This portion of our journey is one I will always hold dear. In the day following our waterfall adventures, we were greeted by a new group of friends joining us in our temporary home in the south. The group contained some girls whom I have been acquainted with only online until then, two of whom I have been following on social media for several years. Anna Szczekutowicz, in particular, is a photographer whose work I have been inspired by since 2009, and meeting her had been a dream of mine since then! The other girls in their group were Kassidy, Chelsey, and Autumn.
They arrived late at night, and so the next day started slow and leisurely. Introductions were made and tea was enjoyed and photos were edited on the hardwood table in the center of the room, beside the wide window overlooking the countryside. Soon, everyone had made themselves ready for the day, and we ventured out towards Vík.
Our first location of the day, after attempting to grocery shop despite the early closing time of everything in Vík, was an abandoned plane wreck Lizzy had found out about somewhere along the coast. In the early 1970s, a US Navy DC-3 ran out of fuel and crash-landed on a black rock shore, not far from the ocean. Thankfully, everyone survived, as did much of the plane, and there it has remained, in its final resting place, for over forty years.
Our group spent part of the day driving across the seemingly endless expanse of black sand until we finally found this gem, just sitting there waiting to be explored. Of course, we all snapped into photographer mode and took full advantage of our location, even despite the cold, windy, and rainy weather. Autumn was a perfect model for me, and I’m so happy with how well her outfit matched the environment
I knew I wanted to shoot with Chelsey also, because she has that distinct modelistic face and figure that I couldn’t resist shooting with at this amazing location! As soon as I was finished with Autumn, I grabbed Chelsey and we took to the exterior of the plane to take some fashion shots. She was the perfect model and I had so much fun posing her with that flowing yellow skirt.
I didn’t get to shoot as much with Anna as I wanted to, but I am excited to see the photos that the other girls came away with of her that day! I did get one shot of her that I love though, below. I’ll just have to meet up with her again sometime in the future to shoot some more 🙂
Soon, our hungry bellies forced us to leave the wreckage and find some dinner in Vík, which wasn’t too far away. We found a little cottage diner with a view of the ocean and spent time talking and laughing and eating until we were ready to venture out again. I love these people with all my heart 🙂
Our next stop was a place I would never truly be able to prepare myself for. The place is called Reynisdrangar Beach, just past the city of Vík and right on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. The most notable part of the beach is the rock wall made of organ pipe rocks, as seen in the photo of Lizzy below. I would never have imagined such a place was real, and naturally formed, but it exceeded all of my expectations.
Another notable feature on this beach was the freestanding rock formations out in the ocean. The waves crashed all around these natural monuments and I felt as though I were in some strange other world. The wind was icy cold and the salty spray of the ocean pelted us like tiny darts, but I knew I had to shoot there. It was too strange and beautiful a place to pass up.
The formations in the cliffside were such an intriguing sight to see. I had never witnessed something like this before, and I wished so badly that the images I took there would be able to adequately capture what I was viewing with my own eyes.
I couldn’t have been more grateful for Rob’s warm fur coat as we shot on that beach. I would shoot and shoot until I felt like I was going to freeze to death, and then I would run back for the coat, and thaw my body until I was ready to start again.
As the evening went on, a few of us from the group decided to brave the formidable ocean waves and we ran around the corner past the organ pipe rocks. There, we found a gigantic cave on another beach just past where we had been shooting before. I couldn’t believe how monstrous the cliffs were at this beach. I felt so tiny and insignificant, and the gigantic waves drowned out my thoughts.
I asked Autumn to be my human tripod for me here, since I had been too afraid to bring my actual tripod to this part of the beach. I was worried my camera and gear would be swept away by the waves, so I entrusted my camera to Autumn to help me with the following images. I owe her so much for braving the cold as we shot on this beach, and I am so happy and proud of the images we produced here.
Thank you, Autumn for your help with these images!
This day in the south of Iceland will always remain in my memory. Even now as I think of it, I can remember the rainbows hovering in the distance as we took photos at the plane wreckage. I can still taste the broccoli soup on my tongue at the restaurant in Vík. I can still remember running beneath the flowing black cloth as I followed Rob back to the car and the sky grew darker.
These are moments that I will always remember. This part of our journey is one I can never forget, even if I try.
We’re not through yet! We’re hardly halfway through my photos from Iceland! Check back for my next blog post coming soon–this time I will take you on our adventures to the Glacial Lagoon, with gigantic icebergs floating all around, and to the evening we stood upon the mountain top, watching the sun set over a glacier. You’ll follow us as we leave the homey South and venture out into the harsh North.
For now, xoxo!