Photography

Capturing Iceland’s raw majesty

Three years ago, I traveled to Iceland for the first time, and the island country hooked me. The raw natural power on display was captivating, and I felt as if I couldn’t take enough photographs of its majestic scenery. I couldn’t wait to return.

Gullfoss, a waterfall in the Hvita River canyon, is located in Iceland’s Golden Circle area, which also includes Geysir and Thingvellir.

When I made it back this summer, I spent time photographing locations and places that I had been to before. Although the country is ever-changing, the familiarity allowed me to take a deeper look at human interaction with the landscape.

The tents at Camp Boutique, a glampground on farmland outside Reykjavik.

Summertime’s sunlit days and warmer weather herald the high season for tourism. Iconic locations in the capital, Reykjavik, and along the Golden Circle are besieged by tour buses and rental cars full of tourists. The Golden Circle is the route to three popular attractions: Thingvellir National Park, the Geysir geothermal area and Gullfoss waterfall. Farther along the famous Route 1, also known as the Ring Road, the throngs dwindle even at popular locations, especially later in the evening and in the smaller villages along the coast.

During this second visit, I saw Iceland through a different lens, but was again enraptured by the power and grandeur on display across the country.

Hikers make their way up Breidamerkurjokull, an outlet glacier that emerges from Vatnajokull, on a glacier hike with Glacier Adventure.

Lamb stew at the Saxa Guesthouse & Cafe in Stodvarfjordur.

The parking lot at Skogafoss, a waterfall on the Skoga River, is filled with vehicles in mid-July.

Einar Logi Gudmundsson bakes a pizza at BakaBaka, a bakery and restaurant in Reykjavik.

The Laufas Turf House Museum and Heritage Site maintains the turf manor farmhouse, as well as a 19th-century church.

Cardamom rolls on the windowsill at BakaBaka in Reykjavik.

Visitors take a close look at Dettifoss, a waterfall in Vatnajokull National Park in northeast Iceland.

Bjarni Gull Jonsson, a guide for Iceguide, leads a kayaking tour of Jokulsarlon, a glacial lagoon on Iceland’s south coast.

A glass of beer in the RVK Brewing Company tap room in Reykjavik. The brewery offers a variety of options, including standard lagers and more-unorthodox offerings.

Stephan Mantler, an independent guide assisting on a Glacier Adventure tour, instructs an ice climber on a glacier hike on Breidamerkurjokull, on Iceland’s south coast.

Seljalandsfoss, a waterfall located near Route 1 on the south coast, is seen through a tour bus window.

Visitors to Seljalandsfoss walk behind the waterfall, which is formed by meltwater from the glacier Eyjafjallajokull that flows down the Seljalandsa River.

Fog obscures a portion of Stodvarfjordur, a village in eastern Iceland that is located on a fjord of the same name.

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Credits

Cobb is a photographer based in South Bend, Ind. His website is evan-cobb.com. Find him on Twitter (@evancobbphoto) and Instagram (@evan__cobb).