From Queanbeyan to Iceland {canberra photographer}

Canberra photographer iceland052
There’s nothing quite like a holiday to revive the spirits and I’ve just been on a holiday that allowed me to indulge in my passion of photography and revive me mentally. Every day I work with the medium of photography. I have been a full-time professional photographer for 15 years. Its a lifestyle I love, though these days its one of the hardest industries to make a consistent living. I feel fortunate that I have been in business since before the days of social media and I have many clients that use me regularly and allow me to be able to support my small family and to save and go on a holiday of a life time.
.
I turned 50 last May. I had a huge party and exhibition, which was fabulous, but this trip to Iceland (and the UK)  was the pinnacle of my birthday year. I have always wanted to go to Iceland for some reason. When thinking about places to visit i seem always to be attracted to places that have less people, less hassle and less hustle and bustle. Iceland in winter was perfect for me!
.
I knew I didn’t want to drive myself, especially in the Icelandic winter so my friend Maree and I booked a photo tour by a UK based company, called Light and Land. The two professional photographers who were responsible for us and the 10 others on our tour were David Clapp and Antony Spencer.  Antony’s career involves many photo tours all year ’round. David does many tours but also commercial photography and speaking commitments for Canon. Both men were wonderfully affable and knowledgeable about landscape photography and of touring to get the most out of the light and land in Iceland.
.
Hilary Wardhaugh
Jokulsarlon
Before I start this post though I do need to say, that although my friend and I wanted to photograph the Icelandic landscape we also wanted to experience Iceland; its people, history and culture also. If we had really thought about it properly we would have allowed an extra few days (or weeks!) to immerse ourselves a bit more in the towns and its people to be truly sated in all aspects of the country as a whole. Yes! The landscape is truly awe-inspiring and as a photographer it was heaven to capture, but for me I felt that to create lasting memories; I needed to see with my eyes, heart and mind and not just through a camera’s lens. This very slight dissatisfaction was no fault of David, Tony or the tour company, just mine for not planning well enough.
.
 I have never been on any sort of tour prior to booking this one and whilst I was there photographing with the group I did feel that I was , in a small way, ‘on the take’. Yes, we spent money in various places, ate local produce and used local services and tried to get our mouths around such words as: góður dagur, Grundarfjörður‎, Búðir, Snæfellsnes, Jökulsárlón‎, Vatnajökull‎ though strangely enough we had no problem ordering a big Viking … which, by the way is a lager! So YES! I will very happily recommend Iceland and our tour company Light and Land to my friends. However, for me I felt the need to give back, to share, to engage, to learn, to experience, to make memories with the people of Iceland so I could educate my part of the world about their part of the world, once home.  I can honestly say that I had a wonderful time, it was fun, we saw amazing natural beauty and we met and interacted with some lovely people within the group, I know my friend and I had a lovely time! I just wanted to step outside the bubble every now and again for complete fulfilment.
.
When downloading my images every night whilst on my travels I realised that many of the images I had created all contained a human element. Sometimes it was an actual human being but often just a small relic that showed that this bit of our world has been touched in some way by a person. I love looking at landscape photography and can certainly appreciate the time and level of craft that is required to create beautiful landscape images but for me unless they have evidence of humanity I am often left wanting more. I am a portrait photographer, after all!
.
Canberra photographer iceland057
Kirkjufell
So, have I be left wanting to return to Iceland; yes, though another trip may have to wait so I can share it with my son when he is a little older. Next time I would travel there in late Summer or early Autumn. I loved that this trip was in Winter. I loved the cold, the snow, the lack of daylight, the ice, the wind. My friend and I joked about  experiencing all these things and the distance travelled was about as far away from what we get and where we live in Australia as it could be.
.
Canberra photographer iceland004
Painting with light under Vatnajokull
Lastly, I have been thinking about what to do with the hundreds of photographic images I accumulated whilst I was in Iceland.  As with any of my photography whether personal or professional, it will be printed. One or two as wall prints, and the rest in a book.
It was so hard trying to edit all my images so I really do apologise for the amount of images in this blog post!! At the end are some portraits of most of the people on our tour. I apologise to David, Jeff and Maggie for not making your portraits as I had the others….
Hope you enjoy my look at Iceland!!
.
 Canberra photographer iceland000
Aurora over Jokulsarlon ( my first attempt at photographing the aurora borealis )

Hilary Wardhaugh

 

Walking toward the ice cave under Vatnajökull‎ glacier
Walking toward the ice cave under Vatnajökull‎ glacier

Hilary Wardhaugh

Canberra photographer iceland005

Under Vatnajökull‎ using long exposure times of up to 30 seconds
Under Vatnajökull‎ using long exposure times of up to 30 seconds
Under Vatnajökull‎ using long exposure times of up to 30 seconds and painting with light from the torch of my iPhone. Wall is solid metres think ice
Under Vatnajökull‎ using long exposure times of up to 30 seconds and painting with light from the torch of my iPhone. Wall is solid metres think ice
Under Vatnajökull‎ glacier and I saw the sun pop out to make the ice sparkle
Under Vatnajökull‎ glacier and I saw the sun pop out to make the ice sparkle
Vatnajökull‎: Antony in situ to give this shot scale. It is amazing the difference in the light now the sun had dropped
Vatnajökull‎: Antony in situ to give this shot scale. It is amazing the difference in the light now the sun had dropped

Canberra photographer iceland012

in the ice cave under the Vatnajökull‎ glacier. Waders were required to walk through the river.
in the ice cave under the Vatnajökull‎ glacier. Waders were required to walk through the river.

Canberra photographer iceland014

A quick stitch of Jökulsárlón‎
A quick stitch of Jökulsárlón‎
last of the light at Jökulsárlón‎
last of the light at Jökulsárlón‎
Our hotel at Hali 2, Suðursveit, 781 Höfn í Hornafirði, Iceland. Beautiful place to stay and gorgeous food!
Our hotel at Hali 2, Suðursveit, 781 Höfn í Hornafirði, Iceland. Beautiful place to stay and gorgeous food!
Hali 2, Suðursveit, 781 Höfn í Hornafirði, Iceland
Hali 2, Suðursveit, 781 Höfn í Hornafirði, Iceland

Canberra photographer iceland019

Canberra photographer iceland020

Jökulsárlón‎ on a very bleak afternoon!
Jökulsárlón‎ on a very bleak afternoon!

Canberra photographer iceland021

Canberra photographer iceland022

Iceberg at Jökulsárlón‎ : this one would be about the size of a small bar fridge
Iceberg at Jökulsárlón‎ : this one would be about the size of a small bar fridge
For scale there is a man in the middle of this beach at Stokkness
For scale there is a man in the middle of this beach at Stokkness

Canberra photographer iceland026

Canberra photographer iceland027

Canberra photographer iceland028

Canberra photographer iceland030

Canberra photographer iceland031
Canberra photographer iceland029

Canberra photographer iceland030

More black sand and snow at Stokkness
More black sand and snow at Stokkness
Stokkness: to me this image does my head in. There has been no photoshop here.
Stokkness: to me this image does my head in. There has been no photoshop here.
back to Jökulsárlón‎ on a kinder afternoon… such extraordinary beauty. The light is so different to Australia!
back to Jökulsárlón‎ on a kinder afternoon… such extraordinary beauty. The light is so different to Australia!

Canberra photographer iceland035

Diamonds on the beach at Jökulsárlón‎
Diamonds on the beach at Jökulsárlón‎

Canberra photographer iceland037

David Clapp walking amongst the icebergs on the beach at Jökulsárlón‎
David Clapp walking amongst the icebergs on the beach at Jökulsárlón‎

Canberra photographer iceland039

No-one around, the silence and space was wonderful
No-one around, the silence and space was wonderful

Canberra photographer iceland041

Canberra photographer iceland042

Canberra photographer iceland043

Canberra photographer iceland044

Canberra photographer iceland045

Jökulsárlón‎ : one of my favourite images
Jökulsárlón‎ : one of my favourite images
Geyser at Gulfoss erupting
Geyser at Gulfoss erupting

Canberra photographer iceland048

Geyser at Gulfoss with colourful people
Geyser at Gulfoss with colourful people

Canberra photographer iceland050

On the road past Vik
On the road past Vik

Canberra photographer iceland054

near Grundarfjörður‎ and Kirkjufell - the tour group out n' about
near Grundarfjörður‎ and Kirkjufell – the tour group out n’ about

Canberra photographer iceland058

Canberra photographer iceland059

Canberra photographer iceland060

Kirkjufell near Grundarfjörður‎, with sheets of foot thick ice lying on the grass
Kirkjufell near Grundarfjörður‎, with sheets of foot thick ice lying on the grass
I started a cairn at Kirkjufell
I started a cairn at Kirkjufell
abstracts in the ice at Grundarfjörður‎
abstracts in the ice at Grundarfjörður‎

Canberra photographer iceland063

The little church at Búðir ‎on the Snæfellsnes peninsular
The little church at Búðir ‎on the Snæfellsnes peninsular

Canberra photographer iceland065

Dawn at Búðir‎ - dawn being 11am!
Dawn at Búðir‎ – dawn being 11am!

Canberra photographer iceland071

Canberra photographer iceland072

Little hut near Hótel Búðir, close to Little Black Church at Búðir - Snæfellsnes Peninsula at daybreak at around 11.15am
Little hut near Hótel Búðir, close to Little Black Church at Búðir – Snæfellsnes Peninsula at daybreak at around 11.15am

Canberra photographer iceland074

Sheet ice on the roads in Grundarfjörður‎
Sheet ice on the roads in Grundarfjörður‎

Canberra photographer iceland081

Canberra photographer iceland082

Canberra photographer iceland083

Lots of birds circling above the harbour in Grundarfjörður‎.
Lots of birds circling above the harbour in Grundarfjörður‎.
Oils storage tank at Grundarfjörður‎. One of my favourite shots
Oils storage tank at Grundarfjörður‎. One of my favourite shots
Near the harbour in Grundarfjörður‎
Near the harbour in Grundarfjörður‎

Canberra photographer iceland087

Church and crow in Grundarfjörður‎
Church and crow in Grundarfjörður‎

Canberra photographer iceland090 One our way for a dip at The Blue Lagoon, through a lava field.

The Blue Lagoon www.bluelagoon.com
The Blue Lagoon www.bluelagoon.com

Canberra photographer iceland092

Hilary (that is me, with mud on my face!! www.hwp.com.au

Here are the rest of the group minus Jeff!! (so sorry, Jeff!)

Canberra photographer iceland portraits053
Canberra photographer iceland portraits054
David Clapp, fighting to 60mph winds… and almost losing!! http://www.davidclapp.co.uk
Canberra photographer iceland portraits002
Canberra photographer iceland portraits011
Maree
Canberra photographer iceland portraits052
Paul
Hilary Wardhaugh
Canberra photographer iceland portraits010
Steve and Jane
Canberra photographer iceland portraits004
James
canberra photographer iceland portraits
Dennis and Fre
Canberra photographer iceland portraits055
Canberra photographer iceland portraits009
Maggie
My pal Maree and I loved celebrating out 50th birthdays in Iceland! BUT! In my humble opinion if you want to go there, don't wait as long as we did! It is a truly beautiful place! Byeeee! xoxoxo
My pal Maree and I loved celebrating out 50th birthdays in Iceland! BUT! In my humble opinion if you want to go there, don’t wait as long as we did! It is a truly beautiful place! Byeeee! xoxoxo

Share Post :

More Posts