Hvitserkur sea stack, Iceland

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Hvítserkur

Iceland’s southern coastline and the westerly protruding Snaefellsnes Peninsula are the landscape photographers most enticing areas. Boasting a plethora of world renowned locations in relative proximity to each other such as the crashed DC3 at Sólheimasandur.

The volcanic sea stack at Hervitserkur also owns that badge of popularity but it’s accessibility is much more of a challenge. Located on the northern coast and only approachable by hours of driving across dirty, gravel roads scattered with potholes, it is one of the quieter hotspots.

My two week tour of Iceland only provisioned a trip to Hervitserkur should time permit and on the last couple of days I decided to make the drive. Not knowing if I’d ever get the opportunity again.

The weather was terrible. Indeed the forecast was for tourists to stay away from the West Fjords as flash floods from the persistent rain and wind were imminent. The river crossings in Iceland’s highlands had made me feel I could cope with a little water on the roads and so I proceeded up the coast.

My arrival made me wonder if the journey had been worth it. Blanket grey skies, persistent strong wind and a horizontal rain that made photography only possible in one direction. I decided to wait it out and see what the next morning would bring and after a blustery night on the almost flooded car park I made my way down the steep an muddy cliff to the beach. Luckily the sea at that time had receded, leaving sandy access to the stack.

The weather however was still the same, and is to date the worst conditions I have ever shot a landscape in. Up to my knees in the waves (but dry thanks to my waders) I battled the rain, holding the wind behind me to help keep water off the bulbous front element of the Nikon 14-24 wide angle lens. I got the shot, one of many which were ruined by waves moving the tripod, but one to remember not only for the breathtaking location but also for the experience of getting the shot.

Gallery: Iceland