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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.