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12 stunning photos of Godafoss - Waterfall of the Gods

By dpreview staff on Jul 31, 2013 at 00:59 GMT

Godafoss - Waterfall of the Gods - is one of the most striking natural features of Iceland, a country famed for, well... striking natural features. My Modern Metropolis has published a gallery of 12 stunning images of Godafoss, including a shot taken by dpreview contributor Erez Marom.

Photo credit: Erez Marom

Erez visited Godafoss to scout locations for a workshop he's running this winter, and in his article, published earlier this month, he described the tough conditions he faced:

'apart from the sky being bleak, the winds brought unending spray from the waterfall. at -10 degrees centigrade, the spray immediately froze on my front polarizing filter, turning the shoot into a Sisyphean task consisting of composing, focusing, then wiping the stubborn ice off the front filter for about a minute, then checking focus and composition again, then wiping again if needed, and only then shooting one image before repeating the whole process.'

Sounds like fun. You can read his full 'behind the picture' article here, and scroll down for the other 11 images in this gallery. 

Photo credit: Skarphéðinn Þráinsson
Photo credit: Valeriy Shcherbina
Photo credit: Vincent Bourrut
Photo credit: Dennis F
Photo credit: Andy Mumford
Photo credit: Sarah Marino
Photo credit: Pome Acro
Photo credit: Antony Spencer
Photo credit: JStephane Vetter

Comments

Total comments: 78
GiantTristan
By GiantTristan (8 months ago)

I have spent quite some time in Iceland and also have taken a few pictures of Godalfoss. The landscape there is pretty bleak and I have never seen skies like the ones shown in these pictures. This is an ad for Photoshop but not Iceland landscape photography.

0 upvotes
TheDman
By TheDman (8 months ago)

You've never seen a plain blue sky?

0 upvotes
lancet
By lancet (8 months ago)

The last one is exceptional.

0 upvotes
Starkiller
By Starkiller (8 months ago)

Water should look like water and not like jello.

1 upvote
Five Piece
By Five Piece (8 months ago)

(Sigh...) Very well, Mr. Starkiller, guess you will simply have to travel to Godalfoss and show us all how it is done properly. I'll hold my breath until then...

5 upvotes
Five Piece
By Five Piece (8 months ago)

These are all wonderful, lovely shots. They are all very different perspectives of the same location, each with a unique artistic vision.

Thanks to all these PHOTOGRAPHERS for sharing their vision, and giving us inspiration for our own work!

2 upvotes
jbroehl
By jbroehl (8 months ago)

Wow, tough crowd in the comment section. I'm guaranteed to have mine crapped on as well! But nonetheless, I still like the one I took a few years ago there. It was the first time I experimented with day-time time lapses ( 8 stop ND filter). I see now it isn't unique, but for me it was something entirely new to my skillset that resulted in a nice image. Everyone has to start somewhere, and go through a learning process that may not always be unique but is valuable to that photographer's journey

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jesse-broehl/3887387991/in/set-72157622524811300

0 upvotes
howardroark
By howardroark (8 months ago)

Are you referring to a long exposure? Nice pictures, but just for the sake of getting technical a time lapse is a video created by multiple exposures over a length of time. I agree that trying very long exposures is surprisingly educational. You'd think it would be straight forward but using ND filters and trying to predict lighting or how much blur you want isn't intuitively obvious. Keep trying new things.

0 upvotes
Krunare
By Krunare (8 months ago)

I was there a short while ago loads of people taking long exposure i choose to do it diffrently https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=689158204434333&set=a.258833084133516.82395.256705484346276&type=1&theater&notif_t=like

0 upvotes
MariosF
By MariosF (8 months ago)

There is nothing creative about them! Yes, it's hard to hike there (not THAT hard, I've been there!) and setting these up in the freezing cold is no piece of cake, but that has nothing to do with photography or creativity! They are, as another poster said, as if they were all taken by the same person - long exposures, similar vantage points, similar (if not the same) post processing. What would I have liked to see? Something different....worthy of being mentioned as "stunning"...!

1 upvote
Five Piece
By Five Piece (8 months ago)

Wow!

You joined DPR today just to brag about your cluelessness?

Otherwise, post some pics to prove otherwise...

1 upvote
howardroark
By howardroark (8 months ago)

Or more likely someone else who has already crapped on them signing up under a different name so they can crap on them again.

Comment edited 19 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Stanchung
By Stanchung (8 months ago)

I like the one with the least photoshop/lightroom colour manipulation.

All too often done far beyond what the scene was really like.

0 upvotes
Aleo Veuliah
By Aleo Veuliah (9 months ago)

Great pictures.

2 upvotes
Stefan Sobol
By Stefan Sobol (9 months ago)

Personally, I find the inclusion of a person in some of these images distracting and they detract from the image. In the case of these images the person is just a little stick figure silhouette that sticks up to spoil the line of the image.

I think that if you are going to include people in the image you should have enough detail and the person or people should take up enough of the image to show that/how they are participating in the scene somehow.

Having a small black spot that turns out to be a person only on close inspection does not help an image. I think it looks like a mistake, as in "I was trying to get a good picture but that guy wouldn't get out of the way and I couldn't wait any longer to take the image." If these were my images I would have not had the people in the picture or would have removed them after the fact.

This, of course, is just my opinion.

0 upvotes
fabio riccardi
By fabio riccardi (9 months ago)

Uhm, yes these majestic landscapes are beautiful, but the inclusion of a person gives it a sense of scale. Suddenly I realize where I am with respect to the scenery, and that opens up some feeling...

5 upvotes
photo nuts
By photo nuts (9 months ago)

Different perspectives. Different seasons. All glorious

1 upvote
Julius P.
By Julius P. (9 months ago)

You should amend a couple of the photo credits.

It's Joshua Holko, not Hoiko.

0 upvotes
GirinoFumetto
By GirinoFumetto (9 months ago)

Waterfalls are all the same when using long exposure.
It's a pity and it's also too easy.

0 upvotes
jkoch2
By jkoch2 (9 months ago)

How would a fast-shutter shot, taken in low Arctic light, look?

0 upvotes
José Ramos
By José Ramos (9 months ago)

I guess you must be a master of long exposures, to call them "easy". Can I please see your portfolio?

1 upvote
Stanchung
By Stanchung (8 months ago)

Easy? Try hiking up there and not freezing your n*** off.

0 upvotes
mckracken88
By mckracken88 (9 months ago)

waterfalls are boring subjects.
this one is also kinda medium sized.

and long exposure 'foam' water is almost as bad as water reflected mountains.

1 upvote
jkoch2
By jkoch2 (9 months ago)

You prefer shots of Royal babies with lots of drool?

6 upvotes
photo nuts
By photo nuts (9 months ago)

I'm sure pet photos are the best!

2 upvotes
GunnY_vds
By GunnY_vds (9 months ago)

Oh come on guys:

de gustibus non est disputandum

I personally think these are great looking pictures that provide a sense of power. For me the pics from Frugaltraveler just don't do it and seem more like you normal holiday shots, but that's MY taste.
If Dpreview would only post pictures you like, other people would be complaining.

2 upvotes
Frugaltraveler
By Frugaltraveler (9 months ago)

I'm certain mine is just as stunning http://www.flickr.com/photos/frugaltravelrus/9277188731/

1 upvote
ljmac
By ljmac (9 months ago)

Actually, I like yours much better - it actually looks real! Mother nature looks infinitely better than the massively over-processed so called 'photos' (I would call them Photoshop art) that professional photographers churn out these days.

2 upvotes
visionaer
By visionaer (9 months ago)

No ;)

8 upvotes
Frugaltraveler
By Frugaltraveler (9 months ago)

thank you

0 upvotes
Eric Stemen
By Eric Stemen (9 months ago)

I don't think these really look HDR...I haven't been there but I would guess this is how if you were to go there and think back to how it looked this would be a fair representation of the location.

Our cameras lack the way we see and experience the world, I believe the photographers did the best they could to let others experience the area most people will never see.

0 upvotes
Charles C Lloyd
By Charles C Lloyd (9 months ago)

I would be very proud to make such fine images. My only issue is that the tiny people on the horizon are distracting. Are these pictures about the waterfall, or the tiny people?

0 upvotes
ShelNf
By ShelNf (9 months ago)

i would think they are there to give a sense of scale..

2 upvotes
MarkInSF
By MarkInSF (8 months ago)

There is a long artistic tradition of including people in majestic landscapes, both to show scale and to contrast puny humanity with vast, powerful nature. Once we got so we could thoroughly wreck/control nature, that contrast didn't work so well. They are still useful for showing scale.

1 upvote
bossa
By bossa (9 months ago)

I wouldn't call reducing a powerful waterfall, which is dumping millions of tons of water, to a puff of steam good in any way. These pictures are crap!

Art does NOT involve reiterating crafty techniques for their own sake. Art is about existential issues which involve unique perspectives and relationships.

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 7 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
howardroark
By howardroark (9 months ago)

Huh??? What are you talking about?

7 upvotes
howardroark
By howardroark (9 months ago)

If you want to get all existential then maybe you should consider this huge, impressive, amazing wonder of nature in the context of the Earth, universe, and time. If you were to do that you might realize that this little trickle of water over an inconsequential piece of rock is a fleeting moment that nobody will recognize in a few hundred years. A puff of steam is, in fact, an exaggeration of what it really is: powerful to you as a man but a little dribble of water on the corner of mother nature's lip soon to be wiped off and forgotten. Get over yourself.

Comment edited 45 seconds after posting
6 upvotes
jkoch2
By jkoch2 (9 months ago)

So better to dump millions of dollars at a photo of an airhead O/D'ed on suppositories? An odd preference.

http://1.static.img-dpreview.com/files/news/1129487051/250/expensive02.jpg?v=2374

1 upvote
bossa
By bossa (9 months ago)

The "steam" I am referring to is the so-called water you mention although one would never realize it if you were unfamiliar with one of the latest photographic crazes. You also speak as though these pictures were representative of the actual landscape which they are not - most of them ore over processed self important cliche's.
Questioning my appreciation for the so-called "Art" pictures from an earlier article has no relevance to this thread at all and is not an argument. Please explain the term "An odd preference".

You don't seem to 'get' art but discuss it as if you do and project your own values and expectations onto it as if it's based on truth.
Art seems to be an arcane area of human activity to many photographers. The subject 'in' the photograph is not necessarily the subject of the 'art' and posters here still get confused about that. Generally the Art Object is it's own subject.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
howardroark
By howardroark (8 months ago)

ROFLMFAO I don't "get" art? You don't "get" how to use quotation marks. Art is, by definition, an emotional reaction. If there is no emotional connection with what one senses then there is no art. Art is not something that you have to have a doctorate to appreciate otherwise it wouldn't be art. As for photographic art, I've got plenty of experience. Ironic that you condemn me for imposing my artistic values when it was exactly that I was pointing out to you. You told us what was and was not art, and not only that but what we should think of it. ART can not be reduced to realism. Not only that, but claiming photography is in any way realistic is a fool's argument to begin with. The capturing of an image is completely unlike what the human eye does, and certainly different than how the brain perceives reality. The blurred water isn't a valid form of artistic expression??? Oh, great sage, please tell us what is! Or go for a walk. Either way.

3 upvotes
bossa
By bossa (8 months ago)

I have a degree in fine Art and your idea that "Art is, by definition, an emotional reaction." was never discussed as a definition at Art School. The reaction isn't the art but the art definitely is the object. The word "art" derives from "artifice" and implies trickery which has nothing to do with emotions. In fact, even the word "subjective" is more to do with the totality of the response of the "subject" (the person experiencing the art) and not just emotions alone, which is as most people use that term.

Your entire last post proves you have no understanding of aesthetics and are spruiking based on some basic assumptions about Art, and, as is usual, people like you put down those of us with an art education.
Just because you've learned how to press a shutter button does not qualify you as and enlightened visual artist or commentator.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 12 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
TheDman
By TheDman (8 months ago)

"I have a degree in fine Art"

I'll have a Venti Mocha with skim milk and whipped cream please.

0 upvotes
howardroark
By howardroark (8 months ago)

TheDman...nice.

bossa, blow it out your rear. "Art is about existential issues which involve unique perspectives and relationships." Your quote. Sounds like existence and relationships would only really be meaningful in the context of human emotion. We aren't robots. How is it not existencial to reduce "a powerful waterfall, which is dumping millions of tons of water, to a puff of steam"? Anyway, in the absence of human emotion there is no art. If something is only appreciated for its function, as a strictly utilitarian object, then it is not appreciated for the affect it has on the human psyche. You learned about art in the most literal way apparently, in that art is an object created by a human. Apparently it never occurred to you to have a thought about what is required for the artistic aspect of any object to exist in the first place. Yes, art is literally an object, but the experience of that object is the only thing about art that matters.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
howardroark
By howardroark (8 months ago)

One more thing, bossa. How would you like it if you spent time trying to get your art the way you wanted it -- maybe spent years honing your skills or just hours trying to get the perfect shot -- and then somebody called it crap? What should they have done, make it look like it was running away from a shadow and dreaming of being a real pony? You don't have the first clue what art is and you also don't have a clue what makes a good picture or what is required to get a picture. Things that move fast are hard to get and you do what you have to do. And some old tricks are good tricks whether you like them or not. Not every piece of art has to have something that nobody else has ever thought of before. You're a steaming pile of moron for being so hateful and a self-appointed judge of what is and is not art. You don't like it, that's fine. Telling everyone what it is, what we should think, makes you a self-centered blow hard.

0 upvotes
howardroark
By howardroark (8 months ago)

Your art school sucks and your pony is dumb.

0 upvotes
Babka08
By Babka08 (9 months ago)

Amazing place, and some well timed shots... but they generally seem very over-processed for my tastes, almost surreal. I'm sort of tired of overdone HDR.

0 upvotes
Hugo808
By Hugo808 (9 months ago)

Fabulous. Would simply love to go and have a go myself!

1 upvote
SirSeth
By SirSeth (9 months ago)

This page is a tribute to the glory of the changing seasons, the drama of the skies, the beauty of light, and the whining of armchair fauxtographers who can't see past their own big heads. Love JStephane and Vincent's renditions.

5 upvotes
Pritzl
By Pritzl (9 months ago)

Same 2 grabbed me as well.

0 upvotes
absentaneous
By absentaneous (9 months ago)

12 images taken by 12 different people yet they all look the same as if they were all taken by the same person. what does that tell you? well, we have a great example of a photographic cliche or fetish.

of course it's up to a person's taste but personally I don't really like such pictures that are trying to be "artistic" but end up being nothing more than cliches that actually spoil the actual beauty of the place. these places are beautiful as they are. no need to "tweak" their beauty any further because it's counterproductive.

8 upvotes
Keith
By Keith (9 months ago)

Whoa, at first I didn't realize they were taken by different people. I was just looking at the images and wondered at their similarity.

1 upvote
agentul
By agentul (9 months ago)

@absentaneous: at least they didn't spoil the beauty of the place by building a casino and an amusement park, like the americans and the canadians did at the Niagara Falls. because why else would you go there, right?

2 upvotes
jkoch2
By jkoch2 (9 months ago)

That's what landmarks or "icons" are all about. Would you go to Iceland (or anywhere else) and return only with shots no one could place or recognize?

If photographs don't qualify as fetiches, perhaps they are altogether worthless, except perhaps for drivers licenses.

0 upvotes
absentaneous
By absentaneous (9 months ago)

@ jkoch2,

obviously you missed my point. I wasn't talking about pictures being taken of the same places but about pictures being taken in the same way (applying the same effect).

0 upvotes
TheDman
By TheDman (8 months ago)

What effect is that?

0 upvotes
RumpelHund
By RumpelHund (9 months ago)

Like the images and the critics

That is a great place to be, these are great shots, but they really fit into the cliche of over-drama landscape shooting of today. If only I could make such photos!
Like the extra-long-exposure-cotton-dispenser look :-)

0 upvotes
Paul_B Midlands UK
By Paul_B Midlands UK (9 months ago)

some nice pictures, but they are sort of repetitive, would be nice to see some other shutter speeds I think. Amazing place nonetheless, a lucky man to have been there.

1 upvote
achim k
By achim k (9 months ago)

My favorite is the photo by Skarphéðinn Þráinsson (icelandic name!), but to be honest, most of the pictures look a bit too artficial for my taste.

0 upvotes
tektrader
By tektrader (9 months ago)

These are simply STUNNING........

5 upvotes
intro
By intro (9 months ago)

Can anybody post a regular picture of this waterfall, i would love to see how it looks! These are very nice though, made me want to see the real thing.

3 upvotes
duartix
By duartix (9 months ago)

https://www.google.com/search?site=imghp&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1024&bih=768&q=GODASS+WATERFALL&oq=GODASS+WATERFALL&gs_l=img.3...1641.5810.0.6081.16.5.0.11.0.0.83.373.5.5.0....0.0..1ac.1.20.img.hhSDNkUXHYc#site=imghp&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=GODAfoSs+WATERFALL&oq=GODAfoSs+WATERFALL&gs_l=img.3..0i19l6.2033.2033.2.3117.1.1.0.0.0.0.61.61.1.1.0....0.0..1c.1.20.img.46Dy-w4B_jQ&bav=on.2,or.r_cp.r_qf.&bvm=bv.49967636%2Cd.ZGU%2Cpv.xjs.s.en_US.jOYpRJj4zMA.O&fp=62215452072d4c7d&biw=1024&bih=768

0 upvotes
TakePictures
By TakePictures (9 months ago)

Most of these are great indeed. Some (i.e., the ones without snow) look a bit too HDR to my taste. Nature, especially a place like this, is often beautiful by itself; so it doesn't need too much help.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Alex Efimoff
By Alex Efimoff (9 months ago)

The last one, definitely!

1 upvote
stanic042
By stanic042 (9 months ago)

splendid, amazing, breathtaking! thanks!

1 upvote
h2k
By h2k (9 months ago)

I think you should post less of these links to nice pictures. They distract from your core business and DPR is not needed to find pictures like these (nice landscapes).

I also think you should post less of these sentences:
"a gallery of 12 stunning images..., including a shot taken by dpreview contributor ..."

2 upvotes
groucher
By groucher (9 months ago)

I think that you should stop misusing the word 'less'.

1 upvote
fz750
By fz750 (9 months ago)

I disagree. The point is that it is explained (a link..) how the photos were taken, the problems faced and the techniques used.

I am defintely interested in that because I'd like to take pictures like that (someday..)

At least it's far more interesting than cellphone cameras & endless discussion from fanboys about "their" toys etc etc etc...

3 upvotes
fz750
By fz750 (9 months ago)

Some people are just never happy.... :-(

Amazing set of pics and, yes, I want to go there even more than I did before!

Thank you.

4 upvotes
dave gaines
By dave gaines (9 months ago)

I really like the silky smooth, flow of the waterfall. In a few of these it's obvious it was dark, overcast or the blue hour at the time the photo was made so they had to shoot on a tripod with a long exposure. Given that everything in the scene is one form of water or another, the waterfall offers contrast from the ice and frost. The swirling pools are dynamic. A fast shutter would have been a static shot.
These are all superb. Would love to see this place.

2 upvotes
RichyjV
By RichyjV (9 months ago)

Much as I enjoy many of the images in the port, this is the second - whoops third ('dark matter') news post in a few weeks on the same set of shots.. at least it is far better than the mandatory staggered DXO mark score 'headline news' rubbish.

The crazy thing about Iceland, is that this waterfall is only top ten at best, Dettifoss, Dinyandi, Skogafoss and many other fantastic ones await the photographer who is prepared to go beyond the basic tourist route.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Graham Meale
By Graham Meale (9 months ago)

Sarah Marino wins my first prize. But I agree with others ... isn't the silky water look a bit passé?

1 upvote
bossa
By bossa (9 months ago)

Seriously, how can a waterfall look like a fog dispenser and still be a waterfall?

5 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (8 months ago)

And how can a waterfall look like the water isn't moving, and still be a waterfall? As howardroark points out in his reply to the poster below, neither a fast nor a slow shutter speed can replicate flowing water as it appears to our eyes. Neither is more "real".

Also, why must a photograph necessarily show us reality as it appears to our naked eyes? The pictures in the article are not intended to be documentary, I believe.

2 upvotes
Henry Falkner
By Henry Falkner (9 months ago)

Another 'Water' fall that dispenses cotton wool instead.

7 upvotes
howardroark
By howardroark (9 months ago)

There is nothing pure and real about a waterfall captured with an extremely fast shutter speed. I've tried it and it looks fake because neither the human eye nor our perception have the ability to freeze that kind of fast moving action. A few seconds may be too long for your artistic sensibility, but what would you suggest? There really is no way to replicate the way we see things since we have the ability to remember still frames but only see in high frame rate, super high def video.

6 upvotes
jkoch2
By jkoch2 (9 months ago)

Video shot at 120fps or higher, and then played as slo-mo, conveys motion of drops and globs of water. This is impressive for a few seconds, maybe. Cotton wool turns out to be more enduring.

2 upvotes
Funduro
By Funduro (9 months ago)

Awesome images. Iceland will no doubt be on many photographers bucket lists now.

1 upvote
offtheback
By offtheback (9 months ago)

stunningx34,000xinfinity

1 upvote
Total comments: 78