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65° 41’ N, 16° 47’W
September 29, 2003
Each footstep landed with a hollow thud as I trekked along a faint path
in the blackened earth. Around me steaming cracks vented sulfurous clouds
that disappeared into the desolation. It was an active volcanic area in northern Iceland,
and yet I could not imagine the rivers of molten rock flowing underneath my feet.
63° 55’ N, 21° 59’W
September 23, 2002
I often returned to Lake Kleifarvatn during several years
of shuttling from North America to Iceland because I found
peace in its calm waters. On this trip, I found that a great crack
in the earth had opened and into it flowed the lake. Its waters had fallen.
Thermal springs, once hidden, formed steaming pools of boiling mud.
65° 34’ N, 19° 7’ W
September 27, 2003
I left the West Fjords hoping to reach Akureyri by late afternoon.
I was soon in a trance-like rhythm as I passed up and over many
mountains on the roads leading out of western Iceland. Sometimes,
the rhythm was accented by a moment, like the sight of cloud-cloaked
peaks hiding bright valleys.
63° 53’ N, 22° 03’W
April 26, 2004
Beneath the steamy surface in the thermal pools at Krýsuvík,
swaths of color were like a painter’s palette. What was before me,
what I imagined as primal life, was also a muse.
64° 09’ N, 19° 46’W
April 23, 2003
Like scars, the colors of rhyolite
— a volcanic creation — were embedded
in the hills that surround the blackened valley floor.
In the shadow of the epic volcano Hekla, once fertile
land remains a remnant from its battle with fire and ash.
65° 50’ N, 18° 24’ W
September 30, 2003
If I had followed the traditional rules of landscape photography
I would have returned when the waterfall was bathed in perfect
light. In this narrow canyon, the rays of light illuminated only
the rising mist and not the falling water creating it. I like to
capture Iceland despite the imperfect conditions it often presents.
63° 49’ N, 22° 41’ W
September 23, 2002
Pools of sludge boiled and churned in steaming holes,
and putrid air burst forth. Every time the earth coughed
so did I. Many people find geothermal areas to be hellish,
but I find them to be entertaining and a welcome sign of life.
64° 41’ N, 20° 43’W
September 21, 2003
Along a snowy country road on the edge of the Icelandic interior,
I watched a storm develop above a mountain. Then, a trickle
of light sliced through the clouds, glided across the land and
disappeared. I wondered if this is how Iceland’s ghosts travel.
64° 04’ N, 16° 11’W
April 20, 2004
At Jökulsárlón, I stood on frozen shores and watched a journey end.
It began maybe a thousand years ago when snow fell atop distant
mountains and formed a glacier. The ice forms crept along, carving
great valleys into the land. At the lagoon, ice peppered with
mountain rock reaches its destination, the sea.
64° 37’ N, 20° 47’W
September 27, 2002
Sun and storm battled each other all day in Kaldidalur.
I was just a casualty after a rainbow that jumped into
the sky teased me on more than one occasion. I left
the valley with a photograph of a lonely road
and the memory of chasing a rainbow.
64° 15’ N, 14° 59’W
April 23, 2004
The crags of Vestrahorn were a welcome sight during
my daily drive home from work. When I saw them, I knew
I was near the town of Höfn — my home when I explored
southeast Iceland. But in the shadows of twilight, I discovered
the dark side of my new friend while exploring its foothills.
65° 38’ N, 24° 18’W
September 24, 2003
My arrival in Patreksfjörður was coincidentally timed
with the setting sun. Perfectly placed clouds drifted above
the cliffs across the fjord as I raced through town. I found
a vantage point amidst debris from the fishing docks and
captured the dying of the day.
63° 47’ N, 22° 42’W
September 23, 2002
I stood for perhaps an hour oblivious to the chill from
the salty ocean spray that comes in gusts. I watched
waves explode through cracks in tide-worn rock.
The waters seemed alive — each drop battling
to reach the shore revealing a different personality.
63° 36’ N, 20° 00’W
September 25, 2002
Absolute silence can be scary.
I found it often in the Icelandic wilderness
where even a slight wind can rustle the senses.
The silence faded as I neared the hissing ropes
of silky droplets. Thunderously they fell in dark waters.
64° 47’ N, 23° 43’W
September 22, 2003
My trip along the gravel track to Snæfellsjökull ended before its summit came into view.
I had weighed the odds of having my car get stuck in a snow drift, so I turned it around.
As I struggled, clouds slightly parted to reveal slopes leading to the hidden peak. Again,
Iceland provided me with good fortune just when I thought the opportunity to make
a photograph had disappeared.
64° 16’ N, 21° 06’W
September 24, 2002
My companions were slick trails and steady rain as I hiked through deep rifts.
The site of the ancient Icelandic parliament was empty, the summer crowds
long departed. This is how I preferred to experience Iceland — alone, without
herding tourists. People are usually the subject of my photography, but in
Iceland solitude is my best friend.
63° 32’ N, 19° 20’W
September 25, 2002
My first encounter with a glacier was not typical and grand.
I was facing the leading edge covered in chalky grit instead
of looking out over a massive plateau of icy crevasses.
I shifted my thoughts from the mud I just trudged through
and imagined myself looking at art on a gallery wall.
63° 23’ N, 19° 02’W
April 18, 2004
The rock formations just offshore on the south coast had once been trolls
who were turned into stone — or at least that’s what Icelandic folklore says.
I spent lots of time on deserted roads thinking why people invented such tales.