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Distant Rain

Posted by
Darkelf Photography (Perth, Australia) on 24 November 2020 in Landscape & Rural.


A different, somewhat "simpler" photo today. I love all the grandiose landscapes and scenery of Iceland but I am also forever drawn towards its moodier side. With its constantly changing weather, you never really know what awaits you along the way, especially when traversing the desolate highlands. In this instance, the distant rain created a beautiful veil hanging over the hills and it instantly caught my attention as we were diving slowly through this stark landscape.

Whenever we are driving somewhere, I always have my second camera body ready with my 70-200mm lens attached so that I do not have to swap lenses if I need to take a photo quickly. This was very important in Iceland because often the conditions would change so quickly that I would not have enough time to keep swapping lenses to take advantage of the favourable light. Moments after I took this photo, the clouds moved and the beautiful rainy veil disappeared. I never thought I would need an extra camera body but it sure has come in handy and it was worth lugging all the equipment through the airports.

My main task with the composition was to find something that would work in the foreground. This time I was able to use the gravel road to lead in subtly towards the main part of the scene. I liked the river just below the rain clouds. It was separated nicely from the rest of the scenery and acted almost like a reflection of the bright sections of the clouds above. It was one of these scenes that just worked for me instantly in my mind. I would have possibly liked for the road to weave its way a bit further down towards the river but it was not a major issue.

This image did not require any extensive processing. I knew that I was going for a darker mood here that suited that Icelandic highlands feel of ruggedness and starkness. I used a little bit of dodging and burning to re-shape the light slightly to put more emphasis on the rain clouds and keep any other distracting elements to minimum. I wanted just enough detail in the foreground to identify the path leading in and to have a little bit of texture in the surrounding land but not to steal too much attention.

If you can also imagine the almost total silence as we stopped along the way (I cannot recall ever seeing an animal in the highlands), you can hopefully take in the simple beauty of this moment. We could just about hear that rain falling in the distance and feel just a gentle touch of wind as it moved around the vehicle. Luckily it was not one of those Arctic windy days when the doors would be blown off the moment we tried to open them (although that is what we experienced later on in the day in Kerlingarfjoll mountains). It was a perfect and beautiful highlands moment along our travels.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III 1/100 second F/5.6 ISO 400 140 mm

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This image has been featured in 2 Remix collections.

REMIX20#5 by Florence Maugendre

Landscape & rural by Maryse