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A photography tour of Iceland

Thursday 5 May 2016
My camera set up at the first stop, Seljalandsfoss waterfall
Back in October, I nipped over to Iceland with TD Active and Dublin Photography School. The aim? To come back with pictures to be proud of, and to break away from the Auto function on my brand new DSLR. The other, slightly trickier aim, was to snap the Northern Lights. But these notoriously elusive little blighters never made an appearance, despite me nearly donating my extremities to frost bite in an attempt to hunt them down.

If you want an excellent but inappropriate anecdote about spending 4 hours in the freezing Icelandic countryside, ask me the next time you see me. But it isn't pretty, so just be warned.

Each day, we set off into the depths of the country to see, and snap, the best that Iceland has to offer. We ticked off all of the main sites - the geysers, the waterfalls, the black beach. But at each one, instead of merely traipsing around taking cursory smartphone pictures, we set up shop and were taught how to properly capture each.

Having Sinead and Stewart on hand was invaluable. I am far from a camera pro - despite being taught multiple times, I'm still pretty clueless when it comes to mastering the settings - so having expert tutors available meant I was always able to ask for help.

You can read my full piece on the trip on the Irish Independent, but I thought I'd share a few of what I believe to be my best pictures below.


We visited the famous geysers towards the end of the trip, and I think it is where I first realised I needed to spend a little time away from the viewfinder. Each time the geyser exploded into the air, I was spending less time really looking, and more time snapping in something of a panic. I also made sure I took a little wander to the smaller pools and geysers, too.

Oh, and it's essential to say "Alright, geezer" at the moment of each eruption. Every eruption.

Gullfoss Waterfall

Iceland is filled to the brim with waterfalls. We played around with a few settings to get a silky, liquid appearance to the falling water, with some pretty cool results. But Gulfoss was my favourite, despite it being absolutely freezing. Properly, mind-numbingly chilly.

Pretty, though.

The Bloody Northern Lights 

You know, I'm fairly sure that the Northern Lights are a myth, created to lure tourists to Scandinavian countries. They could even be nuclear pollution, for all we know. And anyway, I can't tell you any more because they chose to hide away (if they even exist). While we waited in a little lay-by, we played with capturing star trails and the night sky. So we didn't leave empty handed.

Random Little House 

I think this was taken at Seljalandsfoss, our first stop. My pictures from this first location were fairly shoddy, if I'm honest... a lot of them were distorted by water on the lens, and the rest just looked a bit, well, crap. But onwards and upwards!

Skogafoss Waterfall

I got more into the swing of things at Skogafoss. I stayed further back (to avoid mist on the lens) and played around with different settings, distances and perspectives.

You can see more about these photography holidays at TD Active at and more about Dublin Photography School at


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