Not much sleep last night because of all those stops for photography on the way back to the hotel. Didn’t get back until after midnight and starving. So I made the final instant Pasta Carbonara which was pretty tasty, but that put off the final packing a bit. Neatly stuffed everything back into the bags but never got to bed until 3:30am, but with a late afternoon flight, I could get up on my own, although I did set the alarm to be sure not to overstay the hotel. Dropped off the car and Lo and Behold! the two tunnels I was unable to pay for online way back when, were automatically added to the rental bill. Somebody was watching. The only thing of note while waiting to board my flight was that there was some filming of a movie, tv show or commercial, all being done without controlling any of the regular airport travelers that may be in the shot. It was a major production, with loads of equipment, actors, stylists, cameramen, a still photographer, director, etc! Other than that, no problems on the flights, except a little delay out on the tarmac both at Dulles and another delay in RDU as our gate was occupied. We were delayed more while on the plane than the actual flight time! But Dulles was a convoluted mess. Arriving a little after 7pm I figured there was plenty of time for the connecting flight at 10:15. Of course it took a while just to get off the plane, and then followed a course that herded us onto these weird bus-like people movers to another terminal where we went through a cue for Passport inspections.There were 50 inspector stations available but only about a half dozen were manned!! So that took forever. Then on to get your baggage, where I followed the transfer arrows to what looked like a giant empty hall where a lone employee stood behind a very long desk. I thought I was in the wrong place, but she assured me I was where I needed to be and my bags were checked onto the next flight. Followed the purple arrows this time through a maze where I stood on line, which seemed to never move, to go through security again. Then herded onto another of those people mover things to the terminal where my flight would depart. That debacle took two hours!! and it seemed the whole process had way more capacity than was being used when I went through.
Traveling to Iceland for anyone interested in landscape photography, offers some pretty unique opportunities. But as in any location around the world, every landscape is best captured when all the elements come together at that singular moment when the shutter is released. During this trip, I felt blessed to experience some wonderful light (only one of the elements) twice; once when I was at a location of my choosing and ready for it, and another when it happened suddenly and briefly while on the road at a “less than iconic” location (another of the elements). There were many times when the light was good (?), and research put me in a location where my “luck” had a better chance of coming to fruition. Other times it’s just the recognition that what you’ve come across needs to be recorded in some way, as in last nights adventure while heading back to the hotel. But there is nothing like being on location that really helps in determining where the chances of success might lie; to put yourself at that spot in anticipation of the good light, or knowing where to go on short notice when things happen unexpectedly. It is difficult at times to accept the disappointment of not getting the shot you wanted, but much of the satisfaction that comes from photography is the enjoyment in the making of the photograph. What you come away with may not be that killer shot, but the experience of the attempt, in and of itself, is what drives all of us on to that next attempt.
Being “Homeless in Iceland” may not be everyones preferred method of photoadventure as it has been mine for many years. And I’m not quite sure if it will continue to be, as I felt this trip really wore me out. I don’t know if it’s the relentless march of time or the effect 24-hours of daylight had on never being able to stop searching for the next composition to put before the camera. Surely sleep deprivation played a role in it all, illustrated by the need from time to time to just pull off the road and crawl into the bedroom for a few hours of rest. But by the time the trip was nearing its end, I was ready for it to end, which was a new experience. I also experienced the frightening visage of myself in the mirror after a long day, and wondered if other travelers may have held onto their children a little more tightly after seeing me nearby. But I consoled myself saying that they just didn’t understand my homelessness.
Many thanks to those who chose to follow along through this journal and shared the experiences with me. I hope you weren’t bored and I hope it was somewhat coherent. Most times, the journal was written when I was exhausted, and often would wake up to find that my finger was resting on a letter that repeated across the page. Sometimes, it was difficult to remember what had occurred during these long days…some of which were several days in length. All in all, there was over 2700 miles of driving with diesel fuel (cheaper than regular fuel there) generally around 234Ikr per liter, or $1.89 at current exchange rates. Just to be a little exacting, there are 3.78541178 liters in a gallon, so it translates to about $7.15/gallon!! Needless to say, on this trip fuel was the greatest expense while in Iceland. Lodging was minimal, with one stay in a dormitory room at an International Hostel, and the final night at a hotel near the airport. Now it’s time to get adjusted to life not on the road in a foreign land, but I would like to leave a few photos I compiled along the way. They were signs of things that weren’t allowed that I found amusing.