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Travel Stories

Photographing Iceland - Part 4: Day 5 and 6

Russell Whittemore (rosewood_ltd)

Keywords: photographing_iceland, rosewood_ltd, landscape, travel_photography, travel, iceland, russell_whittemore, dimmuborgir, myvatn, aldeyjarfoss

This is the fourth part of a six part series on Photographing Iceland -- The next part will be published next week.

The day dawns cloudy, but then clears fairly quickly as the sun rises.  Our first destination of the day is Dimmuborgir.  Translated, the name means “dark forts,” and it is an amazing geologic wonderland.  It is not to be confused with the symphonic heavy metal band from Oslo, Dimmu Borgir, who take their name from this location. (I cannot claim personal knowledge of this bit of head-banger esoterica, but was informed of it by a fellow photographer who is into all things Metal.)  The site is also of recent fame, as a location for some of the Game of Thrones exterior shots.

Dimmuborgir Lava Flow
Click for an enlargement


The lava fields here were formed only 2300 years ago when an eruption formed a 30 foot deep lava lake over a marsh.  Numerous vertical tubes solidified to vent steam from the water boiling underneath the lava flow.  Eventually, the roof of lava over the site collapsed, leaving behind the tumbled and intact towers of the steam tubes, forming a rugged and intricate network of pathways and blind alleys of basalt.  

We are told by our guide to take care while exploring, so as not to get lost in the lava maze.  Even with the admonition, one of our number does become misplaced and we are delayed for about an hour while the guides track the wayward soul down.  For a change, in this instance, the lost party was not That Guy or his companion.

Dimmuborgir Chaos
Click for an enlargement



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Raymond Domzalski (RayTD) on October 6, 2019

Russ, Your pictures of the Aurora remind me of having been lucky enough to view it as a boy, from the UP (Upper Peninsula) of Michigan, USA. Your shot, "Aurora Over Lake Myvatn 1" is one amazing photo! I really thoroughly enjoyed your entire "Photographing Iceland" series. Thank you! Ray

Tom Jacob (sevendayimages) on March 29, 2019

Awarded for his continuous knowledge and images sharing with community members Awarded for his win at the Best of Nikonians 2016 Photo Contest Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level of skill in several areas. Awarded for winning in The Best of Nikonians 2019 Photo Contest 
Winner of the Best of Nikonians Photo Contest 2020
This member has gone beyond technical knowledge to show mastery of the art and science of photo Winner in the Best of Nikonians Photo Contest 2021

Just Wow Russ...but you should put the images at the end of the article, because I have trouble reading the story while glancing over image after image of beautiful captures and scenes! ;) Excellent, really enjoying it.

Robert Wyatt (sulkyrob) on March 29, 2019

Russ, this series is brilliant. I am going to drive around Iceland in August and while the weather will be very different to what you experienced some of the locations and tips you have provided will be invaluable. Thank you very much. Rob

Bonnie Christensen (BChrisRad) on March 28, 2019

Donor ribbon awarded for her most generous contribution to the 2017 campaign. Ribbon awarded for her most generous support to the 2018 fundraising  campaign Awarded for high level of knowledge and skill in various areas.

Really enjoying your series, Russ.

David Goldstein (dagoldst) on March 28, 2019

This is a great series. I would love to eventually go to Iceland, it is such a fascinating geography.