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A day trip to Dettifoss and surroundings

Daníel Starrason, a photographer and a good friend of mine, and I regularly go on photo trips together.These are very fun trips and very educational for me.I learn a lot from Daniel, who is a great photographer, I find my style in landscape photography and then I learn about our country.

The other we decided to drive east from Akureyri, without stopping too much until we arrived in Kelduhverfi. Mandatory stop is in Fjallahöfn. Beautiful patterns can be found in the pebbles, where there is black sand and a beautiful view to the east.

Mountain Valþjófsstaðafjall

There are usually seals and it was no different this time. 4 harbor seals welcomed us. Wonderfully curious and fun animals.

Harbor seal

After a good stop we continued our trip. This time we did not stop at the wonderful store in Ásbyrgi. It's fun to stop there, because i.a. CDs are sold there. Absolutely exemplary! We decided to drive to east of Jökulsá river and drive south on that side. There was some snow on the road but the good old Blazer handled it. First we stopped at waterfall Hafragilsfoss. Exquisitely beautiful environment in the blue winter tones.


Next we headed to Dettifoss, the king of Icelandic waterfalls. Daniel and I spend a lot of time photographing in the twilight and at night. And this was a good time of day. Beautiful twilight. In fact, we agree that photos taken at higher shutter speeds are more describing for Dettifoss. Then the water "freezes" in the picture. This is how you experience the power of the waterfall. As can be seen e.g. see in these older pictures:

There was not much water in Jökulsá now, but still an incredibly powerful experience to be there. Since the light had become low, we almost only had to take typical soft waterfall pictures, where the shutter speed is low and the water forms soft lines.


Jökulsá Canyon

After a good cup of coffee and a snack, we continued south. The Mountain Queen herself, Herðubreið, pulled us in that direction. The amazing effect that that mountain has on you, even if you are at a great distance.

The "Queen of Mountains" Herðubreið. Photo taken from Dettifoss with 400mm lens

The clouds quickly disappeared and the starry sky appeared. We knew the moon would not shine that night. We were happy with it, as we did not want any light pollution from it. And there were no northern lights to begin with. We were also happy with that, because they damage the constellation view a bit. At least make it harder for you. We stopped at Hrossaborg in Mývatnsöræfi. We walked around the area in pitch black darkness, calm, moderate frost. It was fabulous.

The Milky way and Hrossaborg

I've finally admitted to myself that I'm kind of a loner. I feel best alone or with a few around me, preferably people I know well. It was therefore a bit of a sacred moment for me to be with Daniel in the silence up there in the "desert". Absolutely amazing. After some more coffee we went to the ever-beautiful Mývatnssveit. Námaskarð craters gave us little this evening, so we headed towards the volcano Hverfjall. There we focused on capturing the beautiful landscape and allowing a little northern lights to get involved :) I have never focused on typical milky way and northern lights images. I have somehow not been interested in these phenomena as such in pictures, unless they are in a supporting role in the picture. I now like to experiment with that

Volcano Hverfjall

Of course, one could have been in this amazing place the whole night. But it was past midnight and we had been traveling for 13-14 hours. So we drove on towards Akureyri but had to stop a bit at lake Másvatn.

Aurora Borealis at Másvatn

The last stop was at Goðafoss, the very beautiful waterfall in river Skjálfandafljót. Conditions there were quite difficult and the concentration perhaps a little less than at the beginning of the trip. But I was lucky enough to get one good meteoroid into a picture.


It was wonderful to come home after some 15 hours and long outdoor activities. Be sure to check out Daniel on Instagram. His great pictures are there:

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