Strong never looked so good...
"It's a place riddled with texture, contrast and emotion, but almost no colour."
Or, at least that was the case in the middle of winter...
Visiting Iceland in the off-season definitely has its benefits don't get me wrong: flights are cheaper, accommodation isn't as extortionate as it is in the summer months, and you get to experience the Icelandic snow, a lot of it.
When travelling Iceland, renting a 4-wheel drive SUV is definitely up there as one of the best experiences! Add some studded snow tires and you're set to explore a landscape unlike something you've ever witnessed before! But, like everything...Iceland does have its challenges.
As a landscape photographer, there are many things that I consider when taking a photo. I think about the composition, time of day, colours, subjects, emotion and a ton of other attributes that go into producing a compelling image.
However, when we pulled away from Reykjavik and headed for the mountains, we quickly noticed that one of these attributions had almost completely disappeared: colour.
"With such a big piece of the photography puzzle now out of the equation, I felt as though my process became much simpler. I was now able to isolate my subjects in largely colourless scenes and focus on composition and light more than anything else." - Nate Dodge
If you're brave enough to visit Iceland in the dead of winter, here are a few photo tips that will help you capture the stunning images that everybody else wants to see...
"THE PERIOD OF DAYTIME SHORTLY AFTER SUNRISE OR BEFORE SUNSET"
In most scenarios, to be able to shoot during the golden hour, you have to either wake up at the crack of dawn, or stay up ridiculously late...
Contrary to many conceptions, Iceland, is one of the very few places where during winter, the sun doesn't rise up much higher than the horizon.
What does that mean? Well, it's a photographers dream - golden hour, all day long.
Use those soft shadows to create various moods within your photos - it'll also help to show the texture of the landscape within your image.
"It sounds too simple..."
Whilst exploring Iceland keep an eye out for contrasting colours - bear in mind that these won't be your usual go-to's. Instead, look out for idyllic churches, icebergs, even a horse - anything that you can find which shows a contrasting colour.
USE BAD CONDITIONS TO YOUR ADVANTAGE
"In this photo, I used white backgrounds to isolate a dark subject. I think this technique helps to show the massive scale of these places and how cold and rugged they are."
When the landscape is covered in fresh snow, search for subjects that you can isolate. Whether that's a lone tree, a blue iceberg, or a jagged peak rising up and piercing the clouds - trust me, it'll make your photo stand out from the rest.