Iceland is always a country high-up on any photographers list. Earlier this year I was offered the opportunity of a lifetime - to be the support driver, and to document - a group of amateur cyclists taking on the challenge of Iceland's notorious 900 mile ring road for a number of charities. Naturally I took them up on the offer. It offers scenery, and an experience like no-where else in the world. As I would be documenting the cycle, both in photos and video, I took a fair bit of equipment with me. The cycle was planned to last 10 days and we would be away for a total of 14. For the journey I took 2x Panasonic Lumix GX8, both with the kit 12-60mm F3.5-5.6 lenses, the 15mm Leica Summilux F1.7, 45-150mm F4.0-5.6, 60mm F2.8 Olympus macro, 45mm F1.8 Olympus, & the 7.5mm F3.5 Samyang fisheye lens. Along with a Rode videomicro, a tripod, video stabiliser, and a trusty gorilla-pod.
My main role on the journey was the 7 cyclists support driver, this obviously meant I would have to stick relativity close to them all day, everyday. With the rental car stuffed full of our camping gear, food, and any spares/extras for the bikes. Despite this, I managed to capture a lot of the country, getting to travel the entire ring road was incredible. I even managed a few detours along the route to see a few sites further afield and take in even more of the country.
The group were going to be covering on average 100 miles per day. Not an easy task for amateur cyclists in any country, never mind in Iceland, facing all sorts of conditions on some very challenging roads. Obviously this would mean some long days. Most days I would drive ahead of the group and find suitable places to stop and film them going past. Luckily for me, the majority of the roads in Iceland are incredibly scenic and jaw-droppingly beautiful.
Iceland is full of must sees and dos, and despite being the support to the group, I did manage to slip away from time-to-time to squeeze more of these in. As we were camping we did meet some other people who were also travelling the ring road. A few of them were surprised at the challenge we had taken on and the time-scale we were completing it in. The majority of them were taking longer to do it by car. Of course, they would be spending more time at the sites and also get to see more of them each day. We did also bump into the same people a number of times between the sites and they were surprised at our progress. We didn't hang about much (except for getting going in the mornings...)!
The fact we were in Iceland did mean that the cyclists were more than happy to stop at the main natural attractions close to the route. They obviously wanted to see some of the beauty of the country too rather than staring at tarmac (and gravel) all day. We lunched one day at the top of Goðafoss waterfall, other days our lunch stop was a lay-by at the side of the road.
It was an incredible journey, and challenge. A truly once in a lifetime experience. At the bottom of the page is the full film I made of our journey around Iceland. It shows some of the roads and conditions the team cycled through, as well as showcasing all the charities we were raising for and the total we managed to raise. I will let the photos do the rest of the talking.