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Iceland - Turquise Pool with Strokkur in the Background during Sunrise | by © Lucie Debelkova /
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Iceland - Turquise Pool with Strokkur in the Background during Sunrise

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There is only one Icelandic word used in the English language: geyser. Though the word refers to all geysers in general, it comes from a single geyser (in fact, the geyser) located in the South West of Iceland. Unfortunately, the Great Geysir has been somewhat shy in recent decades, though on special occasions it can sometimes be coaxed into a performance with some soap. When Geysir does perform, it lives up to its name, spuming a jet of steaming water 200 feet skyward. Far more reliable, though less spectacular, is nearby Strokkur (“the churn”), which spouts a 60-100 foot jet about once every five minutes. The geyser area is also rich in walking paths that lead past steaming vents and colorful, mineral-rich mud formations. The whole area is a geothermal park sitting on top of a vast boiling cauldron. Belching sulphurous mud pots of unusual colours, hissing steam vents, hot and cold springs, warm streams, and primitive plants can all be found here. A short distance away to the west stands the small Laugarfjall mountain with a panoramic view overlooking the Geysir area.


No self-respecting landscape photographer can leave Iceland without photo of Geysir's little brother, there are not that many ways to come up with unique composition or take on it. I have tried to use longer exposure of 1sec to give it slightly softer feel. I have to admit however that it is so much easier to set the tripod and prepare the composition right and wait with the remote control in your hand instead of impatiently holding the camera steady up to 10 min in front of your eyes never knowing when the water is going to burst. Shot like this looks rather easy to capture, however you have to keep in mind that there is constant flow of sulfur steam that makes it quite difficult to get a clear shot, you need to be lucky that there is not too much steam when the geyser is on.


During this time of year the sun rises relatively south, which allows to capture this view - including the geysir, however you've got very short window of time to do so. Unfortunately that particular blow was not very high and the wind was very strong. Still a result that I like.


And small side note - if you think that you come to Iceland and be lucky to get weather like this you might be very wrong. Our two first days were really awful, with lot of rain and wind. We decided to stay at the Geysir for second night as we were not able to capture anything the first day. Luckily the weather has cleared up and rewarded us with some great light.


Camera Model: Canon EOS 5D Mark II; Lens: 17.00 - 40.00 mm; Focal length: 17.00 mm; Aperture: 22; Exposure time: 1.0 s; ISO: 100


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Taken on October 4, 2011