I'm here to tell you about a little place called Iceland. If you've spent any time at all on Instagram, you've likely seen all sorts of scenes from Iceland. Like-fetching, follower-getting, cliché wanderlusty pics of people out there, living their best life ever (hopefully better than yours). Well, this is my turn at that same story...
Late last August, my buddy Rob Larson, who I attended art school with in Pittsburgh, and I found some wickedly cheap flights to Reykjavik, which we couldn't pass up. We'd been talking about Iceland for like a decade, but it was always unrealistically expensive to get there. So, we booked these cheapo flights, which even included a seat to sit in, found a sweet car, charted our course, reserved a few spots along the route to sleep (which cost almost as much as my flight), and hoped for the best.
A few weeks later, we were aboard the plane, headed northeast...FAR northeast.
I had ordered up 100 sheets of film for this three and a half day whirlwind trip. To put that into perspective, I usually shoot about 100 sheets of film a year. But, I wanted to be safe, and a few extra sheets of film doesn't really take up a lot of room. This was a trip I've dreamed about for 20 years, after all...
I didn't really know what to expect from Iceland. I mean...it was August, and like a million degrees at home. Would it rain? Would it snow? Would it be super windy? Wind and large format photography DO NOT mix. Would I be able to get photographs because of all of the above? In case you're unfamiliar with how working with large format cameras works, it's like the old adage of walking uphill to school both ways, but instead of snow, it's deep mud. Your book bag weighs as much as your little brother, and when you FINALLY get to school, instead of getting to use a calculator on your math problems, you're forced to use a slide rule (we got to the Moon with a slide rule, by the way). I guess the usage of the word "forced" there might be a bit harsh, as truthfully, I love working with my slide rule of a camera, and find I work much, much more diligently as a photographer with it over having a digital camera in my hand.
So...there we were; Iceland...and all I had brought was a box camera and a few sheets of film.
Upon landing in Reykjavik at 5:00am, after sleeping maybe three minutes on the plane (no matter how hard I try, I cannot sleep on planes), we grabbed our 2017 Hyundai Sadness, and hit the road for what would be the most sleep-deprived trip of my life (this, coming from a father of three).
After doing some research online, and looking at satellite imagery, which I actually do a lot of my location scouting from, Rob and I had charted a course, which would take us from the airport in the south west corner of the island, along the southern coast, and out to the fjords on the south eastern corner of the island. We would back track our way back, giving us the opportunity to visit a few spots twice, and ad different times of the day. It was going to be a haul, though. In the three and a half days we spent there, we covered nearly a thousand miles, shooting from dawn until into the night, then driving to the next bed we had booked for a few short hours of sleep.
I've always kind of considered myself a bit of a geology nut. I don't know anything about it, really, but I'm fascinated by different layers of things. Maybe that's why I like cake. The landscape in Iceland is different around every corner. Always something new and different. It's pretty wild, actually. I wish I knew more about rocks than I do, but maybe I'll start taking night classes, or something.
So...I don't know where this story ends, but I'm running out of words, and the photographs have all been made. You can click on that tab top left there that says ICELAND to see the whole collection of photographs from the trip. Thanks for stopping by!