Iceland is my favorite place on earth. One of my buddies and I decided we wanted to go somewhere obscure that could get us out of our comfort zone and into the unknown. Iceland has been atop my top places to travel ever since I started seeing Chris Burkard’s images and video of Iceland. I was mesmerized by the landscapes and had to see it for myself. In Iceland we had decided we would rent a car and see where our trip took us. With no plan in mind we started driving the ring road and staying in hostels wherever we were. We stopped whenever we thought we saw something worthwhile, and ended up seeing some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. We would wake up around 10am and book our next hostel for the night. We would then drive to 2 or 3 spots that we wanted to see that day and spend the day there. After we would go back and make dinner and go back out for sunset around 11pm. The waterfalls were beyond incredible and were like nothing we had ever seen (my personal favorites were Skogafoss and Seljalandafoss). I’ve seen endless pictures of the waterfall in Skogafoss, but none of them compare to actually seeing it in person. It is giant and powerful and the hike above the waterfall is also beautiful. I won’t forget that place anytime soon. We also went for hikes each day and tried to meet as many people as possible. Icelandic people are very hospitable and friendly which makes traveling there that much more enjoyable. On these hikes, I was lugging around a lot of camera gear, clothes and food, and my HEX bags allowed me to carry all these things safely and securely, and stylishly. We drove the entire ring road (2,800km) and got to experience about 10 different hot springs, which we are not accustomed to, being from CA. The hot springs were all very different, but it was incredible getting to experience these unique and natural places in such remote spots. Another highlight of the trip was staying in a town called Hofn. In Hofn we got to experience black sand beaches with Icelandic horses, glacier lagoons, and icebergs washing up the coast of Jokusarlon. I took a polar plunge in the Atlantic Ocean and also witnessed some of the most breathtaking sunsets I have ever seen. Iceland is a photographers dream. It has insane landscapes and breathtaking waterfalls, and weather permitting it has some beautiful light. We were lucky enough to see the sun about everyday which made the experience that much better. I recommend Iceland to anyone who wants to be fully submersed in nature without the crazy crowds of most other countries in the world. Almost anyone can handle Iceland (during the summer months), but only a select few can handle it in the winter. I’m hoping to go back in the winter in the near future to see what it’s all about.
- Charlie Keating for HEX
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We headed to the Blue Lagoon on the first day and although it is a very touristy spot, it was one of my favorite places of the whole trip. Getting to be in the natural hot spring and electric blue water is an insane experience.
Standing in front of Seljalandafoss was an incredible experience. Getting to go behind the waterfall and getting drenched by the freezing glacier water is something I will never forget.
On the way to shoot Seljalandafoss
Looking down the Fjarmanagular Ravine was a very humbling experience. It is so huge that you realize how incredibly big this world is and how much there is to explore. We decided to take some time here just to sit on the edge of the cliff and enjoy the breathtaking view in front of us.
This shot is in Hofn on one of the many incredible black sand beaches. We ended up running into a pack of wild horses galloping along the beachfront.
Hustling to get the shot before the sun set over the mountains.
Enjoying the view in the small fishing town of Vik.
Hiking to the abandoned hot springs. Had to carry a ton of stuff in our backpack in order to have all our gear and change of clothes.
Serenity - taking in the last little light over the hot spring we had all to ourselves.
Trekking to the viewpoint.
We had to take a break from driving every once and a while and one of us would trail the other in the car while the other skated to our next destination. Nothing better than fresh air in your face while skating into the unknown.
Nailing the Shot!