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Basalt Labyrinth

Posted by
Darkelf Photography (Perth, Australia) on 18 November 2020 in Landscape & Rural and Portfolio.


Firstly a couple of apologies. We went away to travel across southern parts of Western Australia and hence my absence and lack of posts. Then I posted today's photo but I forgot to change the date so it got posted a day early. I had to switch the date and it will hopefully re-appear again today (18/11 not 17/11). This way I get a chance to write a little bit about the photo. I should be back to more regular posting now and will continue with photos from Europe from 2019, while I also have some new ones from recent months.

We are back in Iceland for this photo and it was out first visit to this location, which has long been favourite with many photographers visiting Iceland. Aldeyjarfoss is a wonderful waterfall located in the northern parts of Icelandic highlands, not too far away from the mighty Godafoss. We planned to see it previous times we were there but never quite set enough time aside to be able to do that so we were very happy to do get there last year. It has instantly become one of our favourite places in Iceland and will definitely warrant further attention if we ever get to go there again.

The river Skjálfandafljót drops here from a height of 20m between fantastic basalt labyrinth of columns and textures. Basalt columns are beautifully spread on both sides of the waterfall and they look almost pre-made by some ancient civilisation. Surrounding lava field adds to the scene with its dark shapes and textures and the touches of autumn grass added a little bit colour to this gloomy overcast landscape, as we saw it last year. There were passing showers in the area so I was glad that we managed to find a moment of relative calm to be able to take some photos.

Straight on composition is the most obvious one here and I will post a photo from that perpective in the future, however, there are many other options also possible and both sides of the waterfall can be explored further. I liked this view slightly from the side, as I found the small waterfall to the right balancing the scene nicely. The exit of the river and the small falls worked well to counter balance each other with the main waterfall acting almost like a pivot point in the entire scene.

The overcast conditions definitely helped with keeping the exposure of the water under control and lack of sunlight eliminated any hotspots and the need to blend exposures. I used a polarising filter to bring more contrast to the landscape and to remove glare for the foliage and wet basalt cliffs. In post processing, I worked with dodging and burning to further enhance contrast and depth and to bring a little bit of extra texture out of the water and clouds.

I hope you are all staying well in what continues to be strange year and that brighter times are ahead in the not too far away future.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 30 seconds F/11.0 ISO 100 16 mm

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