Yes, I disappeared and failed to update my first post the following day. Or the day after. Or the one after that, in fact. However, I can explain: I was driving down a remote road later at night and was interfered with by aliens, but I was lucky enough to photograph the mother ship and its tentacles, as shown below:
The alternative explanation is that the above photo was shot through my windscreen on Program mode on my Ricoh GR and was actually meant to show the snow that had arrived, like this. Please understand that I was of course using a voice activated hands-free unit to allow me to drive at night, in the snow and photograph, whilst driving [cough].
… So, after arriving at a country that looked like the photo below, had an air temperature of 2 degrees C (but a chill factor of -13, due to the gales), the arrival of snow mean’t I got a bit excited, bounced up and down on my car seat and spent my hole time running around taking photos.
Between maxing out the daylight shooting window, which is limited to about five hours in winter (max.) and getting from A-B, I just didn’t have time to post and still don’t have much now, but I wanted to drop in and let everyone know that I will be writing a full piece on this trip, with as many pieces of advice as I can muster for anyone looking to undertake a trip of their own (and I have a number of good points up my sleeve). Just a few more comments before I dart off…
Sony A7 and A7R doing great. A7R took a tumble and I have scratched the heck out of the screen (lucky not worse..). Lost all three tripod feet for my not-so-well put together Manfrotto something or other (small travel tripod). Yes, it was that dastardly sand that stole away the first foot on day three and that well known agent of friction, snow, that nicked the remaining two on day five. Come on Manfrotto, I could have attached rare Japanese orchids to the bottom of each leg and they’d have fared better! Clearly they need to rethink the friction fit design…
The hood on the 35mm Sonnar has broken. I have no idea how, as the lens was on on the A7R when it fell (into snow, over rock). It somehow came off when inside the bag. Must have bumped against something else, but it will glue back on. I had run around a bit with the backpack on so, I can’t blame Sony and put it down to rushing and probably being not careful enough with packing.
The bayonet ring that covers the receiver for the hood or 21mm lens on the Ricoh GR also disappeared. This one has me truly stumped, because it has only ever gone in and out of one very plush jacket pocket and I had not even noticed that the ring existed. It was not found loose in the pocket so must have just fallen off due to a rotational rub from a finger, while actually holding it. Not good, Ricoh. The camera is an absolute, hands-down knockout, however. I have never seen 16MP look so good with a wide angle. The performance of this lens is Leica grade, no doubt. I am not being flippant, it is that good. The look of the files is lovely and, as the internetosphere says, the files convert to B&W very nicely (better than A7 and A7R IMHO).
So, what else have I broken? Apart from several rounds of wet feet (courtesy of Jokulsarlon), everything is going well. I am just hoping for some sunshine. Until today, I have not physically received direct sunlight and only seen brief glimpses in the distance. The cloud cover has been constant, with dark wintry skies most of each day. I did get 10 mins of sunshine today, which was glorious and its not hard to see why a person. might get a touch depressed with life spent in a shade. Its not the short days that I have found an issue, but the lack of sun. Simple. After this, I am off to the Afghanistan winter – deep joy!
I’ve yet to process most of the images and it will b a while before I do so, but here is an image I shot today at Jokulsarlon doing the very thing I said I would not do: shooting at a slow shutter speed! In this case, I just had to…
I’m going to try a few things out at the coast around Vik tomorrow (I visited whilst heading East and am there again as I head West) and will reach Geysir tomorrow night. I need to do more than just go to the beach, but its hard to resist with the hail, snow, freezing water, gales etc.