– Photos and text by Jordan Hammond
Oh Iceland… a tiny Nordic island which tourists have been increasingly flocking to over the years, and remains one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to. I visited in the summer of 2019, where it was almost 24 hours a day of sunlight – the perfect conditions for photography. Iceland has everything a photographer could want – black beaches, glaciers, canyons, volcanoes and incredible wildlife, and we made a good effort to see as much of the country as we could in 8 days. We hired jeeps which, if you want to head outside of the main tourist loop, is the only way to do it.
Landmannalauger is located in the central highlands of Iceland and is often missed by most tourists. It requires a good 4 x 4 to get there as there are a couple of river crossings to do, but it is so worth the journey. The famous Icelandic moss in this part of the island is a green I have never seen before, and the rolling hills and valleys are just breathtaking.
My favourite spot to shoot here was probably the red and green volcano which can be found on the drive up to Landmannalauger. It’s best shot from a drone, and the contrasting colours of the volcano are simply amazing from above. The landscapes all around the highlands are pretty similar to this, so I would highly recommend exploring more if you have the time.
We decided to go to Kerlingarfjoll on the night we arrived in Iceland, and drove straight from the airport, which probably wasn’t our smartest move. We arrived about midnight, to the soft, midnight sun of the Icelandic summer, and it was incredible. Without another soul in sight, the brown and black rolling hills with the geothermal steam coming up from the ground below and the small pathway leading through the scene is just mind-blowing. It actually doesn’t even look real when you are there, let alone from photos. We spent about 2 hours in the area, shooting with both the camera and drone, and using our friends on the ridges to show the crazy sense of scale in this beautiful part of Iceland.
Finally, Stuðlagil Canyon… a place I had seen photos of before we arrived in Iceland, and so the place I was most excited to visit when we arrived. The Canyon is in the far East of Iceland, and requires a little hike from the closest place you can park by the bridge. The area has been covered by water for so long that it was only recently discovered, and is therefore still very delicate, so please be respectful! The bassalt rock columns make for amazing photos both close up and far away, and the water here is bluer than ever. I would highly recommend going when in Iceland, especially in the summer!