20 Beautiful HDR Photographs of the Marvels and Mysteries of Iceland

The only place in the world were you can witness such marvels and mysteries of nature as a huge iceberg and endless glaciers, towering volcanoes and powerful geysers, raging rivers, magnificent waterfalls, jagged fjyords and experience the barren Highlands. Yes, Iceland is a photographers dream.
Iceland is the home of Ásmundur E. Þorkelsson, a painter and photographer who lives on the small south coast island of Vestmannaeyjar (the Westmen Isles). His images may look unreal to “orthodox” photographers, but that’s exactly what he wants, the avoidance of kitsch. All the images below are his, and they speak for themselves.

From an early age I enjoyed paging through books about art and admired the paintings of many painters, ranging from the renaissance masters to contemporaries as well as the few painters working in my home town of Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland. Nowadays I find inspiration for my photography in the works of painters like Edvard Munch, Odd Nerdrum, Lucian Freud and J.M.V. Turner, as well as in many of the classic and contemporary photographers.

Ásmundur E. Þorkelsson

A Rift (Álfagjá (Elves rift))

HDR from Iceland

“I didn’t notice any elves on my way through. Just as well, according to Icelandic folklore you are most likely to notice them if you disturb their peace.”

Chimneys

HDR from Iceland

“This is a part of the electrical power plant on the Reykjanes peninsula just before sunset. I really liked how the setting sun gave the stainless steel chimneys a copper like shine.”

December Sun((Thingvellir National Park)

HDR from Iceland

“This is river Öxará and the image was taken in early December when the sun just manages to lift itself above the horizon.”

High Noon

HDR from Iceland

“Snow, warm water and sun. Just to clarify. This is not a sunset, it’s taken just before noon at 12:18 (24h format). “

Hólmaberg

HDR from Iceland

“I sat down one autumn day on the edge of Hólmaberg to make an image about the strong waves breaking on the rocks down below. Just to give you some idea on the proportions in this frame I would guess that the lighthouse is a at least 10m high.”

Ice and Fire ((The Blue Lagoon SPA)

HDR from Iceland

“The apparent fire is just illuminated steam rising from the outdoor spa.”

Kaldakvísl

HDR from Iceland

“The name means “Cold river”. How appropriate. It’s in the Mosfellsdalur valley, the most common route between Reykjavik and Thingvellir. This is taken at the break of dawn in early December.”

Lifering and Three Whaleboats

HDR from Iceland

“The entire Icelandic whaling fleet in Reykjavik harbour where it has been for the last two decades, collecting rust. At the time of shooting it was expected that this fleet would not be moved for the foreseeable future. But just a month later the Minister for fisheries announced a quota of 9 fin whales. Many had hoped that these magnificent vessels could serve some other purpose like whale watching.

Needs Fixin’ (Hvassahraun)

HDR from Iceland

“The place is Hvassahraun, just west of Reykjavík. I’ve driven past this house twice a day for the past 8 years and I saw right away that it might make a good subject but didn’t get around to making an image of it until recently. I guess I’m a textbook case of procrastination syndrome.”

Remains of the Day (Nauthólsvík in Reykjavík)

HDR from Iceland

Remains of Winter (Straumsvík)

HDR from Iceland

“On my way home from work one day in March I made a brief stop at this place in Straumsvík, a stone throw away from the aluminium smelter which greets all foreign visitors on their way to Reykjavík.”

River of Dreams (Elliðaárdalur Valley)

HDR from Iceland

“This is river Elliðaá in the Elliðaárdalur valley. It’s a beautiful park located in the geographical center of Reykjavík. The river has wild salmon and fishing there costs a small fortune. But it’s free to walk around and take photos.”

Steaming Pond (Öskjuhlíð)

HDR from Iceland

“I had this image in my mind for a few months before actually finding the right place and atmosphere, which was in Öskjuhlíð. When I finally arrived I discovered that neither wide angle nor normal lens was enough for the desired effect. So trespassing was the only option.”

Summer Night (Húsafell)

HDR from Iceland

Summer Night in Reykjavík (Elliðaárdalur Valley)

HDR from Iceland

“I took this image in the Elliðaárdalur Valley. Maybe this color palette can be attributed to the fact that I was sick at the time of processing. The palette reminds me of the cover art of the Led Zeppelin album Houses of the Holy.”

Sunset at the Beach

HDR from Iceland

“This is the geothermal beach in Reykjavík. Swimming in the cold sea is a hot trend now and most day’s you could find a few people taking a brief swim in the freezing north Atlantic ocean.”

The Perilous Bridge (Svartsengi)

HDR from Iceland

“The place is Svartsengi, home to a geothermal powerplant and the Blue lagoon. I used my lunch break the other day to take a short walk around the place with my camera.”

Misty Mountain (Mt. Thorbjorn)

HDR from Iceland

Shattered Dreams

HDR from Iceland

Sigurhæðir

HDR from Iceland

“Sigurhæðir might be translated to “Victory heights”. This house was built by Matthías Jochumsson in 1903. Matthías was a priest and a poet and the author of the poem “Lofsöngur” a.k.a. “Ó guð vors lands”, Iceland’s national anthem.”

Contact the Photographer: Ásmundur E. Þorkelsson

Ásmundur on Flickr
asmundur.shutterchance.com – Photoblog
High Dynamic Range Images
Ásmundur E. Þorkelsson on The Icelandic Wonder

Author: (646 Posts)

Paul Andrew is the editor and founder of Speckyboy Design Magazine.

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