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Photographer's Note

An exceptionally cold summer.
An exceptionally unwelcoming place.
More than exceptional natural colours.

After our rough tour to the highlands and our little Mediterranean holiday in the West Fjords I didn't think Iceland reserved many surprises. But it did.

As we turned the corner, hoping to catch a glimpse of the Sneafellsnes peninsula glacier, Snaefellsjökull, it appeared to us for a short moment before slowly hiding underneath a soft layer of white clouds.

At the bottom of the hill the serious sign, warning us of pending danger for those who attempt walking on the glacier, did not dampen our spirits but just heightened our curiosity. It was getting late and my camera was itching my fingers, waiting to be pointed out and shot at all the marvellous sights around and the sun-painted hillsides.

After a truck sped past our little Libero and up the holey hill, we knew there was something odd about this place. The feeling was eerie, and the dark cloud sitting on top of the peak we'd seen a dozen of kilometres earlier seemed to sit there like an angry god, waiting to wrap us in its wrath. But we continued, our curiosity burning.

What sights! What golden colours! What green... it seemed that all the essential colours of this world stemmed from this mountaintop, and on we pushed, up the painfully steep hill!

It is only as we entered the thick moist air that a slight sense of fear crept through our minds and bodies. Something was wrong about this place. We were not welcome. It seemed that something or someone somewhere was just waiting to get us into fatal trouble.
We drove in silence, looked around and silently agreed that we would turn around and head back down as soon as possible. Reaching a little peak where we could see huge trucks and other machinery busy around the bottom of the glacier, we stopped and observed for a few minutes, before turning around and heading down.

Overwhelmed by the place's amazing strength but also beyond-words beauty, I was trapped between wanting to get out as soon as possible and wanting to run around shooting it all. So I asked for a little second, ran down the hill to a little dry stream right by the road, crouched and took this shot along with me back to the bottom of the hill, across the Ocean back home, to show it to you now, some year and a few months later.

I cannot tell you much about this picture besides that it seemed to be a dry stream. The summer was exceptionally cold, even the locals were amazed, so the glacier did not generously provide water as it would during other summers. I kept out the glacier which would have been visible had I tilted the camera just a few millimetres higher because I was fascinated with this amazing brown, green and turquoise. I hope you will agree with my decision ;D

In a huge hurry, I didn't pay attention to the settings. The original version is slightly moved/blurred so I had to make it a good bit smaller + had to work on it quite a bit for the expo to be able to print it in 80x60 cm. One of the most unexplainable of images but one that most people spent the most time looking at. I still don't know why I took it nor why it is so intriguing. I'm hoping that your opinions will enlighten me :D (perhaps you'll hate it?)

An advance Thank You to all those amongst you who take the time to criticize and/or leave a comment!

Nikon D70
2005/08/05 23:37:19.2
JPEG (8-bit) Fine
Image Size: Large (3008 x 2000)
Lens: 18-70mm F/3.5-4.5 G
Focal Length: 22mm
Digital Vari-Program: Landscape
Metering Mode: Multi-Pattern
1/60 sec - F/3.8
Exposure Comp.: 0 EV
Sensitivity: ISO 200
White Balance: Auto
AF Mode: AF-S
Flash Sync Mode: Not Attached
Color Mode: Mode IIIa (sRGB)
Tone Comp.: Auto
Hue Adjustment: 0°
Saturation: Normal
Sharpening: Auto
Long Exposure NR: Off

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Additional Photos by Julia Leijola (leiju) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 435 W: 84 N: 523] (1697)
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