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Crimson Veins

Posted by
Darkelf Photography (Perth, Australia) on 30 November 2020 in Landscape & Rural and Portfolio.


We did not plan to return back to Hengifoss last year but wild Icelandic weather revised our plans for the Eastern Fjords, which allowed us to make the hike again. I didn't mind too much as it is one of my favourite ones in Iceland. For some reason fjords have never treated us kindly in terms of weather. When we drove across the mountains to stay in Seydisfjordur, visibility was so low that we were crawling at 10km/h and constantly checking on maps as to where the road was leading. At least on the next day, the clouds lifted high enough to be able to drive more safely and that allowed us to make the return trip to Hengifoss.

The hike is quite strenuous but the view at the end is spectacular and well worth the effort. It is also surrounded by tall cliffs, which makes it reasonably secluded and calm even in otherwise windy conditions. The waterfall is almost the background to the full story here. What fascinated me the most were the amazing basalt cliffs and the crimson veins running through them. These layers and textures combined beautifully with the scattered rocks and stream in the foreground.

Depending on conditions, one can walk almost all the way up to the falls and there many opportunities for composition along the way. I have already posted vertically oriented photo from this area and this time I decided to go with a horizontal view. I think the stream was a little wider flowing this time around and I also wanted to bring in more of the basalt cliffs to each side of the waterfall. I liked this scene because everything seemed to radiate from the point just under the falling water and the light also helped to enhance that feeling.

I looked through the different frames I took of this composition. They all had different shutter speeds and also each had a slightly different light falling on the scene. Some were very dull, some had light falling on different parts of the valley. This one had the light falling mostly on the converging slopes, rocks just where the stream re-appears and also a little bit on the cliff face in the background. I think longer shutter speed worked in my favour here because the passing clouds allowed the light to gradually illuminate the scene more and more during the exposure. As usual, I did work on it further in post processing and used dodging and burning together with vignette to further emphasise that light but without it being present in the first place, it would not work that well.

This is yet another great location in Iceland. There is another bonus waterfall along the way called Litlanesfoss, which also has beautiful basalt column surrounding it, but I am yet to get a photo decent enough to share. It looks like I will have to return there again in the future ;-)

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 25 seconds F/16.0 ISO 50 24 mm

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