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Iceland Beach - Michael Pilkington aspect2i

Sculptured Snow, Iceland

Michael Pilkington

I have been trav­el­ling to Ice­land for near­ly a decade now. It is, for me, one of the best places to go and pho­to­graph. It is so var­ied. Flat plains near the coast, rugged moun­tains with dra­mat­ic peaks and a wilder­ness in the inte­ri­or, all of which changes with the sea­sons. Of course, what is char­ac­ter­is­tic of the place is the ubiq­ui­tous black sand, a con­stant reminder of the past, and cur­rent, vol­canic activ­i­ty. Giv­en these char­ac­ter­is­tics, the whole place has become a mec­ca for land­scape pho­tog­ra­phers, and right­ly so.

Iceland Beach - Michael Pilkington aspect2i

When you first vis­it Ice­land, it is dif­fi­cult not to pho­to­graph the icon­ic sights that have been pre­sent­ed to us on social media and in numer­ous pho­tog­ra­phy mag­a­zines. These scenes are com­pelling, and the results nev­er fail to sat­is­fy. Even hav­ing vis­it­ed so many times, it is dif­fi­cult the resist the grav­i­ta­tion­al pull as you dri­ve past the basaltic columns of Vik Beach and the mighty cas­cades of Sko­gafoss. How­ev­er, now I feel less hur­ried and I don’t have the com­pul­sion to get those fab­u­lous sights in my cam­era viewfind­er. Now when I return, I like to take my time, to look around and find dif­fer­ent sub­jects to pho­to­graph, and that is what I did on this trip dur­ing the win­ter of 2021

I think it does pay div­i­dends to slow down, to stop and look at what is around you and, in this case, what is at your feet. Hav­ing vis­it­ed this beach before, I was seek­ing out some­thing dif­fer­ent from the pow­er­ful waves crash­ing on the black sand before they retreat back into the sea. I was drawn to the angu­lar snow line cre­at­ed after the advanc­ing waves had reced­ed. It was kind of quirky as it did not con­form to the vel­vety curves the waves formed on the slope of the beach. 

This would be a very abstract image if it were not for the very clear­ly defined cloud for­ma­tions in the dis­tance. How­ev­er, the rest of the image is sug­ges­tive of the loca­tion and of course fea­tures the hall mark black sands of Iceland.