I’ve been a little quiet while finishing up three months in Afghanistan and have just arrived back in the UK to recharge my sanity. I’m then due to head off to Iceland once again! Before this next trip hits the blog, I have a B&W pro-photographer interview and a field user report waiting in the wings.
I was not anticipating returning to Iceland quite so soon, but figured this would be a great opportunity to explore the northern half of the country. I’m there for 11 days this time and with much longer day length I should be able to see very much more of the country. With a little luck, I’ll be able to make another run along the south coast and possibly head inland in the Landmannalaugar region. I’m also toying with the idea of taking my trail running shoes and going for some ridiculously scenic runs!
I have no doubt that this trip is going to be extremely challenging, but that’s part of the appeal. Iceland has been extensively shot already, but in the same vein as my work from January, I’ll be turning up without preconceptions and let things flow as they will. That’s where the excitement lies for me: I have no idea what I am going to shoot or what the images are going to look like. This is of course slightly terrifying and something I experience before every new creative endeavour (can I do it again? Where does it come from?), but it works for me by keeping my mind fresh an unencumbered by specific (inherently narrow) expectations. Anyway, Iceland brews excellent beer, so how wrong can it go?
May should provide a mixture of cloud and sun, lots of flowing water from melting snow and ice, along with 18-hour days (they lasted no more than five hours in January). This will allow me to shoot early and late and cover ground during the middle of the day.
So what equipment will I take? Well, I am not sure yet, but I expect either the Sony A7 or A7R will be in there, along with the 70-200mm f4 OSS and possibly 55mm FE, but I am toying with taking the Leica Monochrom too, for the glorious wide angle options (24mm Elmar-M f3.8 for example). I’m going to leave the 16-28 f2.8 Tokina bazooka at home this time and either pick up a (half the weight) 16-35 f4 (Sony or Canon) or add a 15 to18mm for the Leica. I also think it would be fun to directly compare some identical scenes shot on the A7R against those from the Monochrom, don’t you think? How many of those have you seen (I am guessing none). I’m very interesting in working the files through to their best conclusions (treated individually) and see how I feel when comparing final prints. I was very pleased with how the Sony cameras performed on the last trip, but the Monochrom is such a handy camera for my way of shooting (as little tripod work as possible) due to its base ISO of 320. It has a ‘point and shoot’ no frills aspect that I enjoy. I will, however, be keeping it well away from the rain and sea spray on the southern coast!
I’m going with a view to possibly producing a future book of Iceland photographs. The spring imagery will add another dimension to the snow scenes from the last trip and the spectacular geology of the interior would be icing on the cake. It’s going to be beautiful, whatever the photographic outcome. It is also going to be a surprise, for you and for me, and that has to be the best part!