Taken 20th Sept 2016.

Location: Ice beach at Jökulsarlon.

Location Link: Jökulsarlon


  • ƒ/6.3
  • 24 mm
  • 2.5 sec
  • 800


Canon EOS 5D Mark III
EF24mm f/1.4L II USM

Medium weight Gitzo
6 stop B&W ND filter
Magic Cloth = my hat.

Timing is communication


This is one of many shots I take on the ice beach. My formula is basic, but effective. I find an attractive piece of glacier ice. By attractive, I mean interesting textures and shape. Something that will look nice on a LARGE print (this is the part you are missing out by only seeing these online). I look for ice that is being hit by every 4th or 5th wave.


Once, I have the nice ice, I try to blend it into the best part of the sky. This involves getting low to bring the ice and the sky together. But on this shot I was not too low to obscure the middle ground. The middle ground is the wet sand and ice beyond the foreground feature. My camera is waist height but still close to the foreground feature.

low light photography

Magic Cloth

A nice technique if you are this situation of trying to catch trails of receding waves is to copy the wave action with your cloth. For example, as the wave comes in, move the cloth lower and raise the cloth as the wave recedes. This way you prevent big white blobs of surf that not always, but often send my shots to the trash.

But, the best trails come from 1 or 2 second exposures. I spotted the potential of a trails coming from that beautiful ice shape. In my shot, you will see how I have jacked the iso to give me a shorter exposure. 2.5 seconds is not enough time to play around as described above. This was a karate chop – quickly down over the whole scene and then slowly up with the receding wave.

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