Vestrahorn mountain taught me one great lesson - patience can be one of the landscape photographers better virtues, unless you also count the ability to drag your sleepy and weary body out of a cosy bed and into the pre-dawn chilly darkness, all on the chance of capturing that elusive perfect image.
Visiting the infamous Vestrahorn mountains in Iceland has for many years maintained the number one position on my list of most desirable landscape photography locations. The unique mountain shape combined with the shallow lagoon and the black sandy grass topped dunes make for a highly photogenic sight.
During October 2017 the chance for me to make the journey to Vestrahorn presented itself, not only for a quick visit but to stay for a while and wait for good light. My route plan was to visit many of the other prime landscape photography locations along Iceland’s southern coast such as the Reynisdrangar basalt sea stacks at Vik and the Diamond Beach at Jökulsárlón, gradually working my way eastwards. Prior to my departure flight there had been unusually heavy rain along Iceland’s southern and eastern areas. So much rain that the wash from the volcanic glaciers was so much it washed away some road sections and damaged a main bridge just to the east of Jökulsárlón. Effectively cutting off my access to eastern Iceland and Vestrahorn mountain. The only available alternative to fulfil a dream was to drive the opposite direction all the way around Iceland’s ring road. A journey that would not have fitted in my schedule.
Two days of hanging out photographing the icebergs on Diamond Beach gave Iceland’s authorities time to build a temporary bridge over the river, bypassing the long damaged bridge. With great relief I was on my way, being one of the first vehicles on the new bridge.
I spent 48 hours at Vestrahorn, enjoyed some great light, saw the northern lights over the mountains and captured this shot. Taken at 5am in near total darkness, perfectly still and the water of the lagoon mirror flat. The image was entered in the Amateur Photographer of the Year 2017 competition run by Amateur Photographer magazine and achieved place 22.