Iceland in 16 Days: Day 5, East Fjords – Bakkagerði

Feature Image Details: Canon 16-35MM F4 L lens at 19MM, F/18, 0.3 seconds. I used a B+W Circular Polarizer to remove reflections from the rocks.

We spent our fifth night in Bakkagerði. The trip from Seydisfjordur was cloudy the entire way as was sunrise the next morning. I got up but the clouds were dense and I went back to bed for some much needed rest.

Clouds broke around noon and I took images of a stream in the East Fjords somewhere near Bakkagerði.

Arctic terns nested somewhere near that stream. They dive bombed me to let me know I was not welcome. Unlike the Jökulsárlón Arctic Tern Nesting Site where 50 or more terns might dive bomb you at once, I only had a couple to deal with at this stream.

iceland-eastfjords-bakkagerdi-stream-5

Bakkagerði Farm

iceland-east-fjords-bakkagerdi-40

Farm Scene Details: Canon 100-400 MM F 4.5-5.6 L lens at 114MM. ISO 100, F/14, 1/160 second.

I have a love-hate relationship with polarizers. They do a wonderful job of removing glare but they also enhance unevenness in blue skies.

It took me a long time to smooth out the sky in the feature image, but the polarizer greatly enhanced the color in the rocks. People use polarizers to “enhance” skies, but I hate the effect. I am waiting for someone to come out with a “depolarizer” filter for Lightroom and Photoshop to clean up skies.

If I could do this over again, I would take a pair of images one with the polarizer and one without, then blend them in Photoshop.

Don’t just think of polarizers on sunny days. My favorite time to use polarizers is actually a cloudy day in the fall, with a stream and lots of colorful red and yellow leaves on the ground. Try it. Polarizers will do wonders for your images, especially of wet leaves.

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Up Next: North Iceland, Selfoss Waterfall

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

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