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Midnight Hour

Posted by
Darkelf Photography (Perth, Australia) on 15 November 2017 in Landscape & Rural and Portfolio.


Hunting for colours in the sky during a summer night at Dettifoss waterfall in Iceland. It felt surreal to be there completely alone at this amazing place. There was no other soul, except for one brief moment when a fellow photographer appeared on the other side of the river.

Back in 2015 I took a very similar frame at this location for a black and white long exposure photo, which I have not published anywhere as yet. This year when I was back at the same spot, I noticed just enough colours in the sky to stir my interest and took another long exposure photo to see if I can extract something more out of this scene. I like both versions but I think the colour version just wins over for me at this stage and this is the one I am presenting here.

With the long bright night I had plenty of time to study the area, walk around and look at the fall from different angles and perspectives. I like this composition because of the river leading in and because it gave me the right balance between sky and the foreground. It also gives a good idea of how the fall is situated. It does sacrifice a little bit of scale but I can live with that. If there was a person standing right near the top of the waterfall they would be just a tiny speck, such is the size of Dettifoss.

I always love the ethereal feeling that clouds movement adds to scenes like this. Combined with the dark rocks of the canyon walls and the misty spray of the water, they helped to create a great brooding mood. I can forgo brilliant colours if conditions do not suit a fantastic sunset or sunrise but I always try to look for some kind of mood in my photography. I do not merge different skies or composite images from different dates. While there is nothing wrong with that approach if that is one's artistic vision, I look for ways to photograph the moment that I see right in front of me and use techniques that will enable me to do so at the time. Long exposures are one way that help me to achieve that goal.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 240 seconds F/16.0 ISO 100 35 mm

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