blue Pool) Hnausapollur Crater Lake, formed by an eruption over a thousand years ago. It is located in the Fjallabak Nature Reserve area northeast of Landmannalaugar. The other lake in the background is Ljótipollur. (XF16-55mm f2.8 at 16mm 1/40s f11 ISO200)
Sunset at Haifoss, the river Fossá, a tributary of Þjórsá, drops here from a height of 122m. This is the second highest waterfall on the island. (XF10-24mm f4 at 10mm 1/3s f11 ISO200)

To complement the kit I used a set of Lee filters for all those long and long-ish exposures of waterfalls, geothermals and waves. Of those I used mostly the little stopper (6 stops) and 3 stop hard and soft grad filters alone or combined and the CPL. The kit (including all extras batteries, chargers and cards, plenty of large microfibre wipes) was all packed into the LowePro Wistler 350, which proved to be an excellent companion on this frequently dusty, cold and wet trip. My tripod was Gitzo GT2543L paired with RRS BH-30LR II Ball Head. The combination was perfect for the smaller and lighter than standard DSLR X-T2 mirrorless system.

One to one with planet Earth. There are some places on our planet where you can be very close face to face to its soul, beauty and power. This is one of them – the geothermal area in the Icelandic highlands. An absolutely amazing place – Hveradalir, Kerlingarfjöll (XF50-140mm f2.8 at 64mm 1/200s f10 ISO200)
Sunset at the Tall (High) Falls – Haifoss (left) and Granni (Neighbour, on the right). The river Fossá, a tributary of Þjórsá, drops here from a height of 122m (Haifoss). The view here is so huge and epic that it is very difficult to get it all in one shot, so I had to use an ultra wide lens. (XF10-24mm f4 at 10mm 6.5s f11 ISO200)

Here is a small selection of my favourite shots from Iceland and one bonus shot from Greenland – I hope they prove once again how capable Fujifilm X-T2 camera and lenses are – location, lens, aperture and focal distance are indicated where I think it could be useful for those planning trips to Iceland. If you need more information drop me a line. Post-editing was done in Iridient Developer and Lightroom with Nik’s collection plugins.

A photographer takes a shot from behind the main waterfall at Kvernufoss Falls, South Iceland (XF16-55mm f2.8 at 24mm 1/2s f10 ISO200)
Blue hour at the Jökulsárlón diamond beach. Probably the trickiest shot  I took… my camera was low on the tripod, too close to the waves for comfort, so every now and then I had to grab the tripod and lift it up or run away from waves. Strong winds and low light, moving ice, moving sand, moving waves… and cold water in my boots, overall a full Icelandic experience 🙂 but it was absolutely worth it! (XF10-24mm f4 at 14mm 13/10s f10 ISO200)
Photographing sunrise at Jökulsárlón (XF50-140mm f2.8 at 140mm 1/1000 f11 ISO200)
Sunrise colours and wave motion at the Jökulsárlón diamond beach (XF16-55mm f2.8 at 30mm 1s f3.6 ISO200)
Paganel… something makes me think about the Jules Verne’s character from the “In Search of the Castaways” novel when looking at this frame. Kerlingarfjöll  (XF50-140mm f2.8 at 50mm 1/320 f6.4 ISO200)
Water forms a beautiful pattern (very nordic) on the surface of the basalt column framed basin below the Aldeyjarfoss waterfall. A couple of hikers for scale. The waterfall, about 20m tall, is one of the most beautiful in Iceland (XF16-55mm f2.8 at 18mm 15/10s f11 ISO200)
The engineer… the lone hiker standing next to the most powerful waterfall in Europe reminded me of the openning scene from the Prometheus movie. The Dettifoss fall is about 45m in height and about 100m wide. (XF10-24mm f4 at 10mm 6.5s f11 ISO200)
Sunset at Þjófafoss. Þjófafoss (Thjofafoss) is located on the river Þjórsá on the east side of the Merkurhraun lava fields in the south of Iceland (XF 10-24mm f4 at 10mm 6.5s f11 ISO200)
Ófærufoss (The Impassable), Eldgjá Fissure (XF50-140mm f2.8 at 50mm 1/100 f11 ISO200)
Sunrise… in the land of elves and trolls, Sigöldugljufur (XF16-55mm f2.8 at 20mm 1/2s f11 ISO200)
Highlander… “In the end, there can be only one.”  A lone hiker on the top of the hill in the midst of the beautiful geothermal Kerlingarfjöll (XF50-140mm f2.8 at 50mm 1/60s f11 ISO200)
It is difficult to get a sense of purity and calm in our modern hectic world, unless you are in the Arctic, watching icebergs floating by… reflection of an iceberg (about 100-120ft tall), Scoresby Sound, Greenland (XF16-55mm f2.8 at 26mm 1/1000s f8 ISO200)

 


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