"Sublimation" | Skogafoss waterfall, Iceland | Long exposure with ND filters

Started Jan 15, 2015 | Discussions thread
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José Ramos Senior Member • Posts: 1,855
"Sublimation" | Skogafoss waterfall, Iceland | Long exposure with ND filters

It's not easy to keep up with facebook, google plus, instagram, 1x, etc, and I haven't submited my latest Iceland photos here, so I'm going to start redeeming myself, as I love to hear your feedback.

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"Sublimation" | Skogafoss, Iceland

"With the unique ability of being at the same time one of the most powerful waterfalls in Iceland, as well as certainly the most elegant, Skogafoss is one of the best examples of natural sublimation, where the thunderous water is suprisingly transformed into a smooth flowing river. I felt I could witness this place for days on end, and never get tired of doing it."

The Story:

This shot was made on the 6th day of the Iceland trip. I had been shooting a gorgeous mountain off the beaten path in the south on the day before, during sunset (I'm eager to submit those photos), and decided to head to Skogafoss during the night, to be able to have enough time to shoot both Skogafoss and Seljalandfoss the next day. Fortunately/Unfortunately it was raining a lot as soon as I woke up, so I opted to stay inside the car and sleep a bit more, as my body was starting to get exhausted. The rain kept pouring, although with less intensity, so I decided I just had to leave the car and try to shoot.

This is probably my favourite waterfall in Iceland, due to the simple fact that you can be right next to the area where that massive amount of water fall on the ground. You can feel the huge amount of water spray dozens of meters before reaching the waterfall, and when you finally get really near... well... it's absolute water hell! Imagine the heaviest rainfall you can... now imagine it coming from every single direction... now imagine the thunderous sound of the water crushing the rocky ground... now feel that unique and pervasive tingling sensation of being near something that just feels too big and powerful, making you feel tiny, microscopic, insignificant... well, that is Skogafoss, and it just feels great.

After shooting Godafoss, Detifoss and then Skogafoss, I could confirm that some kind of divine creature must have participated in sculpting this Island... There just too much unique beauty, to be able to imagine it as a byproduct of chaos and randomness. Then I went to Seljalandfoss, and this certainty just became even stronger.

As you can easily imagine, the weather wasn't at it's best during this day. Absolutely overcast sky and constant light rain. Once more the usual trouble to protect the camera and clean filters between every shot. From a certain distance, it was outright impossible to do even short exposures.

This waterfall has been photographed thousands of times by excellent photographers. Even though I already said I do not actually mind in repeating angles which have already been made, as every photo is unique and different, I wanted to use the river course and it's pebbles to create something partially new. This involved soaking my legs once more in frozen water, but I just had to try to capture the simmetry between the lower part and the top sky, to contain and enrich the waterfall area. Went for a darker post-processing, with strong contrast, avoiding too much saturation and concentrating on the contrast between the rock textures and the waterfall.

Technical info:

Sony a77 + Sigma 10-20mm

Aperture: f/9

Exposure: 13 seconds

ISO: 100

Manual Focus

Wireless Remote shutter

Filters: 3 stop soft ND Grad Formatt Hitech; 4 stop Prostop IRND Formatt Hitech

Manfrotto 055XPRO3 tripod + Manfrotto Ballhead

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