So, continuing the story, after a call home (4-hours behind) and an unexpected short nap (passed out in the driver’s seat), the place had cleared out completely. I wanted to use this low light time between sunset and sunrise to take longer exposures of the waves receding around some of the ice on Diamond Beach. So I drove over the bridge, which connects the east and west sides of the ocean inlet to the lagoon, and onto the beach. It took a while to get all the warmth strapped on and diving into the waders, but I was ready to do battle. It took a pretty long walk on the beach to reach some ice of any consequential size, and the large blocks that I found were pretty much jumbled up. These, in the photo above, are piled up about 8 feet high, but no singular block set apart from the rest for an isolated subject. One good thing though, the sky was very cooperative, with clouds and a lighter area for interest. Once I got the correct exposure for the right combination of light and flow for the receding waves, scene focused and then put the lens into manual focus (because at critical times, the lens can begin hunting for focus with all the moving foam and smooth ice, and you may lose the shot), I needed to hand hold a soft grad over the hard grad that was on the lens with a holder, and trip the shutter at the right moment. All the while, being cognizant of the incoming waves as a big one can really sneak up on you. Several times some big waves came in, but there was no fear for loss of life, and the waders kept me dry, if not warm. But I wanted to keep the camera and lens out of harms way as well, so occasionally I grabbed the camera and sought higher ground. It’s the “Lose the battle, win the war” method of photography. If the waves were manageable, I stayed put. But the manageable waves also presented problems at times. The tripod would shift in the sand and it would need to be repositioned for level and direction. I tried to keep everything the same for each particular composition to be able to take the best of all the images taken of that particular composition…to get the best from each if necessary. I continued this process for many different compositions, until the sun began to shine too brightly behind the clouds, and my feet were beginning to be numb. There was one small glitch earlier. Before taking the initial shots of the sunrise light, I tried to spin the polarizer into a non-polarizing position with the adapter ring attached for rectangular graduated filter attachments, and having problems spinning it. Turns out it wasn’t the polarizer after all. The affect was tightening the adapter to the filter and now I couldn’t get the adapter ring off the UV filter. So now if I wanted to use the polarizer with the adapter ring for attaching the split ND’s, I couldn’t!!
So back to the lagoon side after the waders were taken off (not always an easy feat) and photo things put back in place. I boiled up some water for a final tasteless breakfast of porridge. By then, folks began to filter in and I took out the long lens to look for abstracts of the ice and reflections. Only thing was, the wind was still kicking up the water. But occasionally, patience was rewarded and the wind would calm down enough to get a decent reflection.
It seems that a couple was having a personal “wedding” ceremony of sorts. She was wearing a short sleeve off white gown in the freezing cold! And it appeared they even recorded themselves during their ceremony. It seems I’ve stumbled across quite a few weddings on these trips: 2016-Schwabcher’s Landing in Grand Teton; 2017-Yosemite @ Glacier Point and @ Mt. Tamalpais and 2019 @ Iceland’s Glacier Lagoon. Spent a lot of time doing the abstracts since this group was with the sun while the first, almost two weeks ago now, was during the interminable overcast. I packed up several times to head back to the car, only to spot another possible abstraction, or duck swimming around, and I’d set up again. When I did finally finish, I began driving toward Reynisfjara Beach but found early on that I needed a nap. The past two long overnights were taking a toll. So I pulled over and got about two hours sleep in the “bedroom” before continuing on. Reynisfjara was packed when I got there, but I managed to squeeze into a spot and have a relaxing lunch of turnip soup at the cafe there, and afterward, a chocolate muffin and coffee to keep me going. Then I backed up a few memory cards while there, but having to go back to the car for the electrical converter because the laptop battery was near death. I can’t imagine why since it’s been on charge whenever I’m driving and just had several hours of car charging. Actually, finding out things went to the laptop hard drive instead of the external…more complicated than my meager mind can even contemplate how to resolve. Working on it. Camera batteries have not had any problem recharging from the multi-charger, but for some reason, the laptop cannot. For the camera, when I’m finished for a while, I switch out the partially used one and charge it in the car while driving and replace it with the back-up. Almost always have two fully charged camera batteries without access to wall outlets ala McDonald’s.
Hoping the tide will go down some here at the beach to get a good shot of the sea stacks before heading to Skogafoss for the overnight.
The tide was low when I attempted to climb over some serious rocks to get a good view of the sea stacks, but the rocks where I placed the tripod were pretty slick, so it was like isometric exercise just balancing on the rock, fearful of even shifting my footing fearing falling off. I did manage to first get the proper exposure for the sky, and then the wave movement and rocks, but I knocked out several different images from the same spot so I could have a choice as to which to use into a final compilation.
After a quick dinner at Skogafoss, I headed over a short distance away to the parking lot for the wrecked DC-3 and totally decided not to hike the 4-miles round trip in the gathering gloom of dusk. I had the portable light at the ready, but just couldn’t pull the trigger. I must have pulled a muscle somewhere along the line as it hurts just to walk. I guess it was easier to take the safer course, but I wouldn’t have made made it to the plane in time for sunset, and wouldn’t wait around for sunrise. In the end, it was just too much work for too little photography; for me anyway.