You can see horizontal lines at the side of the central hill in the image. These are sheep roads. Sheep like it easy and they find the easiest way to climb a hill. Over time, these small roads appear, where sheep regularly roam.
When hiking in an area where sheep roam freely, like in Iceland or Scotland, and you want to go up- or downhill, look out for these sheep roads and follow them. Sheep have found the easiest way to walk uphill or downhill because they are kind of lazy. So, they try to avoid unnecessary efforts. In this image all the roads are in horizontal directions, but you can also find them leading up and down.
This week’s challenge is easy for me. Amy is asking for “precious moments”. Everyone has so valuable memories. Memories as precious as gold, silver, or diamonds like i.e. your wedding, the birth of your first child, getting a certain job, getting a promotion, you name it.
But, I’m telling you a different story now. You know, in 2014 I was in Iceland for the first time. And that country captured me. Right after my return, I started collecting hints and started planning my next visit. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find someone willing to accomplish me. Either the plan was too exhausting or the costs too high. You know, Iceland is quite an expensive country. By the end of last year, out of the blue, a mail arrived in my mailbox: a friend was looking for company for his own trip. As he regularly organizes such trips to different countries he knows a lot of people. His initial plan and my plans were mostly congruent and he was willing to add my additional destination to the plan. When the Covid19 pandemic started in China, I didn’t assume it would reach Europe. But, it did! When it came over to Europe End of February, there was still hope to be already over. We were about to start on June 13th. But, the pandemic lasted longer and longer. At some point in May, Iceland was virus-free again. But not the plane and no ferry was operating. Even the airlines didn’t cancel the flights. We were kind of locked. Finally, we the cancellation and were able to book seats on the first flight from Frankfurt to Reykjavik. What a precious moment, when I left the airport after the COVID19 test. Everything went well from that point on.
The other touching moment was near the end of our trip. During my first trip, I was guided to a beautiful waterfall located on private ground, as usual. No path was leading to the waterfall, no parking ground available and I even didn’t get a name. Unfortunately, the sky was dull and I didn’t get a nice image. Fortunately, I was able to find the waterfall during the last years in the maps. Since 2014 I’m following Icelanding news (in English) and had to read, the landowners had closed every possible way to reach the waterfall because of the misbehavior of many tourists: leaving their waste, trample down the sensitive plants, and even shit (yes!) behind the bushes! So, I assumed, I’d never see it again. But, while preparing the tour for this year, I noticed, the landowner created a small parking ground and prepared a path river-up to the waterfall. A one hour hike over quite challenging ground leads up to the waterfall. Unfortunately, we were unable to find the parking ground. Instead, we parked our car near a path leading river-down to the waterfall and started our hike. After 20 minutes or so, we reached the river, about 20 meters broad. We saw the river flew too strong to cross it. The ford seemed to be passable for horses, but for humans. There was too much water running down. We walked a bit up and down the river to see if there’s another option. but, there was no other option for us. At least we didn’t see one. So, we started walking back. Halfway back, a group of Icelanders came to meet us. Surprisingly, they asked us, how far it’d be to the river. We got to know, they were also on a hike to that waterfall and invited us to join. They said, one of them would know, how to cross the river even as a human. So, we joined the group. But, when arriving at the river again, they saw, the river had too much water to allow us, to cross it. But, they had a plan B. A short distance down the river was a bridge. So we were able to cross the river save and finally reach the waterfall.
Standing in the same place again as 6 years ago, I was touched to tears.
In my opinion, this is the most beautiful waterfall of Iceland: mostly because of the color of the water: turquois!
So, finally I can say, the more complicate it is to reach a certain goal or the more efford you have to invest to reach it, the more preciuos the goal becames!
This is the same waterfall like the one I showed you last week. But, this image is from outside the waterfall and from a little distance. The other difference is, this image is shot with a longer exposure time to make the rushing water more visible.
A hidden gem in Southern-Iceland visited in June 2020. I was told in advance, not many people would find their way here. But this year, I was alone with my two companions. Great, no-one disturbing the image!
Photographing waterfalls is not that easy. A lot of spray in the air can endanger your gear, so you have to save it. Also, the spray settling on the front lens of your camera resulting in ugly circles in your image which are hard to correct. Depending on the size of the drops and their location in the image the correction could even be completely impossible. So, my advice is, take care of your front-lens when working in a quite wet environment or in a place with a high level of humidity. It’s the same during rain, in tropical areas with a high level of humidity, or during winter when going inside with your cooled gear after an outdoor photo session while the temperature was below i.e. 10°C.
Usually, you can read about water photography, that you should use a long exposure time to get a silky look. My advice is, think about your goal. The silky look does not always fit. Here the short exposure time was able to freeze the structure of the water and give it a more powerful look. A longer exposure would have eliminated the structure of the falling water as well as it would have merged the spray above the ground to a structureless bright cloud. So, I have chosen differently!