Photographing Godafoss, Iceland

Known as the waterfall of the gods, Godafoss is a beautiful and powerful site to beyond in north central Iceland.

Best wishes to my friends Sandra Jordan and Jussi Lyons, both of whom celebrated birthdays recently. I work with Sandra and Jussi through The Arcanum, a revolutionary online education program I’ve been heavily involved with for over a year now.

Sandra has recently finished her time in my cohort and will soon be moving on to new opportunities with The Arcanum. Jussi has managed to balance his passion for photography with his job as an international airline pilot exceeding well. He’s progressing through the final challenges I’ve prepared for him. 

This photo was made at Godafoss, a spectacular waterfall in northern Iceland. Godafoss translates as waterfall of the gods and is a very atmospheric location.

The most difficult thing about this image was being able to find a place from where to make the photo. The falls and river below are quite wide so many folk find themselves photographing from a bridge a long way back. But I wanted to explore the environment and how water has shaped the site over millennia. To do so I needed to be close.

While not an ideal position from which to photograph the panoramic nature of the falls, I love how I’ve been able to show the way water has shaped the rocks over millennia. An interesting foreground element is essential in a wide-angle landscape photograph, which is why I put myself in a pretty precarious position to make this image. It was made with at a 24mm focal length on my then Canon 5D Mark II camera over a 15 second exposure with an aperture of f11 and at ISO 200.

I made the photograph during the early hours of the morning under pretty gloomy weather. The light caste a cold, cyan/blue color over the landscape which, to my mind, expresses the melancholy mood and the brooding quiet of the location.

I’II be returning to Iceland, as part of a larger European adventure, mid 2016. Maybe I’II see you there.

Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru