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Roadside Distractions

Posted by
Darkelf Photography (Perth, Australia) on 22 February 2021 in Landscape & Rural.


There are so many beautiful roadside "distractions" in Iceland, as your drive along Route One. One has to be careful to keep the eyes on the road or alternatively, hire a chauffeur to do the driving for you. These falls are just off the side of the road in the south of Iceland near the village of Kirkjubæjarklaustur. I am not sure if they have a name. We drove past them so many times and even stopped a couple of times, but during last visit it was finally time to explore for a little longer and take some photos. I always liked them but had other plans in the past so I did not give them enough attention and last time may be they looked just that little bit more enticing with autumn colours that gave me additional inspiration. Also we had some good clouds in the background that made the scene even more interesting.

This is a big benefit of being able to visit some place on a number of occasions. You can go back to some places that you previously missed or skipped and you can give yourself more time to properly explore different areas. The obvious thing to do on the first visit is to look for grand locations because they are what attracts us to such places. Later on, one can start looking for other places, less known and less popular and develop further appreciation of the unique landscape in different parts of the world. It is not always possible and there are so many places on my 'visit again' list that I would like to explore further, but I know that that may never be achievable, especially with recent developments that we are all going through.

When we stopped at the falls, I walked along the stream to find different perspectives and compositions. There are few options open here. A wide angle scenic view is one, a closer look a any of the sections of the falls is another, or even focusing right down on individual streams can be done as well. I tried all of them and chose a wide angle one to process further and post. This one felt the most balanced and interesting to me. I love the textured flow in the foreground. Sometimes you can end up with too much dark water and no detail when a stream opens up, as it did here. Luckily at this location, there were many stones scattered around and they allowed for water to make its way around them, which added the texture and detail that I was looking for. That prompted me to use shorter rather than longer shutter speeds to retain that detail and avoid too many washed out spots.

I mentioned the autumn colours that added some great vibrancy to the landscape around the stream. The cliffs worked well in the background and clouds created good texture in the sky to complete the scene. You often hear more professional photographers talk about watching the edges of the image for unnecessary elements that could take away the attention and locations like this are a prime example of where to apply that skill. There were a bit of tall grass and few shrubs on the banks and I moved my tripod around so that there were no stray branches sticking out or leaning out of the frame along the edges. Little odd ones that remained I was able to clone out later in post processing. Sometimes, it is just not possible to avoid everything but you can make it a lot easier for yourself by limiting any clean up that needs to be done on the computer.

I was glad that we found the time to stop by this location. It did not require much effort to get to (which can be good sometimes) and it is a lovely spot when the water flow is good. The sound of the stream and my immersion in photography made me forget that I was standing almost right next to the main highway. I felt like I was somewhere else entirely. I hope you enjoy the result.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 4/5 seconds F/11.0 ISO 100 23 mm

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