Inspired by Iceland

by Ryan Rowell

Our Iceland Photography & Taking Chances

If we have learned anything from traveling and being photographers its that you only get one chance to create magic.  Once the moment is past you can try to fabricate it, and it will look beautiful, but it won’t have the special something that leaves you marvelled. This week we travelled to Iceland to photograph Chris & Ann’s engagement and wedding, which you will see more of in the coming week. Everything in Iceland is moving, the weather and landscape are constantly changing. Things that looked a certain way a year and a half ago on our last visit, don’t look the same now. It makes each image we have taken there so unique, because we know that recreating it is close to impossible. This time we stayed in the South of Iceland at Hotel Ranga, and then in Reykjavik at our favorite apartment House of Sprits. We were exhausted when we arrived, and decided to take a bit of a nap mid day. The staff at Hotel Ranga mentioned that the Northern Lights should be out that night and that we should sign up for a Northern Lights call. The front desk will call you at any hour if the Northern Lights are visible as long as you sign up for it. So we did. The call came in at around 12:30am and we headed out to see a 15 minute show of the Aurora. That night I crossed #49 off my 101 things to do in 1000 days list. The images we were able to capture just blow us away! For the nights to follow, we had clear skies, but no Aurora. We are so glad that we woke up, even though we were exhausted from traveling all night. It was so worth it.

This is Gullfoss. A multi teared waterfall that you can climb out to the edge of. in the photos below we are literally on the edge of a very powerful waterfall. This place is so beautiful. It is by far my most favorite waterfall in Iceland.

These photos of ice and snow below are of Mýrdalsjökull Glacier in South Iceland. Ryan trekked out to the glacier to capture these photos.  What’s funny about this place is that we were never planning to go here. I made Ryan drive an hour in the opposite direction to find a crashed airplane from the 1970’s that was supposed to be in the area. The day before I thought I saw it in the distance in a field around the glacier. We had done some research to find out where it as and had no luck nailing down an actual location. So after about an hour of looking we decided to give up and visit a glacier. At the base of the snowy and icy part of the glacier was a portable cafe. Being miles from the next …anything, we decided to go inside. The woman made us a fresh pot of coffee and we had a piece of her carrot cake. We talked about the glacier and all the scientific studies happening there. We asked her if she knew anything about the plane that had crashed into the beach in the 1970’s, and if she had ever seen the wreckage.

“Of course!” she replied

“It’s on my property, just down the road. I’ll give you directions, the front gate should be open.”

What are the odds? the weirder part is that the day before, when I thought I had seen it in the distance, turned out to be nothing at all. I was looking on the wrong side of the road, and the wreckage was impossible to see from the main road. So what I saw was not a crashed 1970’s plane at all. But I had the right area, just the wrong direction. The plane wreck is an old US military plane that had an emergency landing on the Solheimasandur. Please treat it with respect if you go there.

Back in Reykjavik, the weather was mild, but the wind was crazy. We walked around downtown as long as we could taking just a few photos at Hallgrimskikja church before heading back to the airport. Once again, Iceland has blown our minds, and given us moments we will never forget. Iceland makes you do things that are out of the norm; like waking up from a deep sleep to take photos of the Aurora in the middle of the night, and going on crazy searches for 1970’s airplane wreckage, and puffins. It gives you the chance to take chances, and stand on the edge of beauty, daily. It is a captivating land that offers so much to travellers like us. There will always be a special place in our hearts for Iceland.


Erika & Ryan