by Matthew Karsten.
Iceland is the most beautiful country I’ve ever visited. This mysterious land covered by icy glaciers & fiery volcanoes provides many opportunities for stunning photography.
In October/November 2014 I spent 3 surreal weeks on an Iceland photography mission, exploring the country for the first time with my Sony A7 camera. The results are beyond my wildest expectations.
Iceland impressed me so much that I didn’t want to leave!
How many locations on the planet can you crawl into bright blue glacial ice caves, fly over an erupting volcano bubbling with lava, AND stay up all night transfixed by magical Northern Lights?
My experience in Iceland was overwhelming and almost spiritual — reminding me why I started traveling in the first place.
For such a small nation, Iceland is absolutely packed with beauty and diversity. Vast, dramatic landscapes stretch out for miles, sprinkled with a handful of old farmhouses and fishing villages.
It’s seriously a travel photographer’s paradise.
My favorite part of the trip was driving Iceland’s Ring Road.
Below you’ll find travel photography from my adventures in Iceland, along with a short video I produced for LifeProof Cases.
I hope my Iceland photography inspires you to visit this wonderful country!
City Of Reykjavík
Most of Iceland’s population is concentrated around the capital city of Reykjavík. I was surprised at how big and modern the city is, fascinated by the vibrant art & music scenes too. Alcohol is expensive in Iceland, but nightlife in Reykjavík still gets pretty wild. After tourism, fishing is Iceland’s biggest industry, and the city has a large seaport. This photo was taken from the top of Hallgrímskirkja, Reykjavík’s famous Icelandic church.
Green Volcanic Moss
In many areas of Iceland you’ll find large ancient lava fields of black rock covered with a thick green carpet of moss. This special volcanic moss takes hundreds of years to grow, and experts can determine how old a lava flow is by how thick the moss is. Icelandic legends say that trolls & elves live under the moss. Sounds reasonable to me! Walking through this crazy landscape feels like walking through a Dr. Seuss book.
Crystal Ice Caves
Wow. That’s all I can say about Iceland’s stunning blue ice caves. If you’re traveling to Iceland for photography, you can’t miss these. Melt water flows under Vatnajökull glacier creating these insane natural caves, with sunlight filtering through the ice from above giving them a blue tint. The crystal caves collapse or move every season, and can be difficult to reach, so you need an experienced guide. They are only safe to visit in the winter.
Holuhraun Volcanic Eruption
On August 29th, 2014 a volcanic eruption broke through the surface at Holuhraun lava field in the Northern Highlands of Iceland. It’s been spewing rivers of hot lava ever since with no signs of stopping. Driving to the eruption site is currently not allowed for safety reasons (possible flash floods & toxic gas), however you can fly over it. Helicopter flights are expensive, but if you fly in a small plane like I did, it’s pretty reasonable.