ICELAND 2017 The Adventure Continues...

Weren't you just there last year?

I got this question a lot. Yes, I did go to Iceland last year on a last minute trip with Scott Kelby. You can see that story here. It was not only last minute, but it was only a few days. It was a whirlwind visit. We had great weather, got some awesome pictures and video and had a great time. So why go back so soon? Because you can't see Iceland, I mean really see Iceland in just three days. When we went last year we made sure to hit as many of the iconic spots as we could. Even then we didn't see them all.

This time would be different. This time I'd be going for a full week with a day on each end for recalibrating. Also this year I'd be going with the awesome Victoria Pavlov and leaving my entire itinerary in the hands of Einar Endleson.

The load out for this trip was very similar to last year, but this year I really planned on doing more droneography.

I know that many of you are short on time. That's why I put together the short video above so that you can get a quick highlight from the trip. However, if you want to know the details you can watch the video and then scroll and keep reading.

The Gear

Last year I took my old DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ drone more as an afterthought. I had never traveled with it before and I was due for a new drone anyway. All this to say that I considered it expendable. I didn't expect anything to go wrong, but if it fell into a waterfall (as this would be the first time I flew it over water) I wouldn't shed any tears. Nothing went wrong and the footage I captured last year only made me want a better drone/camera. This trip was different I had upgraded to the DJI Mavic Pro the minute it came out. Instead of having to carry on a separate hard case just for the drone, I was able to put the Mavic Pro in my camera backpack with the rest of my gear.

Just one body and two lenses?

This question came up a few times when I shared the load out pic above. Several photographers were shocked and dismayed that I would only bring one DSLR body and two lenses.

The DSLR is a backup to my iPhone 7 Plus

I made the joke that the DSLR was a backup to my main camera, the iPhone 7 Plus. I wasn't too far off. I really wanted to test the limits of not only drone photography/video, but also iPhoneography and Lightroom mobile. Sure there were times when the Nikon 28-300mm lens allowed me to capture images that the iPhone just couldn't do, but I used both cameras pretty much equally. However, most of my shots this trip came from the Mavic Pro including the cover image above. Last year I captured the bulk of my images with my Nikon D810, 28-300mm and 14-24mm lenses. Those two lenses pretty much covered everything I wanted to do. It was no different this time either. Could I have carried more lenses? Yes, but it just wasn't necessary.

Day 1 - July 7

We spent much of the first day in and around Reykjavik.

Last year we spent virtually no time in the main city of Reykjavik. Scott and I basically landed and hit the road. This time I got to recoup a bit from the flight as I don't usually sleep on planes. We checked in to the Grand Hotel and I got to sleep for a few hours before Einar took us out and and about.

You would usually see these tourist rock formations marking hiking trails, but it's a thing here in Reykjavik too. Shot with the Lightroom camera on iPhone 7 Plus.

Last year we met the amazing photographer Ragnar Og Ásdís. This year I got to see his stunning exhibit. You can see his work here.

This man made ice cave was also in the same building as the exhibit.

Day 2 - July 8

Einar Erlendsson is hands down the coolest nicest guy in Iceland. He owns this amazing vehicle which was our base of operation for most of the trip. It's fully equipped with power outlets for charging gear and he even has a WiFi router permanently installed for his tour guests to always be connected. Why the Adobe tag? Einar is also the largest Adobe reseller in the country.

On day 2 we ventured out from Reykjavik and saw some of the nearby sights.

Shot with the Mavic Pro

I spotted this church off to the side and asked Einar if we could go back and shoot it. It was going to start raining any minute so I had take this drone shot quickly.

The one thing that Iceland has no shortage of is waterfalls. This Haifoss beauty was hiding off into the distance.

Food to go

I passed on the ultimate temptation of the Krispy Kreme located just inside the grocery store. Seriously it's a grocery store. No, really it is! That much sugar would just knock me out anyway.

Much of our time during the day was spent driving from location to location and shooting along the way. Therefore when it comes to food it's either gas station restaurants or bring your own. With that in mind we made a grocery store stop to stock up the vehicle with things we could eat on the go.

In the US we would call this fast food and it is. These kinds of restaurants are at every gas station. There are very few if any stand alone fast food places outside of Reykjavik. The other thing is that the food in these places actually tastes pretty decent, but they're expensive. That #3 burger, fries and drink is about $18.60 in US dollars.
Enjoy this top down view of these beautiful Icelandic trees

More from Haifoss

Us doing our thing.
If you visit Iceland I hope you like fish! Of course it's local and fresh. Delicious!
I didn't realize that in Iceland this time of year the sun doesn't set til close to midnight and rises between 3-4AM. Even between those few hours it's not really still light out.

Day 3 - July 9

This was a nice little spot to stop and capture a few nature shots.
Although the plan was to see all new locations, you can't pass by Gullfoss Waterfall without stopping. This magnificent waterfall is always worth seeing. Apparently I didn't see the "No Drones" signs that everyone told me were there after I posted this image. Oops! I wouldn't have flown had I seen the signs.
Gullfoss Waterfall on a sunny day in Iceland
Like I said, there are waterfalls everywhere just waiting to be photographed. This little beauty was on the way to the mountains.
If you go to Iceland, people expect to see pictures of ice. It's like going to Paris and not showing a picture of the Eiffel Tower. With that in mind we didn't see any icebergs on this trip. Therefore I decided to share this pic from last year. The obligatory iceberg shot that you were waiting for ;-) CHECK!
Up close and personal with a mountain

Last year we saw several mountains off in the distance. However, this year I got to really get up close and enjoy them in all their glory. I'm not much of a hiker, but this is one of those times you have to hit the trail even if it's just for a few minutes.

Mountains the size of, err, um mountains
Waves of water on land that create these unique patterns.

From snow covered mountains to hot springs

Summers in Iceland mean that you can be outside in 50°F plus weather without a jacket and see ice to your right and people in their swimsuits enjoying the various local natural geothermal hot springs on your left.

A shot looking down from above taken with the Mavic Pro.
These beautiful colors are formed by all the stuff that the springs spew into the air.
End of a long, but great day. This little guy was just standing by the road. There are sheep and horses everywhere in Iceland.
After a long day of driving and shooting we arrived at what would ultimately be my favorite place for the whole trip. The quaint little town of Siglufjörður in northern Iceland.

Day 4 - July 10

Imagine having this view everyday!

An ancient fishing boat in dry dock.

There's something about an old ship that begs to tell a story. I'm automatically drawn to them and can only wonder the tales it would tell if it could talk. This old fishing boat from the 1940's is resting in dry dock as the more sophisticated and larger boats have long since replaced it.

A photographic museum

This is one thing that I never expected to be a part of my trip. Tucked away in this small town is one of the most comprehensive photography equipment museums I've ever seen. Saga-Fotografica museum at Siglufjordur town in northern Iceland. A tremendous museum and collection of photography related items. Even if you're new to photography this is a must see if you're in the area. Baldvin Einarsson has everything nicely organized by brand and then by age.

Baldvin Einarsson, the sole proprietor

Baldvin is an extremely nice guy. He does this out of passion and love for photography. He created this museum not to make a lot of money, but to simply give people a way to see this history.

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A treasure trove of antiques including the old phone on the wall.
A modern day Icelandic fishing boat.
This is another one of those photo ops that you just have to know it's there. You would never see it from the road. Thanks Einar!

Day 5 - July 11

I just can't seem to resist a dock with a lone boat in the middle of nowhere.

We decided to get out and capture the sights around us. It was about this time that Einar had the idea of getting his friend to take us out on his small Zodiac boat and do some drone photography of a sunken freighter.

Even the abandoned warehouse is painted in a way to make it attractive instead of an eye soar. We should do this in the US!

After I asked "how small" of a boat we'd be on, I decided that this once in a lifetime opportunity should not be passed. I'm so happy that I went for it. There were just three of us on the Zodiac. Einar, the captain and myself. I took my Nikon D810, Mavic Pro and iPhone 7 Plus to capture the event.

Skoger, a 580-ton Norwegian ship caught fire 1936 in Siglufjordur harbor. It was full of wooden barrels, some empty and some with processed herring. The harbor was also full of fishing boats and other ships. When it was obvious it would not be saved, the blazing ship was pulled away from the harbor to prevent it from sinking there. It soon sank in the fjord.

It's kind of eery floating this close to the shipwreck.

It was a bit challenging launching the Mavic Pro from such a tight small location. However, it was worth capturing this piece of history from above. The Zodiac gives you an idea of its size.

I was fascinated by these old lighthouses. I always wanted a traditional lighthouse shot for my portfolio. I never thought I'd be capturing ones like these.

I usually enhance my water shots to make the water look more blue. It wasn't necessary for these. This is just how clean and blue the water is naturally.

This abandoned farm town can only be reached by water or horseback. There were never any roads built to this place.

Another view of this abandoned farm town.

This old bulldozer was parked and never used again.

On the way back, the golden hour had arrived.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I launched the Mavic Pro from the Zodiac four times and other than getting my hands nicked by the propellers once, it worked perfectly. Flying over water is one of the scariest things a drone pilot can do. I got over it as the footage was worth capturing.

An end to another amazing day!

Day 6 - July 12

It's always a treat to meet a fan, but it's an even bigger treat to meet a fan while I'm traveling in remote parts of the world. Jon Steinar Ragnarsson approached Einar and asked "is that Terry White?" We had a good chat as we were loading up the van to head out. Thanks Jon!
On the way out I had to stop and capture this beauty.
Dinner time. The restaurants usually had 3 to 4 choices of entrees. One of them is going to be fish and one is going to be a burger. The other one/two varies.

Where are the rest of the pictures from Day 12? That's it. Believe it or not it does rain sometimes in Iceland. OK, it rains a lot in Iceland. I have spoiled you on this trip thus far because we had amazing weather. We got to our next hotel stop and just chilled for the night. Enjoy the dinner pic above.

Day 7 - July 13

It's time to sail to Flatey Island where we will spend the next two nights almost completely off the grid.
Wait? What? This is the hotel? Yep! Hotel Flatey

There is only one "hotel" on this very small island. In the US this would be considered a bed and breakfast with a few exceptions: No WiFi. No TV. One bathroom per floor. Take your shoes off to preserve the hardwood floors. The staff was nice and the restaurant that was attached.

You can walk the whole island in 15 to 30 minutes.
Luckily there was a cell tower on the island and the 3G was usable.

Day 8 - July 14

Good morning Flatey Island
This day was not much different from the day before. It rained off and on and therefore I spent some time working on images and videos. I also did a couple of Facebook live streams from my drone to give my audience a tour of the island from above.

Day 9 - July 15

It's time to head back to the mainland and begin the trip back to Reykjavik.

One more lighthouse for the road. This also marked my longest distance drone flight as this one was a mile away.
Another fan moment. Dr. Roland Ebringer from Australia recognized me on the ferry boat back.
On the way back to the city we stopped at this horse farm to capture more beauty.
A rainy view from the Grand Hotel in downtown Reykjavik.

Day 10 - July 16

The time flew by. It's hard to believe that the trip is over and that I've been home so long now. I highly recommend that if you've never been to Iceland that you add it to your list. If you do decide to go to Iceland at any point you should absolutely reach out to Einar as a guide or even if you just have questions about places to go. If you enjoyed my story please don't forget to tap/click appreciate. Also if you want to see last year's adventure you can see that story here.

Thanks Einar! You're an amazing person. Thank you all for reading my story.

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Created By
Terry White
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