While Iceland is a wonderful spot for some wide angle landscapes, it provides an equal amount of opportunity to let your abstract creativity fly.  The winter snow, glowing turquoise icebergs and ice caves, and frosted sand dunes are great sources of interesting lines, patterns, and colors that equally trick and please the eye.  Here are some of my favorites from the black sand beaches and the glacial ice cave we visited.

All of the following sand photographs capture the various patterns created by the winds on the sand dunes, topped with some frost from the previous day's snowfall and the morning's low temperatures. The black sand creates great contrast that can be captured from several directions!






That last one captured the rising sun on the sand waves, which gave it the warm glow.  Next, when we visited an ice cave, created by glacial expansion last year, we unfortunately were unable to walk deep into the cave for safety reasons.  The ice caves in Iceland are different every year, in look and location, and there are local guides who are trained to know which ones are safe to visit each day.  We had hoped to visit one of the most popular caves, however we heard it required a kayak trip to enter.  Actually the day we went, even kayaking was not possible because that water had frozen over, but not enough to support walking on it.  Anyway, the cave we went to was more like a grotto.  Our guide tested the thickness of the ice in several spots and gave us a safety boundary that just barely let us into the cover of the ice arch.


With these limitations, our only option was to shoot the details of the cave, and perhaps play with some of the shots in post-processing.  The ice in the ceiling of the cave produced some great turquoises highlighted by the exterior light like stained glass.  There was one shape created by the ice that someone said reminded him of a horse with its head bowed in respect.  See if you can spot it!





I also had a little bit of fun playing around with processing of some of these ice cave photos.  For instance I took this original photo:


And played around with color saturation, shadows, highlights, clarity, and contrast to get these fun variations:






For a reference perspective on this ice cave, here are two photos I took on my phone of the glacier and the crumpled glacial ice that formed the cave after it grew to crash into the lava rock.




Reactions: