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Two Weeks in

ICELAND An Adventure Away from Home with Friends

Darwin at the Nรกmafjall Hverir geothermal area. Branimir Gjetvaj


Iceland On June 2, 2012, 14 photographers descended on the sleepy, subpolar town of Reykavik, Iceland. Hailing primarily from Canada (with one American and one Brit in tow), the posse of hopeful shooters were about to embark on a cross-country, whirlwind tour of scenic Iceland. At the helm was photographer and group leader Tim Vollmer.

Although the group had fairly humble goals (this being a pleasure trip rather than a commercial venture), this pack of camera-huggers clocked some incredible stats on their Icelandic ramble including the number of: Kilometres traveled:

over 5000

Modes of transportation:

5 (airplane, van, superjeep, skidoo, boat)

Days abroad:

14 (give or take)

Van breakdowns:


Craters traversed:


Cameras brought:

31 (that’s an average of 2.143 per person!)

(ahem) ‘lost’ tripods:


Dead laptops

1 (despite resuscitation attempts)

Sunny days in supposedly rainy, windy Iceland:

about 10

Tempers frayed or lost:

maybe 2; but we’re all friends again



Days served fish or lamb for dinner:

14 (give or take)

Number of servings of ice cream and uncountable! yogurt consumed:


The following pages showcase images taken by the photographers on this tour. The group traversed the entire country on the (infamous?) ring road. Along the way, we witnessed the wonder of Iceland’s geothermal activity, skirted the cold toes of several glaciers and passed through mind-numbing miles of lava rock. Iceland is a geologist’s dream and a photographer’s playground. This trip for all of us may have been more of an over-view than an in-depth trial (veni, vidi… photography?), but it was enough of a taste to entice many of us to come back! We hope you enjoy this little memory album of images from our trip.



Road leading into Nรกmafjall Hverir geothermal area.


Rick is an aspiring amateur photographer from Long Island, New York, who aspires to be an aspiring photographer from somewhere else. He travels with a pleasant, ever-smiling friend (golf club head cover) known affectionately as Mini-Rick by virtue of his supposed resemblance. When not out photographing the great outdoors, he can often be seen wishing he was out photographing the great outdoors. When actually out photographing the great outdoors, he can often be seen searching for a lens cap or trying to fix something.

Steaming fumarole in Nรกmafjall Hverir geothermal area. Rick Bloomer



Dettifoss waterfall.

Incredible power of the Dettifoss waterfall.

Rick Bloomer

Rick Bloomer

Black church on a dark day, Snaefellsnes Peninsula. Rick Bloomer


Close-up, but not too close, of a bubbling mud pit at Gunnuhver geothermal area. Rick Bloomer

Active mud of Gunnuhver geothermal area with lighthouse of Reykjanesviti. Rick Bloomer


A rewarding endless view after a hike to a summit of the Landmannalauger region. Rick Bloomer


Another endless view of Landmannalauger. Rick Bloomer



Glacier detail at Fjallsjรถkull glacier valley.

Iceberg in lagoon at Fjallsjรถkull glacier valley.

Rick Bloomer

Rick Bloomer

Goรฐafoss waterfall. Rick Bloomer


Amazing view along the hike in Landmannalauger. Rick Bloomer


One of many delays along the walk to Goรฐafoss waterfall. Rick Bloomer


CATHERINE & ED Catherine managed to win her Viking helmet on the last day of the trip by tasting an Icelandic ‘treat’ called fermented shark! When she is not eating weird food she is at home in Cochrane trying to be retired. Catherine is Darwin and Sam's assistant and guest blogs at:

On a boat tour around Heimaey Island.


Ed is a Construction Equipment Salesman and has ‘several’ photos of heavy equipment he saw while traveling around Iceland. The group would stop to take photos of magnificent waterfalls but Ed’s lens was usually focused on any grader, loader or fork lift in sight! This was his first photo tour where he was a photographer. He does go out on photo trips, but as an assistant to his wife, Catherine.

Landmannalaugar. Catherine Byram


Our trip to Askja required a 4x4, 16 passenger, Hummer. This one of a kind Hummer was driven with great expertise by Andre. Catherine Byram

Ed had heard that Trolls lived under rocks and in caves. He thought it would be great to get a photo of one, but no such luck! Catherine Byram

HĂşsavik Church is perched high up on a hill keep a watchful eye over the harbour. Catherine Byram


Ed and Catherine took a five minute ferry ride to the Island of Videy. It has been inhabited since approx.. 900. The island became deserted in the late 1940’s. There are many ruins on the east end of the island. The school still remains and the foundation of the fish factory is on the east shore. Catherine Byram

Ed and Catherine took a 30 minute flight to the Westman Islands and spent the day there. In 1973 Eldfell Volcano erupted for 6 months and destroyed nearly 500 houses. This volcano increased the size of the island by 15%. The people of Heimaey Island hope to excavate one street which was lost to the disaster. This photo is of the second floor of a house which was totally covered with volcanic ash. It belongs to a lady who returned, in June 2012, after being away for nearly 40 years. Pictures were taken through the window and the photos were very surprising‌.everything was exactly as it was left on January 23, 1973. Catherine Byram


On the last day of our tour we visited a fish drying factory. The fish in this area are used to make fish broth powder to be sent to Africa. These men were cleaning up the skeletons of fish which were not being used as food. Catherine Byram



In this photo one can easily see where the volcano of 1973 traveled. There are 500 houses beneath the hardened lava. Some of the lava rock is still warm enough to cook loaves of bread! Much of the ash which was removed from the town was used to increase the size of the local airport.

The Eyjafjallajokull Volcano which erupted in 2010 is still spewing ash over nearby places. In the washrooms located near Skogafoss, there were collection boxes with notes asking people to donate money so that the regular clean up of ash could continue.

Catherine Byram

Catherine Byram

Videyjarstofa is on Videy Island, which is only a five minute ferry ride from Reyjkavik. It was built in 1755 for Skuli Magnusson, the first Treasurer of Iceland.By 1953 the island was completly deserted.In 1988 renovations on the house and church were completed and they are now a National Museum of Iceland. Catherine Byram


These trail markers are 200-300 years old. They are located east of Myvatn Lake and were built in order to help people find their way in dense fog. Catherine Byram


This is part of the largest puffin nesting areas in the world. Where oh where are all the puffin? Ed Byram


This glass dome restaurant sits atop six tanks which store 24,000 tons of the city’s geothermally heated water. It features a ‘geyser’ fountain, a winter garden, a viewing deck, a café and a restaurant which makes a complete revolution in 2 hours. Ed Byram


30 years after the eruption which covered almost 500 homes, an archeology dig has been underway since 2005. Tourist are allowed to help the archeologists gently remove the volcanic ash. Ed Byram


Now if only Catherine would let me paste this on the bedroom wall!. Ed Byram

Here is an example of 'Something from Nothing'. It is a scuplture made with pieces of rough wood and cut offs by รžorrablรณt Aรฐalheiรฐur S. Eysteinsdรณttir. She manages to charm the viewer by making rubbish come to life.This sculpture was one of several at the Icelandair Hotel in Reykjavik. Ed Byram


One of many construction equipment photos shot by Ed. Ed Byram



Hólavallagarður graveyard in Reykjavík.

Samantha is a professional photographer who enjoys making images of the prairies and mountain landscapes near her home in Alberta, Canada. Along with her life and creative partner, Darwin Wiggett, she teaches the art and craft of photography and scripts the occasional silly video for their website, Samantha stays warm while making images by wearing many layers of protective clothing. She can be found enjoying a good cup of coffee in remote locations such as on a whale watching ship in Iceland as pictured here. Don't forget to visit:


A mighty cross to bear - the gravemarker of the very first to be buried here, and the guardian of the cemetary, Guðrún Oddsdóttir. This is the Hólavallagarður graveyard in Reykjavík. Samantha Chrysanthou


Near the end of our trip, the group visited a fish drying facility. While some of us held our noses and retreated back to the bus, others were like kids in a candy storey photographically speaking! Samantha Chrysanthou


Visitors to the colourful hills of Landmannalaugar can also soothe their bunions in the natural healing hot pools in the region. Samantha Chrysanthou



Visitors and photographers mingle among chunks of ice washed ashore in Jökulsárlón lagoon below the Vatnajökull glacier in Vatnajökull National Park.

Darwin Wiggett works the hunks of ice on the beach at in Vatnajökull National Park.

Samantha Chrysanthou

Samantha Chrysanthou

Surprisingly, Iceland has some warm and welcoming beaches! Here the beach is just steps away from our guesthouse at Hof. Samantha Chrysanthou


The folded, mossy hills just outside Landmannalaugar. Samantha Chrysanthou


Strokkur Geysir - Iceland's most visited Geyser. Samantha Chrysanthou

HallgrĂ­mskirkja Church in Reykjavik is one of the most visited landmarks in the city. Samantha Chrysanthou



Farm yard in Hof under one of the only stormy days we had in Iceland!

Jรถkulsรกrlรณn glacial lagoon.

Samantha Chrysanthou

Samantha Chrysanthou

STEPHEN Stephen has been a working full-time artist for over 10 years and studying the craft for much longer. Calling Prince Edward Island home, Stephen spends every day as a designer, illustrator and photographer. In late 2010, Stephen crossed paths with Sam & Darwin and after a series of gruelling interviews, has become the designer behind the scene for their eBooks and the oopoomoo website.

If Prince Edward Island had volcanoes, our sand dunes might have looked like this if covered in hardened lava. These are the beaches in Búðir.

More of his work and photoblog can be found at: or connect on Facebook

or Google+


A midnight Icelandic sunset created on the north side of the SnĂŚfellsnes peninsula. Stephen DesRoches


The SnĂŚfellsnes peninsula late in the evening or was it early in the morning? I lost all track of time with a midnight sunset. Stephen DesRoches


A deep black volcanic ash beach with crystal clear ice formations washed ashore from the nearby Jรถkulsรกrlรณn lagoon. Stephen DesRoches

A short walk from our guesthouse in Hrauneyjar region on an amazing night. Stephen DesRoches


Svartifoss (also known as Black Falls) in Vatnajรถkull National Park (formerly Skaftafell National Park). Stephen DesRoches


A fun image of Svartifoss looking back from behind the falls. Stephen DesRoches

Intense storm clouds moving in over one of the many lupin fields. In Iceland, lupins are planted and used for land reclamation. Stephen DesRoches


A family of horses nearby the guesthouse we stayed at in SnĂŚfellsnes. Stephen DesRoches


Askja volcano and the VĂ­ti crater. This crater and geothermal lake was formed in an 1875 eruption. Stephen DesRoches


The uphill climb to Askja. Stephen DesRoches

A challenging hike in Landmannalaugar. Stephen DesRoches


Standing on the edge and feeling the power of Dettifoss. Stephen DesRoches

Couldn't go to Iceland without a quick stop at the very popular Seljalandsfoss waterfall. Stephen DesRoches


The rough terrain of the Mývatn district in North-Central Iceland and the flowing Skjálfandafljót river after Goðafoss waterfall. Stephen DesRoches


With all the unique landscapes Iceland has to offer, I travel all that way and still become fixated on the ocean. Stephen DesRoches


SCOTT Scott is a Calgary, Alberta based landscape and portrait photographer. Scott’s landscape work covers subjects ranging from the Canadian Rockies and prairies to old abandoned buildings in Europe. His award winning photos have been published worldwide in numerous magazines and books, and grace the walls of both homes and businesses alike. More of his work can be found at:

Goðafoss waterfall (waterfall of the gods) taken from the east shore of the Skjálfandafljót river. The falls are 12 meters high over a width of 30 meters.


or on Facebook:

Lava, dried mud and pools of boiling mud dominate the landscape in the Gunnuhver geothermal area located on the Reykjanes peninsula. Scott Dimond


Lupines (Lupinus nootkatensis) enjoy the last light during a midnight sunset in the Hrauneyjar region. Scott Dimond


Svartifoss (Black Fall) waterfall with its basalt columns in Skaftafell, Vatnajรถkull National Park. Scott Dimond


A beautiful arch greets hikers along the Arnarstapi shoreline trail on the SnĂŚfellsnes peninsula. Scott Dimond


The small and pony sized Icelandic horses are everywhere and a joy to photograph. Scott Dimond

The breed is protected by Icelandic law that prevents horses from being imported into the country and exported horses are not allowed to return. Scott Dimond


Iceberg calving from the Vatnajรถkull glacier results in large beautiful ice formations that float around in the Jรถkulsรกrlรณn lagoon before flowing out to sea. Scott Dimond


A solitary A-frame building, of unknown purpose, sits high on the SnĂŚfellsnes peninsula. Scott Dimond


A moss campion springs to life in the valley at the foot of the Fjallsjรถkull glacier. Scott Dimond


A beautiful sunset forms as midnight approaches near a river in the Hrauneyjar region. Scott Dimond


Lupines (or alaskalúpína in Icelandic) growing amongst lava in the Hrauneyjar region. Lupines were introduced to Iceland in the 1960s by the Icelandic Forestry Service and have been cultivated and sown since the mid-80’s in land reclamation areas by the Soil Conservation Service. Scott Dimond


A gull surveys an iceberg that has become snagged on the beach while making its way from the Jรถkulsรกrlรณn lagoon to the sea. Scott Dimond


An Arctic Tern voices its displeasure and dive bombs as I carefully stand near its nest. Not an exercise for the faint of heart‌ Scott Dimond



Arctic terns interacting. The image is slightly soft but I like how it shows graceful movement of the birds.

Branimir is an internationally published outdoor and nature photographer specialising in western Canadian landscapes. He leads photography workshops and photo tours, and presents lectures and audiovisual shows on photography, natural history and conservation biology topics. Branimir's formal education (he has a doctorate in genetics and several other degrees to his name) and interest in photography has led him to use his skills as a vehicle to promote the appreciation and protection of natural environments and cultural legacies. One of his photography projects culminated in the award-winning book The Great Sand Hills: A Prairie Oasis. More information about his work can be seen at


Sandy beach at sunset. The photograph was taken around midnight. SnĂŚfellsnes peninsula. Branimir Gjetvaj


Boat reflection. Husavik. Branimir Gjetvaj


Church at Budir. SnĂŚfellsnes peninsula. Branimir Gjetvaj



HallgrĂ­mskirkja Cathedral and the sculpture of Leif Eriksson. Reykjavik.

Detail of the exterior of Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre in Reykjavik.

Branimir Gjetvaj

Branimir Gjetvaj

Icelandinc horses with Kirkjufell mountain in the background. SnĂŚfellsnes peninsula. Branimir Gjetvaj


Kelp and ocean wave. SnĂŚfellsnes peninsula. Branimir Gjetvaj


The kiss. Near Goรฐafoss waterfall. Branimir Gjetvaj



Landmannalaugar region in Fjallabak Nature Reserve.

Sk贸gafoss waterfall.

Branimir Gjetvaj

Branimir Gjetvaj

Detail of the Sun Voyager (S贸lfar) sculpture. Reykjavik. Branimir Gjetvaj


Svartifoss (Black Falls) waterfall in Skaftafell National Park, Vatnajรถkull. Branimir Gjetvaj


DAVE Dave is an amateur photographer who was quite content creating images of the Forgotten Places in and around Berlin, Germany. Until one day a chance encounter with a wandering Canadian at one of those locations changed all that and led him to Iceland. The images for this eBook were taken solely with his favourite 135mm DC lens. Cascade

Dave wants to go back to Iceland.... See more images at:


A guy with a rucksack is walking camera left over a bridge. Dave changes to his Nikon 135mm lens and composes his shot and waits.....The guy walks slowly behind the waterfall and then round to the front. He stands and then turns on one foot to face the falling water.... Click. Dave Land


Basaltic Rock Dave Land


Glacier #1 Dave Land


Glacier #2 Dave Land


1:13 am Dave Land


Lagoon Dave Land


Godafoss Dave Land


Icelandic Horse With Straw. Dave Land


Rust On the Beach. Dave Land


DAVID David is a Toronto-based photographer and designer who loves to explore and photograph the world around him, travelling to remote destinations whenever possible. As someone who loves adventure and the outdoors, he is drawn to landscape and nature photography, striving to create compelling images wherever he finds himself. David also enjoys portrait photography with its unique opportunities to capture special moments and produce memorable images for his clients. Located in Iceland's southern highlands, Landmannalaugar displays many unusual geological formations, including its unique, multicoloured rhyolite mountains.

See more of David's work at:

or on Facebook:


Sunset from the north shore of Iceland's SnĂŚfellsnes peninsula. David Topping


With a history dating back more than 1,100 years, Icelandic horses are a common site throughout the country. David Topping


Svartifoss waterfall bathes collapsed basalt columns in the Skaftafell area of Iceland’s VatnajÜkull National Park. David Topping


Boiling mud pots at Seltún hot springs in the Krýsuvík geothermal area on Iceland's Reykjanes peninsula. David Topping


Landmannalaugar, with its multicoloured rhyolite mountains and lava fields, is a popular destination in Iceland's southern highlands. David Topping


Low fences line Iceland's roads, preventing the roaming sheep population from straying off the nearby fields and hillsides. David Topping


Erosion-sculpted rock along a small river near Hrauneyjar guesthouse in Iceland's southern highlands. David Topping


Kittiwakes nest on the narrow ledges of the cliffs along the Arnarstapi to Hellnar shoreline trail on Iceland's SnĂŚfellsnes peninsula. David Topping


The rugged coast from Arnarstapi to Hellnar, with its many rocky coves, is part of a protected area on Iceland's SnĂŚfellsnes peninsula. David Topping


The remains of a traditional grass-roofed farmhouse on the Sel farmland in the Skaftafell area of Icelands's Vatnajรถkull National Park. David Topping


DAWN Dawn is a hobby photographer from Alberta. Her interests include landscape, wildlife and travel photography. To see more of Dawn's images visit:

Church at Hellnar on the SnĂŚfellsnes peninsula.


A rainbow downstream from Goรฐafoss (waterfall of the gods). Dawn Traverse


Window and red wall in the fishing village of DjĂşpivogur. Dawn Traverse


Snow-spotted hillside near Landmannalaugar in the highlands. Dawn Traverse


Field of waist-high lupins. Dawn Traverse


A rainbow stretches across Gullfoss (golden waterfall). Dawn Traverse


Reflected boat in the fishing village of Stykkish贸lmur. Dawn Traverse



Black church at Búðir.

Isolating the door and window of the black church at Búðir.

Dawn Traverse

Dawn Traverse

Bursting bubble in a boiling mudpot at the Nรกmafjall Hverir geothermal area. Dawn Traverse


DARWIN Darwin is a well known Canadian landscape photographer famous for making photographs from a prone position. Darwin says, "lying down on the job is my creative muse. No other photographic technique lifts me up as much as lying down". When not flat on his back taking photos Darwin likes to sleep in, take naps and have an occasional snooze. Say hi at: The Black Church on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula.

or on Facebook:


Jรถkulsรกrlรณn lagoon below the Vatnajรถkull glacier in Vatnajรถkull National Park. This image was a 30 second exposure to smooth the choppy water on that windy day. Darwin Wiggett



Sea Pillars and young couple in love on Reynisfjara Beach.

Svartifoss (Black Falls) in Skaftafell National Park.

Darwin Wiggett

Darwin Wiggett

Graphic detail of the Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre in Reykjavik. Darwin Wiggett


Arnarstapi fishing village at the foot of Mt. Stapafell, SnĂŚfellsnes Peninsula. Darwin Wiggett


Ingjaldsholl Church in a Lupine Field. This is Iceland’s first concrete church and was built near Hellissandur-Rif in 1903. Darwin Wiggett


Lupines in a river valley at sunset in the Hrauneyjar region. Darwin Wiggett


The painted hills of Landmannalaugar region. Darwin Wiggett


Sel (farmhouses) with Vatnajรถkull Glacier in the background, Vatnajรถkull National Park, Iceland. Darwin Wiggett


Vatnajรถkull National Park glacier lagoon. Darwin Wiggett

Holavallagardur Graveyard in Reykjavik. Darwin Wiggett


Ice cave in Landmannalaugar. This cave was only about chest high and as wide as a car. A wide angle lens made the small space look huge! Darwin Wiggett


Bl枚ndu贸s Kirkja Church, Iceland. Darwin Wiggett


Holavallagardur Graveyard in Reykjavik. Darwin Wiggett


Öxarárfoss Waterfall in Þingvellir National Park, Reykjanes Peninsula. Darwin Wiggett


The full group in Landmannalaugar





THANK YOU This book has been put together and published by oopoomoo which is the brainchild and website of Samantha Chrysanthou and Darwin Wiggett. Samantha and Darwin are life and photographic partners. Renowned for their fun and accessible teaching style, Samantha and Darwin bring their love of photography to the world in hands-on workshops, engaging seminars and instructional eBooks. Their philosophy on life is captured in their website, where they challenge themselves and other photographers to photograph in ways that are softer on the planet.

There's lots to learn over at!

Special thanks to all our fellow photographers who journeyed with us around this amazing country and contributed their wonderful images to this eBook. Also, special thanks to Stephen DesRoches for design and layout of this eBook and the oopoomoo website.

This eBook Š copyright Darwin Wiggett and Samantha Chrysanthou. eBook published by



On June 2, 2012, 14 photographers descended on the sleepy, subpolar town of Reykavik, Iceland. The images in this eBook are the collective r...