Iceland, the Landscape Photographer's Mecca

Sun Voyager Sculpture - Photo by Randy Lemoine
Sun Voyager Sculpture - Photo by Randy Lemoine

“Iceland is a must visit for landscape photographers”

Iceland may be the world’s best landscape photography destination. The countryside is full of unique and stunning viewpoints that beg to be photographed. Combine that with friendly locals, endless adventure and a rich culture. Iceland is a must visit at least once for the travelling photographer. In this post, we’ll share some of our favourite Icelandic Photo spots and give you a few pointers for planning your photography adventure.

When To Go

Icelandic Puffin Shot taken near Látrabjarg, Iceland - Photo by David Klaasen CC by-sa
Icelandic Puffins dot the cliffs at places like Látrabjarg, Iceland where this photo was taken. – Photo by David Klaasen CC by-sa

The first step to planning your photo excursion is to consider when you will go. Iceland is good in all seasons, but there are pros and cons to each of them. Use the handy tips below to plan your trip.

 

Spring is seabird central. If you are a birder, this is the time to go. You will find some of the largest communities of cliff dwelling aviary in the world. But the downside is that much of the highlands are inaccessible because of the winter thaw. You’ll have to wait till June before you can reach these remoter areas.

Summer is the obvious choice for the light chasing photographer. Enjoy 24-hour daylight, warm weather and lush landscapes. Although if you like to shoot sunsets and sunrises, you may be disappointed by the 24-hour daylight… Summer is also the time of year with the most tourists. Tourists are never really that bad in Iceland, but if there is a peak, this is when it is. If you can’t tolerate people setting up a tripod next to you, or taking selfies of themselves while standing in your shot than summer may not be for you.

I particularly like autumn as my travel time. This time of year, the snow-capped peaks begin to contrast with the lush greens of the landscape. As well tourists are less common this time of year, but there is a reason for that. It’s a simple trade-off, fewer people, but less light. In the autumn the days are much shorter.

Seydisfjordur View - Photo by Sveinn Birkir Björnsson
The scenic view looking across the bay at the town of Seydisfjordur. Photo by Sveinn Birkir Björnsson

Then there is winter, this time of year is for the hardy photographer. It should come as no surprise that winter in a place called Iceland is frigid. But, the photographic magic may be at its peak during this time of year.  Mix northern lights with frozen waterfalls, and you may find yourself in photographic heaven, albeit an icy version of heaven. Dress warm, and have a plan for your gear as it may not behave the way you think it will in extreme cold.

Wonderful Waterfall Photos

Speaking of waterfalls, Iceland is full of some of the most stunning in the world. From the lesser known Hraunfossar to the iconic Kirkjufellsfoss and Seljalandsfoss. Photographers will find hundreds of angles and opportunities. If you plan on photographing these, don’t forget to pack a sturdy tripod, neutral density and graduated filters, and plenty of lens cleaning paper to wipe off your lens from the waterfall spray.

Gorgeous Geography Makes Gorgeous Photography

Iceland has more to offer than just waterfalls, however. The region is also known for its geological wonders, glaciers and rock formations. The glacier lagoons of Fjallsárlón and Jökulsárlón are not to be missed. The deep azure blue of these ice formations is legendary. Not to be outdone, the rock formations of Iceland are also spectacular. Check out the big arch in Dyrhólaey, the otherworldly views of Reynisdrangar from the shoreline, and the boiling mud pits of Námaskarð.

Amazing Architecture Photography

Not to be outdone by the beauty of the region, the architecture of Reykjavik is a sight to behold in and of itself. Don’t miss the photographic opportunities this city holds. From the stunning architectural masterpiece that is the Hallgrímskirkja Lutheran Church to the beautiful Sun Voyage sculpture. These are but a couple of the picture-perfect photographic landmarks scattered across the Icelandic countryside.

There are literally hundreds of incredible photographic locations in Iceland. Far too many to list in this little blog post, but that’s why we made the PIXEO app. You’ll find hundreds of great Icelandic spots in the app. So pack yourself some protective gear for you and your cameras, load up the PIXEO App and make way for Iceland, you won’t be disappointed.

We feature the very best photo locations from around the world on our blog. Find these locations and 15,000 more in the PIXEO App for iOS. 

To discover more great photography destinations, check out these other short travel guides:

Europe’s Most Underrated Photography Destination

Toronto Photo Locations Guide – 10 Best Photo Spots in the 416

Latest Locations Added to the PIXEO App