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Dawn at Vik, Iceland

Posted by
Ian Bramham (Manchester, United Kingdom) on 29 October 2012 in Landscape & Rural and Portfolio.

In this long-exposure photo the black basalt cliffs and beach at Vik in Iceland contrast nicely with the white surf of the big atlantic waves.

This was photographed at dawn from a point further along the headland from Vik at a point where the small river that you can see at the bottom of the photo flows into the Atlantic Ocean.

The biggest issue with this photo was trying to hold the tripod down in one place during the 2 minutes that the camera took to take the image - I was photographing this from the top of a steep cliff and the winds must have been at least 30mph.

NIKON D800 607/5 seconds F/16.0 ISO 100 35 mm (35mm equiv.)

Like what you see here and are interested in photographic composition?.....the blog section of my website now has a complete set of 5 articles covering my personal approach to the subject: Ian Bramham Photography - Blog

For purchasing high quality archival prints of any of these photos you can send me an email by clicking here or by going to my website Ian Bramham - Fine Art Photography where prices are listed in the gallery sections under each individual photo.

Jerry from Aberdeen, United States

Really excellent how this turned out, the light is really magical. Great symmetry along the shoreline, no detail in the dark areas, but it works out beautifully in this high contrast picture. Another gem !

29 Oct 2012 5:10am

@Jerry: Thanks Jerry!

Andrew Atkinson from Hartlepool, United Kingdom

Ian, Great shot. When I first viewed this on your flickr site I thought the simplicity was magical. The lines lead you into the shot with a very peaceful feel to it. Every shot I see of Iceland makes me want to visit.

29 Oct 2012 6:57am

@Andrew Atkinson: Hi Andrew - when I first set up the tripod on the clifftop looking down on that view it was this slightly wider composition with the big rock in the foreground that caught my eye - here: (have a look for the seagull that stayed still on top of the rock for 2 minutes!)
After a while I realised that if I cropped in tighter to exclude that rock I could make the composition simpler and stronger. I'm sure you're the same but the reason I love long-exposure photography is that it gives you time to think carefully about the scene in front of you.

Soheil from Tehran, Iran

such a nice shot
i like it
have a good day

29 Oct 2012 6:57am

@Soheil: Thanks Soleil!

Richard from Ellemford, United Kingdom

Beautiful shapes, Ian, a gorgeous photo

29 Oct 2012 7:05am

@Richard: Thanks Richard!

Veronique from France, Switzerland

Brilliant picture !

29 Oct 2012 7:34am

@Veronique: Thanks Veronique!

Aubélia from Kortrijk, Belgium

It's gorgeous! Have a nice day.

29 Oct 2012 8:20am

@Aubélia: Thanks Aubélia!

Hans ter Horst from Ruislip, United Kingdom

Amazing! Did you get up to the lighthouse at Dyrhólaey, close to where you took this shot?

29 Oct 2012 8:39am

@Hans ter Horst: Hi Hans! - No we didn't get to see the lighthouse unfortunately.

d.apskos from Orléans, France

Très joli travail de composition, de lumière, de contraste et de présentation finale.

29 Oct 2012 9:54am

Ian Smith from London, United Kingdom

I love the black beach - so unique. Wonderful frame!

29 Oct 2012 10:06am

Adrian from Wakefield, United Kingdom

beautiful, words fale me. stunning photography

29 Oct 2012 12:29pm

digitalCG from Manchester, United Kingdom

Love the contrast between land and sea and that sweeping 'S' curve. Simple yet striking.

29 Oct 2012 1:05pm

Denise from granby, québec, Canada

5*!!!!! I admire your work a lot! I'm just a beginner at long exposure shots and you're right when you say "that it gives you the time to think carefully about your scene".
What filter did you use?

29 Oct 2012 1:40pm

@Denise: Hi Denise, for this photo I used a Lee 'Bigstopper' which gives 10 stops of light reduction. Without the filter the exposure time was about 1/30th second at f8. The other nd filter that I use a lot is a 6 stop made by "B W". Sometimes I stack the two filters together to get 16 stops.

Curly from South Shields, United Kingdom

It's the shape of the composition that sells this one Ian, as you say, plenty of time to think about it.

29 Oct 2012 2:32pm

hugo poon from hong kong, Hong Kong

Another masterful interplay of light, forms and textures... and the result is just magical! Definitely moving the viewer to feel and dream! Bravo Ian!

29 Oct 2012 3:13pm

Ellebasi from HOFSTADE, Belgium


29 Oct 2012 3:32pm

JacklineG from Béarn, France

Je suis totalement Fan de ton travail ! La compo, les contrastes, la lumière, tout est merveilleusement étudié ! Bravo !

29 Oct 2012 4:28pm

Ainsley from Derbyshire, United Kingdom

This is wonderful, i would love to take something this good.

29 Oct 2012 6:03pm

Eric C. from Ivry sur Seine, France

Great b&w Ian !

29 Oct 2012 9:04pm

mehdi ab from tehran, Iran

Wonderful shot

29 Oct 2012 9:44pm

Stefan from Thiersee, Austria


29 Oct 2012 10:31pm

john4jack from Corvallis, Oregon, United States


30 Oct 2012 12:40am

DarkElf from Perth, Australia

stunning composition with the sweeping curves to lead the eyes through and excellent transition of tones along the way!

30 Oct 2012 2:01am

Wolfgang from Germany

Wonderful shapes and contrasts. Like it!

30 Oct 2012 8:40am

VisuElle Photography from Entre Bretagne et montagnes, France

Splendid long exposure and composition. Superb !

30 Oct 2012 6:04pm

Moein from Bandar-e-Anzali, Iran


30 Oct 2012 10:04pm

Kevin from Caen, France

Www,great composition and great long exposure shot ! Very beautiful tones !

31 Oct 2012 10:59pm

k@ from Paris, France

Pure delight, such a smooth S-shaped invitation for the eye to dive in...

1 Nov 2012 10:08am

Eric C. from Ivry sur Seine, France

Superb !

3 Nov 2012 5:43pm

omid from mashhad, Iran

very nice & amazing!
so beautiful lights!

6 Nov 2012 4:14pm

Ryan Hammond from Tucson, United States


9 Nov 2012 1:34am

Jeff from Honolulu, United States

I am running out of superlatives. . .

5 Dec 2012 4:33pm

Dimitrios from ATHENS, Greece


7 Dec 2012 12:44pm

L'angevine from Angers, France

bravo pour ce rendu

29 Jul 2013 7:37am

Judy aka L@dybug from Brooksville, FL, United States

Amazing for the 'Ray of Light' collection!

6 Aug 2013 12:01am

Helodie from AVRANCHES, France

Wonderful selection of photo resonance, a masterpiece !

9 Jun 2014 10:10am

607/5 seconds
ISO 100
35 mm (35mm equiv.)