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08.08.2013
One of my favorites in Iceland is a triple waterfall near Mt. Kirkjufell © 2013 Roman Kurywczak

One of my favorites in Iceland is a triple waterfall near Mt. Kirkjufell © 2013 Roman Kurywczak

Iceland has long been on my list of photography destinations so I was very excited to finally get a chance to explore the country as well as try out the Sigma 12-24mm.  The landscapes were just breathtaking and I got an opportunity to photograph the many waterfalls of the country. The lens quickly proved itself as I was able to compose and recompose quickly given that I was often very close to the falls!  One of my favorites is a triple waterfall near Mt. Kirkjufell (shown above).  While I normally use split neutral density filters to balance a scene, I decided instead to blend two exposures (one for the sky and one for the foreground) because of the mountain protruding on the right hand side.  A split ND filter would have unnaturally darkened Mt. Kirkjufell so an exposure blend was the best option in this case.

Pjofafoss, Iceland  in a very remote area off a gravel road © 2013 Roman Kurywczak | For the foreground: Sigma 12-24mm | Focal Length: 12 mm | ISO: 100 | Aperture:  f/22 | Shutter speed: 1/3 sec. For the sky: Sigma 12-24mm | Focal Length: 12mm | ISO: 100 | Aperture: f/22 | Shutter speed: 1/5 sec.

© 2013 Roman Kurywczak | For the foreground: Sigma 12-24mm | Focal Length: 12 mm | ISO: 100 | Aperture: f/22 | Shutter speed: 1/3 sec. For the sky: Sigma 12-24mm | Focal Length: 12mm | ISO: 100 | Aperture: f/22 | Shutter speed: 1/5 sec.

It was fun being able to explore some of the remote areas of the country.  The secondary roads in Iceland are quite good but I do recommend you get a small SUV as the extra ground clearance proves useful when navigating some of the potholes. The image above of Pjofafoss was in a very remote area off a gravel road and was also a two exposure blend.  The edge of the cliffs was quite intimidating and I used the Sigma 12-24mm at 12 mm to give you a sense of the cliff edge.  I found no vignetting when shooting this wide!

© 2013 Roman Kurywczak | Lens: Sigma 120-300mm F2.8 | Focal Length: 300mm | ISO: 640 | Aperture: f/4 | Shutter speed: 1/400 sec

© 2013 Roman Kurywczak | Lens: Sigma 120-300mm F2.8 | Focal Length: 300mm | ISO: 640 | Aperture: f/4 | Shutter speed: 1/400 sec

No image to Iceland would be complete without photographing the puffin!  They are remarkably close in many locations.  We had pretty overcast conditions when we visited one of the colonies so I used the Sigma 120-300mm which is incredibly sharp and works extremely well in low light situations!

© 2013 Roman Kurywczak | Lens: Sigma 150-500mm | Focal Length: 500mm | ISO: 800 | Aperture: f/9 | Shutter speed: 1/250 sec

© 2013 Roman Kurywczak | Lens: Sigma 150-500mm | Focal Length: 500mm | ISO: 800 | Aperture: f/9 | Shutter speed: 1/250 sec

Another Icelandic celebrity is the Icelandic horse!  I just love their long manes and while they were very plentiful on the island, I used the Sigma 150-500mm to isolate individuals in the herd and also allow me to zoom in tight for portrait work.

© 2013 Roman Kurywczak | Lens: Sigma 12-24mm | Focal Length: 24mm | ISO: 800 | Aperture: f/22 | Shutter speed: 1/80 sec

© 2013 Roman Kurywczak | Lens: Sigma 12-24mm | Focal Length: 24mm | ISO: 800 | Aperture: f/22 | Shutter speed: 1/80 sec

At every turn I encountered a scene that would just intrigue me!  Old barns like the one pictured above just dotted the landscape.  The Sigma 12-24mm allowed me to get close to my subjects and capture the beauty of this magical place.

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