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#DoWhatYouCant - INSIDE ICELAND I

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Iceland, oh Iceland. For the third time already, Alina Kondrat (@alinakondrat) and I were traveling to this amazing island this summer. As the island was discovered the settlers called it Snowland (Snaeland) because they arrived in late summer and the first snow started to fall. At that time they couldn’t anticipate that it would look totally different in winter... However, the island was quickly renamed into Iceland although during summer everything blooms green and lush and we were lucky to witness that with our own eyes.

This blogpost brings us around Iceland: Deep into the Highlands (part 1), as well as to the spacious West Fjords, the sensational south and the less touristic north (part 2).

 

All pictures were taken with the Samsung #GalaxyS8Plus
further down you can find out how to set your camera for the best results.

 

THE HIGHLANDS

Straight after touchdown in Keflavik we picked up our mobile home for the next three weeks at Camp Easy. As we planned to drive off-road, it had to be a 4x4. We drove directly to Thorsmörk, a region in the southern Highlands. We met Donal Boyd (@donalboyd) who moved to Iceland a while ago and a bunch of photographers among others the founder of MySpace (@myspacetom) and the crew of @beautifuldestinations as well as @volcanopilot who showed us this region from another perspective. The hike before was incredibly – across deep gorges, torrential rivers and to the top of the surrounding mountains. The Highlands cover about 75% of Iceland – the whole interior of the country is made out of volcanoes, lava fields, glaciers, lakes and torrential rivers running across deep canyons. Only in summer the so called F-Roads are open to drive. If you do not have a 4x4, you can use those monster truck buses - they are crazy!

Some may have heard of Landmannalaugar, one of the few places which are easier to pronounce. It seems like a gate to a completely new world: picture-perfect mountains and views which are hard to beat. Together with @donalboyd, @rawmeyn and @mattcherub we went on a sunset hike which I will never forget. Why? I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves:

Taking a bath in the Landmannalaugar hot springs is free of charge - like everywhere in Iceland. Hot steam rises from the surrounding mountains and it smolders from every corner. The perfect place to witness this spectacle is Hveravellir – a geothermal region between two glaciers in the depths of the icelandic inland:

 

HOW TO SET YOUR CAMERA

On Instagram I asked if you were interested in a basic tutorial in which I show how to set the camera right to get the best results. The feedback was overwhelming so here you go:

  1. Switch from Auto-Mode to Pro-Mode, shoot with the highest resolution possible (12 MP) und save the pictures in RAW. It is easier to work with raw data afterwards instead of other formats such as .jpg because image information is being kept and won't be compressed.
     
  2. ISO: Depending on the light it may be a good idea play around with the ISO. It regulates the photo sensitivity and makes a picture brighter or darker. In general you shouldn’t set the ISO too high as it provokes noise and the photo appears more grainy. A value of 100 - 200 is perfect.
     
  3. To avoid a high ISO you can lower the shutter speed. You basically decide how long the camera captures the surrounding light information. Hold your smartphone very still while taking the photo. At night you can take spectacular photos using long exposure! If you shoot fast moving objects or with too much light (sunshine) choose a shorter shutter speed.
     
  4. Filters are nice gimmicks but you do not necessarily need them. If you shoot in RAW the information won’t be transferred anyways as we only want to keep the raw data.
     
  5. Set the focus right: This means trial and error. While shooting landscapes set it to auto which is a lot quicker. When you want to shoot macro, switch the focus to manual (flower icon). Red marks show the current focus.
     
  6. The white balance is flexible and supports you when estimating light situations. Thanks to the RAW format you can cool down or warm up the photos afterwards as well.
     
  7. Pro-Tip: Instead of taking only one picture try to shoot a panorama. You will have more image information available and the resolution multiplies - the resulting file will be much bigger. Composing the photos at the computer requires patience and experience - but you can do it!

 

Settings: Aperture 1.7 (fx), ISO 100, 1/1500s shutter speed, panorama composed out of three pictures. Edited in Adobe Lightroom.

Settings: Aperture 1.7 (fx), ISO 100, 1/1500s shutter speed, panorama composed out of three pictures. Edited in Adobe Lightroom.

In my next blogpost you will learn how I edit my photos! In the meantime you can get familiar with Adobe Lightroom (or LR Mobile) and Adobe Photoshop.

You can find my personal presets here: FILTERGRADE

 

THANKS FOR READING! PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT AND LET ME KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS AND QUESTIONS.

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