An endless amount of breathtaking natural landscapes makes Iceland one of the most beautiful countries in Europe—and one of the best to photograph. Every photographer knows that both lighting and equipment play a major role in creating that perfect picture, but the subject is also incredibly important.
The country’s vast landscapes can make it hard to determine where exactly one should go to get great shots, but photography workshops in Iceland aid visitors in locating them. Stop in Reykjavik for a bite to eat then head out on a photo adventure that will take you to some of these must-see spots around the country.
1. The Summertime Highlands
The Highlands of Iceland, which are located in the country’s interior, are only easily accessible during the summertime, but they also provide some great places for photography.
These highlands are home to crater lakes like Blahylur and Ljotipollur, the flat Sprengisandur highland plateau and the rare verdant fields and natural baths of Landmannalaugar as well as a few more waterfalls. This area is much more lush and has some greenery that can make for a very different type of Iceland photography.
2. Stunning Crystal Ice Caves
One of Iceland’s most spectacular places lies below the Vatnajökull glacier. Hidden beneath the ice are some jaw-dropping caves. The shiny blue ice formed naturally through years of weather; the wind, ice and melting snow all aided in creating these tunnels.
The crystal blue colors and stunning shapes make the caves one of the absolute best places for photography in Iceland. This magical environment below one of the country’s most famous glaciers offers a surreal experience.
3. Icebergs and Waterfalls in South Iceland
In southern Iceland, a particularly gorgeous spot is Jökulsárlón, a lake located in Vatnajökull National Park. This glacial lagoon is filled with icebergs that wash up on the beaches of the lake. Their blue tint looks great in photographs and the sometimes gentle water acts as a mirror, reflecting the icy chunks and the sky above.
There is also a nearby ice beach where light and dark sands mesh perfectly with the waves and ice formations to create a wonderland for winter photography.
Also in the south, there are a variety of popular waterfalls that serve as great photography spots. Possibly the most famous are the Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls, both of which fall a couple hundred feet. Whether you’re stepping behind the falls or shooting from up above, there are some incredible views of each—perfect for photographing.
4. Snæfellsnes Peninsula: Mountain Peaks and Northern Lights
The frozen landscapes of this well-known peninsula are perfect for photography. It is littered with mountain peaks and tumultuous volcanoes, including the pointed Kirkjufell Mountain and the Snæfellsjökull glacier and stratovolcano.
This area is filled with Gerðuberg’s basalt columns, lava fields, Rauðamelsölkelda’s mineral springs and villages like Grundarfjordur. The Snæfellsnes Peninsula also happens to be one of the best places in Iceland to see the Northern Lights—something that will appeal to just about anyone with a camera.
5. North Iceland's Waterfalls and Geothermal Activity
The northern part of Iceland is home to a blend of waterfalls and geothermal areas, both of which provide some fantastic opportunities for photography. Goðafoss is a wide, impressive waterfall that falls just below sweeping frozen tundra.
The water of Aldeyjarfoss tumbles over an array of black columns of basalt, providing an interesting contrast of color that looks lovely in photos. Visitors can also check out the Hrafnabjargafoss Waterfall; with various layers and icy columns all around, it’s a very different sight than Aldeyjarfoss.
Also in the north, Námaskarð Mountain offers colorful geothermal features like mudpots and craters while the Lake Mývatn area is home to the Dimmuborgir lava fields.
Have you photographed Iceland? What did you think was the best place for landscape photography?