After the Storm

Location: Kirkjufellfoss, Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Iceland

I left Reykjavik early morning and headed 3 hours north to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. My wife and I were tired and jet lagged and a bit disappointed that it was pouring rain and the outlook for the rest of our trip was overcast and rainy. The highlight of the day was going to be our last stop at Kirkjufell. Kirkjufell is the second most photographed mountain in the world and is prominently featured in “Game of Thrones” as the site where the white walkers were born.

We stopped along the way at different beautiful locations in the area. As we headed back east on the northern part of the peninsula, the clouds broke and a rainbow formed over the north Atlantic Ocean. We were still 30-40 minutes away from Kirkjufell but I said, “Can you imagine if this rainbow was still here when we got to the mountain?” Within seconds, the clouds closed back over the sun and it started to pour. The rainbow was gone. Typical Icelandic weather.

We finally arrived at the famous peak. It was a downpour. My heart sank. I traveled over 2000 miles to shoot at this famous location and even timed it out for the best light and I couldn’t even get out of the car. Exhausted and still to early to go eat dinner, I said, “Let’s just take a nap in the car for a few minutes. A few minutes turned into an hour.

As I slept, I felt warmth on my face. The sun had come out behind me and woke me up. I turned and looked at Kirkjufell. My jaw dropped. “Rainbow over Kirkjufell!!” I yelled. I think I gave my wife a heart attack in my excitement. I quickly grabbed my camera and my Rokinon 14mm lens leaving my tripod in the car because I knew that this rainbow might not last. I really wanted to set up a shot with a tripod so I could slow down the falls but I knew the rainbow was more important. I sprinted up a very muddy hill behind the falls falling twice on the slippery ground. Out of breath, I turned and started shooting. I took a few shots that were terribly overexposed. I realized in my haste, I didn’t even change my camera settings from my last exposure. I quickly stopped down and started shooting again moving side to side to get slightly different angles. I shot about 20 exposures. I fell in love with this shot because of the lone man walking in silhouette up the same hill I ran up.

This is certainly not my most technical shot but it is my favorite because of the luck of being at the right place at the right time. Kirkjufellfoss is a location I will never forget.

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