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Hallgrímskirkja, Iceland

Posted by
Ian Bramham (Manchester, United Kingdom) on 19 November 2012 in Architecture and Portfolio.

A 3 minute long-exposure photo taken at dusk of Hallgrímskirkja which is the main church in Reykjavik and the tallest building in Iceland.

It's a Lutheran church that was designed in 1937 by local architect Guðjón Samúelsson but construction wasn't completed until about 40 years later.

The statue in front of the church was a gift from the USA in 1930 and is of the Icelandic explorer Leif Eriksson - the man now believed to have been the first European to arrive in North America around 500 years before Columbus and for introducing Christianity to Iceland.

For those of you who may be interested in architecture here's a link to another famous church that was designed by Samúelsson, this time in Copenhagen. You can see that he had a very distinctive architectural style:

NIKON D800 911/5 second F/8.0 ISO 100 16 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

I checked out your link and can't believe there is so much church behind what you are showing in your picture. It is amazing it isn't visible, it appears you had a perfect straight on angle.

This is another wonderful photo and an interesting narrative. The sky is dramatic in this image.

19 Nov 2012 5:42am

@Jerry: Thanks Jerry - by the way, the link is to a different church by the same architect; one that is in Copenhagen rather than in Reykjavik.

JacklineG from Béarn, France

L'architecture est originale et magnifique ! la pose longue et le traitement donnent un très bel effet au ciel ! Bonne journée

19 Nov 2012 5:42am

@JacklineG: Thanks Jackline!

Hoshisato from Dippach, Luxembourg

Astonishing! I have been here myself and you brought the right lens, there was surprisingly little space in front of the church to get this shot.

19 Nov 2012 7:54am

@Hoshisato: Thanks Hans!....the 16mm focal length was the key but my tripod was as far back as I could get it without actually being in the road with the traffic.

Gérard Beullac from Paris, France

Wow, Ian ! ;-)
The long exposure underlines with efficiency the symbolic strength of the architecture.

19 Nov 2012 8:02am

@Gérard Beullac: Thanks Gérard!

Richard from Ellemford, United Kingdom

Cracking image, Ian. You're the second person on here with an Iceland series this year and it makes it seem a place worth visiting. This reminds me of a church I visited in Tulsa that was similar, architecturally.

19 Nov 2012 8:03am

@Richard: Thanks Richard!....yes Iceland is a truly wonderful destination for anyone interested in landscape photography and it wasn't expensive at all.

Stefan from Thiersee, Austria

Well done..i like it!

19 Nov 2012 8:25am

@Stefan: Thanks Stefan!

Ann from Nelson, New Zealand

a beautiful image

19 Nov 2012 8:59am

@Ann: Thanks Ann!

Babzy from Besançon, France

you embellish it :)

19 Nov 2012 9:28am

Curly from South Shields, United Kingdom

Absolute stunner Ian, also a great subject for the square format.

19 Nov 2012 9:41am

Veronique from France-and-, Switzerland

As well as the picture quality the church is breathtaking !

19 Nov 2012 9:53am

Ian Smith from London, United Kingdom

Amazing architecture! Powerful design. Excellent capture!

19 Nov 2012 9:57am

Denise from granby, québec, Canada

Wonderful image of this amazing architecture. The treatment makes a kind of radiance to this magnificent building.

19 Nov 2012 2:49pm

Eric C. from Ivry sur Seine, France

Great shot !

19 Nov 2012 5:33pm

mehdi ab from Tehran, Iran


19 Nov 2012 7:18pm

tom from Germany

Absolutely amazing. The sky is fantastic.

19 Nov 2012 8:49pm

Lluís from Canet de Mar, Spain

amazing picture

19 Nov 2012 10:21pm

Moein from Bandar-e-Anzali, Iran


20 Nov 2012 1:28am

Ryan Hammond from Tucson, United States

Stunning shot, Ian!

20 Nov 2012 2:01am

DarkElf from Perth, Australia

it looks almost like a rocket waiting for a lift-off... amazing composition and light!

20 Nov 2012 3:41am

VisuElle Photography from Entre montagnes et Bretagne, France

Another wonderful photo and interesting narrative. Really amazing architecture and processing too.

20 Nov 2012 10:14am

omid from mashhad, Iran

very nice & wonderful!
so beautiful lights!

20 Nov 2012 12:31pm

Kevin from Caen, France

Wow, amazing long exposure shot ! GREAT SHOT my friend !

20 Nov 2012 10:41pm

Jerry from Aberdeen, United States

Thanks for the clarification Ian, fooled me, they really are similar.

21 Nov 2012 8:01am

Ted from South Wales, United Kingdom

I was saying to Franz, that we got offered a cheap ski flight to the U.S that included an Iclandic stop off complete with excursion to the Blue Pool to/from airport...but I wasn't convinced and couldn't see lugging and skis around would be very practical. However, as a sucker for different architecture and this series...I am now convinced!):-

21 Nov 2012 8:47pm

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Isa from Vaucluse, France

Magnifique photo !

22 Nov 2012 6:53pm

Tataze from Bourgogne, France

Fantastic picture

26 Nov 2012 7:25pm

Dimitrios from ATHENS, Greece

well done BW suits this nicely

7 Dec 2012 12:42pm

911/5 second
ISO 100
16 mm (35mm equiv.)