BLEAK – LANDSCAPE

These images were not intended to be beautiful and colourful. Instead, I wanted to capture the starkness of the British countryside during winter-time, with its dull, steely grey sky and harsh textures. They were photographed on a cold, blustery, rainy afternoon using a high ISO and varying manual settings to deliberately enhance grain and noise. Afterwards, some of them were put through Photoshop to add to that bleak feeling.

fullsizeoutput_73dsc_0044 copydsc_0024 copydsc_0056 copydsc_0031 copydsc_0007 copydsc_0052dsc_0019 copy

Advertisements

Ground frost

The landscape was transformed this morning by frost. Unfortunately, I only had half an hour to take some pictures, so I couldn’t bring my tripod and shutter release cable to get the finer detail that I wanted, but you get the general idea. As the sun rose, patches of frost on the plants began to melt and it produced a sparkly, almost rainbow-effect in the droplets.

fullsizeoutput_48fullsizeoutput_68fullsizeoutput_46fullsizeoutput_59fullsizeoutput_42fullsizeoutput_54

Alaskan lupine

Alaskan Lupines were spread around Iceland to help combat soil erosion, which has been a problem since early settlers cut down trees to build homes and use for fuel. They look pretty, clustered around the landscape in the Summer months, but they have now been classed as an invasive species and are harming Iceland’s existing plant species.

DSC_0422.jpg

Geysir Geothermal Field, Haukadalur, Iceland

Aside from the famous Geysir and Strokkur, there are a series of smaller geothermal springs. The hot springs of Haukadalur have been active for almost 10,000 years. The azure blue colour of the water is from dissolved silica.

Strokkur, Geysir Geothermal Field, Iceland

Strokkur is a smaller, but more active spouting spring, than its famous resident, Geysir. It generally reaches a height of 10 – 20 metres, but can reach up to 40 metres. Quite often, geyser activity subsides (they become ‘quiescent’), but they can be set off again by strong earthquake activity. There are between 150 to 400 earthquakes a week in Iceland, though these are generally too small to be felt and only register on a Seismometer. Geysers can also sometimes be re-activated by adding soap to them, or by drilling holes into the basin underneath, or by scraping them clean by removing accumulated sinter. (Information obtained from the website, ‘Extreme Iceland.’)

Gullfoss Waterfall, Bláskógabyggð, Iceland.

Gullfoss means ‘golden falls,’ because on a sunny day the water appears golden-brown due to the sediment carried from its source, the glacial water of Iceland’s second biggest glacier, Langjökull. On bright days, you can see lots of rainbows.

It is an extraordinary sight, volumes of water thundering down rock. Its average flow is 1400 cubic metres of water per second. It can partially freeze over in the winter, reducing the flow to 80 cubic metres per second.

The water plummets down 32 metres, over two tiers. It gives an illusion of there being two waterfalls flowing and disappearing into an abyss.

In 1907, Sigriður Tómasdóttir, the daughter of Tómas Tómasson, who owned the land, sought to void a contract between her father and an Englishman who wanted to harness the waterfall’s energy to produce electricity. She even threatened to throw herself off the top of the waterfall. She is thought of as Iceland’s first environmentalist. In 1979 the area was designated a nature reserve by the Icelandic government.