Shooting at the Glacier Ice Beach
It is safe to say that the Shooting at the Glacier Ice Beach is my favorite. It is one of the few places you can always find an interesting frame no matter the conditions. Of course nothing beats a great sunrise at the Ice Beach, but there is life between sunrise and sunset… and if there is something you can take for granted in Iceland it is that you will NOT have Sunrise and Sunset every day :-). Sometimes we have bad light for days and at times like that it is very nice to have a place like the Ice Beach.
If you think about it, what is “Bad Light”? “Bad light” is really just lack of highlights, giving overall flat and dull photos. But on the Ice Beach there is always plenty of contrasts. Black volcanic sand against the bright glacier ice, the waves splashing and the white foam which gives a beautiful contrast to the black sand.
The “money shot”… the shot everyone goes for is a long exposure, approx 1-2 seconds, when the waves are receding. It’s key to spend some time to find a nice piece of ice as your subject. Maybe you find one with a hole in it, or just some nice shape. Translucent, almost transparent ice always makes a nicer subject than the ones you can’t see through, and if possible it’s also nice to get a little backlight, especially when the sun is really low on the horizon. It makes the ice look like little nuggets of gold. 🙂
To get “the money shot” you need to stand in the fire, meaning your feet will get wet unless you are wearing rubber boots… waders if you have them. But be careful, the beach is notorious for killing cameragear! Every day the Pagan God of the Ice Beach claims the life of cameras and lenses in masses, and it’s always because people vere not being careful enough. The number one reason people lose their cameras is that they leave the camera and the tripod at the Beach and go to adjust a piece of ice or get something from the camera bag. Before you know it **BAMM** the waves have swept away your tripod and everything you had on it.
There are however many other shots to be found there, many that do not require you to get wet or put your camera gear in danger. So don´t skip the beach although you did not bring waders. The Ice beach has something for everyone.
The possibilities are endless but my number one advice to you: don’t forget to just look at it for a while and enjoy it! It is one of the most amazing things you will ever see.