Monthly Archives: September 2015

Gatklettur, Iceland.

Whilst in Iceland earlier this month my time on the Snæfellsnes peninsula was frustrated by some decidedly wet and windy weather, so windy that on some days the water of the waterfalls was being blown straight back up the cliff face back to where it had just come from. When it wasn’t raining or blowing so hard that it defied gravity, the sky was usually a rather dull and featureless white due to the clouds gathering around the high mountain peaks.  So, when the cloud cover broke and some level of detail returned to the sky it was a bit of a mad dash around the peninsula to visit some of the more interesting sites.

Once such place is Gatklettur, a rock arch walking distance from the village of Arnarstapi on the southern coast of the peninsula. There is a gentle hike along the coast between Arnarstapi and Hellnar that has some wonderful rock formations, but Gatklettur is perhaps the most visually interesting with its horseshoe arch and near perfectly circular ‘window’. It is frequently photographed and it is really tempting to photograph it as an incoming wave crashes against its seaward side and water erupts from the circular hole. So I did.

But I favour this, the aftermath where the white foam of the water cascades down the basalt rock, picking out a path over the jagged steps.

Gatklettur, Iceland

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Iceland’s Route 574

Route 574 on the Snæfellsnes peninsula in the west of Iceland. It’s a sparsely populated and barren area dominated by the central spine of high peaks ending in Snæfellsjökull volcano made famous by the Jules Verne novel Journey to the Centre of the Earth. Clouds gather and can linger for days. Not always great conditions for photography but it creates a great mood.

I’ve been after a decent “road” shot for a while and drove along this stretch a few times. The barren landscape and dark clouds dictated a black and white conversion, but I didn’t want to lose the yellow roadside markers so I added them back in after the conversion. I don’t like a lot of post processing (laziness can be a gift!) but in this case the image is stronger for it.

It’s a beautiful place…

Many tourists worry about driving in Iceland, but other than around the capital Reykjavik, this is as busy as the roads get.

Many tourists worry about driving in Iceland, but other than around the capital Reykjavik, this is as busy as the roads get.

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