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Ice on Black Sand

Ice on Black Sand

  • Icebergs break off of the Breidamerkurjokull glacier and fall into a glacial lake called Jokulsarlon. And by the way, if you find that the Icelandic language is a mouthful, add this wrinkle: Every single word, even if it six syllables long, is pronounced with the accent on the first syllable. Kiss your iambic pentameter GOODBYE!
  • Jokulsarlon is connected to the ocean by a short river. So the icebergs float from the lake to the river, and then flow into the ocean, where the tides wash the icebergs back onto the beach. So complicated!
  • The beach just happens to be made of black volcanic sand, because Iceland must constantly outdo itself, so it couldn't possibly be just a normal sand beach.
  • This image was taken as the icebergs wash back onto the black sand before the sun came up.
  • I used a 2-second long exposure to capture the icebergs amidst the wave action.
  • Stylistic tidbit numero uno: While most photographers might start the exposure right as the wave splashes, I chose to begin the exposure as the wave is receding, which leaves "electric" trails down the beach as the frothy water washes out across the rocks over the course of two seconds.
  • Stylistic tidbit numero dos: The lower the angle of light, the more transparent and iridescent these icebergs seem. So get there early, and contend with three hundred other photographers rather than the three thousand people with smartphones who arrive later on buses.