Iceland Photography Tips for Stunning Pictures

Iceland is a mecca for photography enthusiasts. If any of your friends have travelled here then you’ll know this. In fact you are likely to have seen a seemingly never-ending stream of beautiful pictures. Likely they just could not resist posting just one more superlative sunset on their instagram feed. Be warned that it is likely to be the same for you. Even if you are not an avid photographer you can’t really help taking a decent snap (or ten) in Iceland.

Sunset over a beautiful waterfall. Low sun and rosy sky. Iceland photography is too easy.

Why is Iceland such a great place for photography?

There are several reasons behind this Iceland photography bonanza. Firstly Iceland is just very photogenic. It is well known for its wild landscapes and otherworldly views. Vistas of volcanoes, glaciers, lava fields, geysers and waterfalls abound. There is in fact natural drama almost everywhere you look. Moody skies give way to golden sunlight hues washing across pristine mountain ranges and sheets of glittering ice. Whereas a photography trip to India is very much about portraiture. Iceland is all about the landscape photography.

The Golden Hours of Iceland

If you are at all interested in photography then you will have heard of the term the ‘Golden Hour’. This is that time of day when the sun is low and it casts a slanted golden light across the scenery. The colours glow, the water reflections come to life and the whole vista is transformed by the quality of the light. Usually if the sky is clear this Golden hour is just that. An hour or less of perfect conditions right at either end of the day as the sun rises or sets.

But in Iceland this Golden Hour is extended. Sometimes to three or even four hours. When the Midnight Sun shines in the summer months it never actually gets completely dark. The landscape can be bathed in this rosy sunset glow from midnight until 3am. Likewise in winter this magical light can be cast for a good four hours or so in the middle of day. In mid-winter the sun rises at about 9am and stays low before setting again at 3-4pm.

The seasons and the weather in Iceland

Another reason behind the many dramatic views in the decidedly fickle weather in Iceland. Notoriously changeable as it is, the sky and the light can change considerably from minute to minute. One moment there could be light clear skies and the next brooding storm clouds. This changes the character of a shot considerably. You’ll probably find yourself taking ‘just one more’ every time the light changes another fraction or two.