Dreaming of Suns

Last week, Kaspars and I embarked upon a long-awaited journey to the Highlands of Iceland. We had planned it for months in advance, knowing that it would be our only time off before the busy Iceland photo tour period in Autumn. Although we had both been to Landmannalaugar before, we were excited as neither of us had travelled to the Kerlingarfjöll area in the Central Highlands. This would be new and uncharted territory for the both of us.

The drive on the long and winding gravel road took a lot longer than expected, marked with potholes and puddles. It was sunny when we arrived at Kerlingarfjöll, though the skies quickly turned grey and then into snow. We managed a few shots before it started bucketing down.

It wasn’t long before we retreated, driven away from the mountains by the terrible conditions. We decided to take refuge for a while in our cabin at the nearby Kerlingarfjöll Mountain Resort until the snowfall subsided. The Icelandic Meteorological Office had issued a ‘severe weather warning’ that there would be extreme winds in the area for the next days, so we knew that this would be our only chance to capture the landscape in photos before summer next year. When the snow and rain cleared up in the afternoon, we returned to the mountain range and completed a short hike to take in the seething geothermal activity, as well as to photograph the incredibly unique and colourful landscape.

The thing about the Kerlingarfjöll mountain range is that everybody looks like an ant exploring far and distant lands. You can either choose to stand at the carpark and shoot with a telephoto lens – which will guarantee you the shots that you see in everyone’s portfolios – or you can take one of the many hikes around the area to see what else the steamy landscape has to yield.

I felt that the title for this image would be fitting, given that we were dreaming of sunshine throughout our stay. As the near full-moon rose in the evening, it appeared to be larger than usual in the pale blue sky. Paired with the otherworldly landscape, which was richly askew with pink and purple rhyolite rocks, it soon had me thinking beyond our small neighbourhood within the Solar System. I guess that’s one of the things that I love most about photography… the power to re-ignite the embers of anyone’s long-forgotten imagination. No matter where you are and what you’re doing in this short life, it’s important to look outside the confines of your own four walls and to dream of other suns.

Location: Kerlingarfjöll, Central Highlands, Iceland.

Equipment: Canon 5DsR, Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM.

Settings: 1/40 sec, f/13, ISO 100.

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