Iceland: Day 1, Happy September!
Updated: Jan 15, 2021
Stafkirkjan, Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland
In commemoration of the best month of the year, and the anniversary of my Honeymoon Adventure last year with my husband, I will be posting one of the re-touched images from that trip, in no particular order of importance or chronology, for each day of the month. 30 Days of Iceland with me gushing about the experience as I get all teary eyed about each of them, what more could you want?
Iceland has long-since been on the top of my Travel Bucket List, but two dreams collided for a super nova experience during this trip and I couldn't be more excited to relive it all, finally write down my deeper thoughts about it, and list the reasons why I will vigorously urge you to consider a vacation there.
The first thing that will smack you right in the face about a vacation here, as opposed to somewhere more local, is how expensive it is... But do I reeeeally have to get into a dramatic monologue about the meaning of the word "Priceless" or can we speed this along? Great. So the next thing that you'll immediately notice about Iceland is how different the Environment is. When people say it's the closest thing to being on Mars, without leaving the atmosphere, they sho right! As a Maine resident, obviously I'm no stranger to stunning landscapes, but boy let me tell you this was a whole other level of panoramic splendor. Everywhere you look is something gorgeously complex with geography, culture, history, natural phenomenons, and forces of nature that ripped through the earth to create this chaotic beauty. Like a siren, this Island has lured people of all interests, from around the globe, to witness the mysterious spell it casts on them.
While culling through this half-forgotten album of RAW images, this is the picture that inspired me to start this project. I've been kicking myself for some time about getting too busy and not devoting more time to the pictures that I came back with from this trip. There were thousands to go through, admittedly, but I grabbed the ones that stuck out in my mind the most and skimmed over the rest. Sometimes I really don't give myself more credit for some of the shots that I capture, because WOW this one made my heart jump into my throat. I was pacing around this historical black church (blurred in the background) for quite a few minutes. This is a common Cat practice for deciding how I want to calibrate my composition. (Just taking a minute to appreciate and shout out to how my husband understands/accepts that I just wander off without saying anything while he patiently waits for me to get the "perfect" shot). The harsh light was a bittersweet sentiment after the rainstorms we had just withstood, but nonetheless bright, direct, afternoon light always makes my style of photography a little more complicated to capture. I had recently been "studying" more about the Exposure Compensation settings on my Nikon D750. So I decided to lean near this hedge structure that encompasses the church, while I silently curse under my breath, as I try to remember how to use these settings... and I happened to glance right at this little flower. Just a little white flower, growing on it's own, (probably a weed, who knows) away from the other flowers scattered across the island, a bright and bold contrast among the laws of nature was now holding my attention more than the man-made structure behind it. I knelt down to eye level with it, and smiled.
*Hard Blink* | *Imaginary Shutter Noise* | Got it | PERFECT
While I also got another stunning shot of this church, with more of a symmetrical, straight-on perspective of the church itself, this one will remain my favorite.
I used Lightroom to deepen the blacks and create a Viginette with accentuated highlights feathered through. A few more tweaks to tonal curves, blue hues, and clarity gives you the image seen above... I have always leaned more towards darker and moodier Photography, with vibrant contrasts, and Iceland was absolutely the perfect palette for me to really begin to develop this moody and dramatic style of my own.
This picture reminds me of how things can seem really complicated, but sometimes a deep breath and a new perspective can show you so much more in life. Trust your intuition, trust your skills, trust yourSELF, and your style will always shine through.