Iceland Photography: The Land Of Fire & Ice

Iceland Photography

Amazing Photography from Iceland

Iceland Photography

Iceland is the most beautiful country I’ve ever visited. This mysterious land covered by icy glaciers & fiery volcanoes provides many opportunities for stunning photography.

In October/November 2014 I spent 3 surreal weeks on an Iceland photography mission, exploring the country for the first time with my Sony A7 camera. The results are beyond my wildest expectations.

Iceland impressed me so much that I didn’t want to leave!

How many locations on the planet can you crawl into bright blue glacial ice caves, fly over an erupting volcano bubbling with lava, AND stay up all night transfixed by magical Northern Lights?

My experience in Iceland was overwhelming and almost spiritual — reminding me why I started traveling in the first place.

For such a small nation, Iceland is absolutely packed with beauty and diversity. Vast, dramatic landscapes stretch out for miles, sprinkled with a handful of old farmhouses and fishing villages.

It’s seriously a travel photographer’s paradise.

My favorite part of the trip was driving Iceland’s Ring Road.

Below you’ll find travel photography from my adventures in Iceland, along with a short video I produced for LifeProof Cases.

I hope my Iceland photography inspires you to visit this wonderful country!

Iceland Photography

Rainbow Over the City of Reykjavík

City Of Reykjavík

Most of Iceland’s population is concentrated around the capital city of Reykjavík. I was surprised at how big and modern the city is, fascinated by the vibrant art & music scenes too. Alcohol is expensive in Iceland, but nightlife in Reykjavík still gets pretty wild. After tourism, fishing is Iceland’s biggest industry, and the city has a large seaport. This photo was taken from the top of Hallgrímskirkja, Reykjavík’s famous Icelandic church.

Iceland Photography

Kiersten Enjoying the Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon

This man-made geothermal pool in South West Iceland is the country’s most popular tourist attraction. Kiersten from The Blonde Abroad traveled with me through Iceland, and one day we decided to spend an afternoon soaking in the Blue Lagoon’s milky blue water full of silica, algae, & minerals. The warm water & white mud is supposed to be good for your skin. It’s also a great place for photography.

Iceland Photography

Ancient Green Volcanic Moss

Green Volcanic Moss

In many areas of Iceland you’ll find large ancient lava fields of black rock covered with a thick green carpet of moss. This special volcanic moss takes hundreds of years to grow, and experts can determine how old a lava flow is by how thick the moss is. Icelandic legends say that trolls & elves live under the moss. Sounds reasonable to me! Walking through this crazy landscape feels like walking through a Dr. Seuss book.

Iceland Photography

Seltún Geothermal Pools

Geothermal Energy

Ice Cave Photography

Ice Caves Under Vatnajökull Glacier

Crystal Ice Caves

Wow. That’s all I can say about Iceland’s stunning blue ice caves. If you’re traveling to Iceland for photography, you can’t miss these. Melt water flows under Vatnajökull glacier creating these insane natural caves, with sunlight filtering through the ice from above giving them a blue tint. The crystal caves collapse or move every season, and can be difficult to reach, so you need an experienced guide. They are only safe to visit in the winter.

Iceland Photography

Holuhraun Volcanic Eruption from the Air

Holuhraun Volcanic Eruption

On August 29th, 2014 a volcanic eruption broke through the surface at Holuhraun lava field in the Northern Highlands of Iceland. It’s been spewing rivers of hot lava ever since with no signs of stopping. Driving to the eruption site is currently not allowed for safety reasons (possible flash floods & toxic gas), however you can fly over it. Helicopter flights are expensive, but if you fly in a small plane like I did, it’s pretty reasonable.

Iceland Photography

Strokkur Geyser Iceland

Driving The Golden Circle

Did you know that the general term geyser is named after a particular geothermal fountain in Iceland? Strokkur Geyser erupts every 5-10 minutes near the Hvítá River, one of many stops on our day-long road trip around the Golden Circle. We rented a cheap car and drove the Golden Circle under blue skies, rain, and a snowstorm! Iceland’s weather changes quickly.

Iceland Photography

Skógafoss Waterfall & Rainbow

Waterfalls In Iceland

Iceland Photography

Underground Volcanic Lava Tubes

Exploring Lava Tubes

Iceland is covered in volcanoes, both old and new. Many of them have underground lava tubes, formed when molten lava flows down channels and cools at the edges, eventually creating a tube of solid volcanic rock. When a section of the tube eventually caves in, it creates an entrance to this underworld. Hiking through dark lava tubes is a lot like caving, with slightly different formations and colors.

Plane Crash Iceland

Turf Houses Made for Elves

Do You Believe In Elves?

Iceland Photography

Hardy Icelandic Horse

Icelandic Horse

The small but sturdy horses in Iceland may look like ponies, but don’t call them that in front of a local! Iceland’s horses have a long and proud history dating back to the 9th century. Breeding & natural selection have made them super tough, able to withstand long & brutal winters completely outside with the help of thick fur. You’ll find the horses on many farms throughout Iceland — they are very friendly too!

Iceland Mountain Cabin

Small Mountain Hut in the Snow

Emergency Mountain Huts

Iceland Glacier Photos

Svínafellsjökull Glacial Ice Flow

Incredible Glaciers

Iceland Photography

Abandoned Car in South East Iceland

Remote East Iceland

Iceland Photography

Sunrise at Jökulsárlón Lagoon

Jökulsárlón Iceberg Lagoon

At the bottom of the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier sits a large lake, created by melting ice from above. It’s full of blue-tinted icebergs that have broken off the base of the glacier. Some of the ice collects on black sand shores the lake, other pieces float out to sea through a channel nearby. Located on Iceland’s south coast, Jökulsárlón is a wonderful spot for photography.

Iceland Photography

Colorful Farm Graffiti

Icelandic Art

Iceland Photography

Diving the Silfra Fissure

Silfra Fissure

The North American and Eurasian tectonic plates are breaking Iceland apart at Silfra, creating a fissure flooded with crystal clear 35°F degree glacial water. Ice from nearby Lángjökull Glacier melts and travels into an ancient lava field, filtering underground through porous volcanic rock over 50 years before it emerges where you can go snorkeling or scuba diving in it for a very unique (but cold) experience.

Iceland Photography

Old Icelandic Church

Icelandic Architecture

Plane Crash Iceland

Sólheimasandur Plane Crash & Northern Lights

Northern Lights

Photographing the northern lights was the highlight of my photography adventure in Iceland. I lucked out with 3 solid nights of clear skies and strong aurora activity while driving around the Ring Road. Including one particularly spectacular evening on Sólheimasandur Beach next to an old US Navy plane that crashed years ago.

Traveling In Iceland

Planning a trip to Iceland soon? Read all my posts about Iceland here. ★

Watch Video: Amazing Adventures In Iceland

(Click to watch Amazing Adventures In Iceland on YouTube)

More Information

Location: Iceland
Accommodation: Click Here For Deals in Iceland
Useful Notes: I was traveling through Iceland during the fall months of October and November. There’s a risk of occasional snow storms then, but generally the main roads are pretty clear. Most people visit Iceland during warmer high season months of June – August.
Recommended Guidebook: Lonely Planet Iceland
Suggested Reading: The Little Book Of Hidden People

READ NEXT: Driving Iceland’s Golden Circle

Do you want to travel to Iceland for photography?

LifeProof

THANKS FOR READING

Hi, I'm Matthew Karsten — I’ve been traveling around the world for over 5 years. Adventure travel & photography are my passions. Let me inspire you to travel more with crazy stories, photography, and useful tips from my travel adventures. Join thousands who receive exclusive email updates and click the green button below...

Comments & Questions

151 Comments

  1. Nasir
    July 25, 2016

    Hello Matthew.
    Wow wow amazing awesome images, you did a fantastic job bro. I mean like me who never thought to visit now change the perception totally, great :). Really worth visit.

    Reply
  2. gokhan
    July 5, 2016

    oh my oh my! this makes me really go and live in Iceland forever and ever! :)

    Reply
  3. Sumit Vasudeva
    July 1, 2016

    Amazing pictures. Northern lights look unreal and amazingly beautiful. i have been wanting to go to iceland to see northern lights but couldnt go. Why dont you come to India. And write a blog with some amazing pictures someday? would really love to see that.

    Reply
  4. Salt in our Hair
    June 29, 2016

    Man!! This place was high on our bucket list but after seeing these photos we really want to go now. Love Iceland already..

    Reply
  5. Fanny
    June 17, 2016

    My god, you are an amazing photographer! I can imagine that Iceland is beautiful but to capture it like this is truly amazing. I should go there as well;)

    Reply
  6. dhiren
    June 17, 2016

    Incredible photos, Iceland is really beautiful.

    Reply
  7. Juky
    June 16, 2016

    Outstanding pictures, this is wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  8. ceri
    June 8, 2016

    amazing pictures! Iceland is top of the bucket list for sure after this post!

    Reply
  9. Samantha
    May 25, 2016

    Definitely adding Iceland to my vision board! Thanks for sharing the awesome photos.

    Reply
  10. Youmi Hapsari
    May 8, 2016

    I have never been to Iceland, but seeing pictures of you is like not from planet Earth. One day I’ll be there. Wish me luck ;)

    Reply
  11. Paloma
    May 6, 2016

    Hello Matthew,

    I just wanted to tell you that I loved this post and your whole blog! I was just in Iceland last summer and what can I say… It was the best trip ever!

    Just like you, I love traveling and writing about it. I recently created a blog and I would love to have your opinion. I’d really appreciate you advice if it’s not too much trouble!

    Thanks and keep traveling!

    Reply
  12. Brian
    April 25, 2016

    Those ice caves look amazing! I have always wanted to visit Iceland..

    Reply
  13. Chris
    April 10, 2016

    Great article! Top photos!

    Reply
  14. Julia Freitas
    April 10, 2016

    Wow… It is really beautiful!! I’ve never been to a place with so much ice like this. But I’ve been to Atacama desert, in Chile, and visited the geysers…. and it was so cold, that I was almost unable to take pictures, because the canon battery just froze.

    Reply
  15. Jagabond
    April 4, 2016

    Great pictures! I loved Iceland, it’s a photographer’s dream!

    Reply
  16. Mahee Ferlini
    March 31, 2016

    I’ve seen lots of photographs of Iceland and it looks like an amazing country full of color and astounding natural beauty.

    Reply
    • Shannon
      April 10, 2016

      Did you get to explore the plane wreck? I love the photo (all the photos actually) with the northern lights above it, but would really like to know more about plane!

      Reply
  17. Steve @ What Way Today
    March 30, 2016

    Brilliant photos, we also went in Oct/Nov but it was much colder with snow so its great to see the Golden Circle and the waterfalls in a different light.

    Reply
  18. Ashley
    March 30, 2016

    Iceland has got to be the most disgustingly beautiful place on earth. I love the tiny turf houses! Your photos are amazing and the best I’ve seen of Iceland. Keep up the great work!

    Reply
  19. Nguyen
    March 30, 2016

    Amazing pics Matthew Karsten, thanks for your share.
    Awsome country which is like a paradise on Earth, hopefully oneday i can come there

    Reply
    • Matthew Karsten
      May 21, 2016

      Glad you enjoyed my photos from Iceland! I can’t wait to get back one day.

      Reply
  20. Mister Brazil
    March 24, 2016

    Awesome, this country is in my bucked list also. I can t wait to get awesome pictures, learn more about their culture, food, habits and visit amazing spots. Thanks a lot for the post/tips!

    Reply
  21. Neil
    March 19, 2016

    Cool! This place has been on my list since I saw the Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Airfare is super cheap now too!

    Reply
  22. george
    March 17, 2016

    Each country has its own heritage and culture. It is amazing to know how different it is from others. Iceland stands tall because of its unique diversity.

    Reply
  23. dạy cách nấu ăn
    March 10, 2016

    Wow! Great pics One of my goals for the next year is to see the Northern Lights

    Reply
  24. Farhan
    February 27, 2016

    Great post – loved the pics. I will be honest – main motivation for me is to see and photograph northern lights. Phenomena looks totally out of this world.

    I am planning a trip in the later part of 2016 (July / Sep). Hope to catch a lot of pics. Hoping English is widely understood!!!

    Reply
    • Matthew Karsten
      May 21, 2016

      Awesome Farhan! Good luck with seeing the northern lights! They were incredible. It’s very dependent on weather and luck with solar activity.

      Reply
  25. Pepper Dasnee
    February 11, 2016

    These photos are amazing!!

    Reply
  26. Stefan
    February 3, 2016

    Matt,

    The photos you’ve taken of Iceland on this post are truly incredible! My girlfriend has been trying to convince me to visit Iceland but for some reason I never thought it was really worth exploring. Even on Google Images, the photos are ok..but WOW your photos really blew me away.

    Iceland is now definitely high up on my list of the places I want to travel to next. Mountains…Glaciers…the Northern Lights…Iceland has it all!

    I can’t wait to visit and you’ve definitely inspired me, Matt!

    Reply
  27. Tetiana
    January 29, 2016

    Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’ve never seen such stunning and breathtaking pictures. they definitely inspired me to go to Iceland and to see everything live. I think you a very talented photographer and writer!

    Reply
  28. Grace
    January 29, 2016

    I keep coming back to these photos and your Iceland itinerary! I can’t wait to drive the ring road this year. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Reply
    • Matthew Karsten
      January 29, 2016

      I can relate to your excitement Grace! Crossing my fingers that you’ll have good weather. It’s even better in person.

      Reply
  29. Serendipity Tess
    January 22, 2016

    INCREDIBLE photographs! Ohhhh I hope I can make it to Iceland soon. This place looks out of this world…

    Reply
  30. Aadarsh Dash
    January 21, 2016

    Flabbergasted! I have no words to describe the beauty of Iceland! What an amazing place on earth. Showing life in Iceland tempts me to visit and experience it. Also, I can fulfill my passion of photography by capturing the beautiful landscapes.

    Reply
  31. Claire Algarme
    January 10, 2016

    Iceland is so gorgeous! I want to be in every photo you’ve posted here (except being on the way of the lava flow). I hope to visit this country in my lifetime.

    Reply
  32. Robin
    December 29, 2015

    Amazing, these photos are very unique and your photography is awesome. Your photography skills have enhanced my view of Iceland.

    Reply
  33. Bee
    December 21, 2015

    WOW! The photos of Iceland are absolutely breath-taking! This place is moving further up my ‘to go to’ list – thanks for the inspiration and information :)

    Reply
  34. Michelle Diehl
    December 13, 2015

    I am drooling over the pictures and SO booking a trip to Iceland!

    Reply
  35. Bruno B @ Geeky Explorer
    November 27, 2015

    Wow.

    These are stunning photos that only put Iceland even higher on my bucket list.
    My only concern are the costs. Do you have any tips for budget travelling in Iceland?

    Thanks
    Bruno

    Reply
  36. Jamie
    November 27, 2015

    Do you think it’s possible to drive from Reykjavik to julksarlon and see Vik all in one day and back to Reykjavik?

    Reply
  37. Ellen Templar
    November 18, 2015

    Wow! Loving this blog! Such diverse countryside. Some bring to mind Lassen National Park in California and Yellowstone. Loved the elf houses, too.
    I have a friend who has been to Iceland and I will definitely be sending this to him. He is always posting photos of Iceland on his FB page.
    The video is fantastic! I need to do some videos for my blog promoting travel to Oregon, especially the beautiful Oregon Coast. Your video has given me some ideas. Thanks for this one!

    Reply
  38. September
    November 10, 2015

    Amazing! Thank you for sharing, I am for sure making this a place to go!

    Reply
  39. Rad
    October 28, 2015

    Gorgeous photos. Mine didn’t turn out as spectacular. Love the post!

    Reply
  40. Pauline
    October 21, 2015

    Wow!! Stunning photos, Matthew!! I have to go to Iceland. How do you think the driving will be for a Norwegian Girl? I think that is the best way to see the Iceland with a rental car or what will be option B?

    Reply
  41. Jennifer
    October 18, 2015

    WOW, your pictures are incredible! Every time I scrolled down to a new one I was blown away again and again. The colors, the quality, the everything. Great work!

    Reply
  42. Fabíola
    October 18, 2015

    Great pictures Matthew… I love this blog.

    Reply
  43. Alessandra Braun
    October 15, 2015

    Beautiful pictures! So inspired. We went to Iceland in May and of course I got some great photos, but we’re going back in 1 week, end of October-November for 2 weeks, looks like the same time you went and I can’t wait to get a different look at the country (and maybe do a little more exploring like checking out the ice caves! I think that’s a MUST). Especially now that we’ve been already once, I want to take this a bit slower! Hope I get my pictures to come out as great as yours!

    Reply
  44. Aaron Jade
    October 14, 2015

    Wow amazing photos Matthew. How cold was that water when you jumped in, pretty refreshing I bet!

    Reply
  45. Sanna | Owegoo
    October 6, 2015

    wow those are some really nice pictures. seeing the northern lights are definitely an experience up in the top of my bucket list.

    Reply
  46. Swati & Sam
    October 4, 2015

    Iceland has been on our wish list for such a long time now. Your pictures are so stunning and inviting. I wish we can make it to Iceland someday soon.

    Reply
  47. Dan
    September 24, 2015

    The quality of these pictures is incredible. I literally feel like jumping on a flight right now! Another year to go though and this is really helpful for planning. Those ice caves look beyond breathtaking. Again, thank you for sharing such breathtaking shots!

    Reply
    • Matthew Karsten
      September 25, 2015

      Hey Dan! The ice caves were definitely a highlight for me. With good weather, Iceland is one of the best places I’ve ever visited for landscape photography. It’s getting cheaper to visit to with flights from WOW Airlines.

      Reply
  48. Anoop Bharadwaj
    September 15, 2015

    Hey Matthew,
    I accidently stumbled upon your blog when my colleague sent me a link to websites about cold areas of the world. I was mesmerized by the pictures and the beauty of Iceland and long to go there now. I was planning a vacation and now I know where I will be heading.

    Reply
    • Matthew Karsten
      September 25, 2015

      Awesome Anoop, this is why I love running an adventure travel blog. To inspire people like you to travel more, and to areas of the world they maybe wouldn’t have thought about. Beaches are nice if you’re looking to relax in the sun, but colder destinations like Iceland have a lot to offer too!

      Reply
  49. Tara
    September 10, 2015

    Surreal pictures! I can’t wait to explore this country myself! Beautiful!

    Reply
  50. Helen
    September 6, 2015

    As usual, fantastic photography. Curious: did you process any of them as HDR? If not, I’m impressed. If you did, I’d still be impressed by how you kept them so natural.

    Reply
    • Matthew Karsten
      September 25, 2015

      Hi Helen, yes I used HDR for these, but as you noticed, just a hint of it. I’m not a big fan of over processing the images.
      Glad you like them!

      Reply
  51. Cathy RoarLoud
    September 4, 2015

    Iceland was all ready in my top 5, this post only makes it higher on the list! Can you head to the Azore Islands so that can stay my #1:)

    Reply
  52. rebecca royy
    September 3, 2015

    Awesome photos!! I was inspired to visit Iceland by the goofy Ben Stiller movie ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’. Movie not so great — scenery spectacular! Your pics helped reinforce Iceland as a destination!

    Reply
    • Matthew Karsten
      September 25, 2015

      The scenery in that movie was spectacular. However I have to admit I enjoyed the actual film too. LOL.

      Reply
  53. Rekha Rajan
    August 29, 2015

    Wow…this is perhaps the best ice and photography I have ever seen. Just Brilliant! I can only imagine how much cooler it would have been to be there in real flesh and blood to experience these sights!

    Reply
  54. Jakub
    August 26, 2015

    Awesome pictures, Iceland is on my wishlist hope I’ll get there soon. Btw. my gf really liked that swimming suit (cartographer geek :)

    Reply
    • Matthew Karsten
      September 25, 2015

      I think everyone in the Blue Lagoon was enjoying Kiersten’s swimsuit. :-)

      Reply
  55. marti
    August 23, 2015

    Matt,
    I’m headed to Iceland next week, can you please tell me where you found the turf houses for elves?

    Reply
    • Matthew Karsten
      September 25, 2015

      You can find them many places, but these particular ones were behind a guesthouse near Hofskirkja Church.

      Reply
  56. Naeem
    August 15, 2015

    I have been postponing my Iceland trip but after reading this article I can’t wait anymore…great article with amazing facts…will wait for you to disclose how you post-process the photos :)

    Reply
  57. Hillary
    August 5, 2015

    Iceland was a dream for me; seeing all the breathtaking landscapes, swimming in the Blue Lagoon, watching the Aurora Borealis dancing in the night sky…… the last time I was there, my kind host in Reykjavik gave me recommendations for the rest of my trip (I stayed in a Roomorama apartment). I rented a car with my friends and started exploring, and made so many beautiful memories!! If you haven’t been to Iceland, you definitely have to visit at least once in your lifetime. It was one of the most memorable trips in my life xx

    Reply
  58. July Gadabot
    August 1, 2015

    I fully agree that Iceland is one of the most beautiful place in the world. Your photos are very nice. I want to visit one more time to witness Northern lights as well. And for everybody who is going to visit Iceland – don’t forget about puffins, they are so smart.

    Reply
  59. Swati ( The Tales of a Traveler )
    July 31, 2015

    Stunning pictures ….

    Reply
  60. Abhi
    July 28, 2015

    Matt,
    Stunning pictures! And a very informative blog. I’m traveling to Iceland this September..want to visit almost every place you photographed :-) Can you please post locations for the cairns on the Golden Circle and those adorable turf houses for elves.

    Thank you!
    Abhi.

    Reply
    • Matthew Karsten
      September 25, 2015

      Hey Abhi, I don’t remember the exact location of the cairns, but they are on the side of the road. You can’t miss them. The little elf houses are a common thing in Iceland. These ones were near Hofskirkja Church.

      Reply
  61. dmitry
    July 27, 2015

    Hey Matt,

    As always, your posts continue to awe and inspire. Its funny to see how many other people will be travelling to Iceland in October 2015.

    I can’t wait to spend there a full month! Your advice is priceless.

    Reply
  62. Jeremy armstrong
    July 21, 2015

    Hello , awesome photos and story . I’m traveling to Iceland for photography October 25th – November 6th. What should I expect that time of year ? Is it more fall or winter ? I live in the Colorado Rockies so I’m use to both . Just wondering if I should go with 4×4 truck while there .

    Reply
    • Matthew Karsten
      July 21, 2015

      That’s the same time period all these photos were taken. Winter is just starting in Iceland. Plenty of snow up North, in the South it would snow but wouldn’t stick. There were a couple of times when I wished I had 4×4, but you can make do without if you’re staying on the Ring Road. Most rental car tires are studded anyway.

      Reply
  63. Jessica The Dining Traveler
    July 15, 2015

    Stunning photos! From what I’ve been seeing, Iceland is a photographer’s dream. I love Kirsten’s bathing suit! Where did she get it?

    Reply
  64. Ana W
    July 2, 2015

    Loved the photography. The ice caves though… wow. Iceland has been on my radar for a while now and I think i I might make it out there this November. I’m even more excited about it after this post! REALLY hoping to catch the aurora..

    Reply
  65. Christian
    June 9, 2015

    By the looks of those images, Iceland looks stunning. Interesting place indeed! Thank you for sharing your experience.

    Reply
  66. Alexandra
    June 4, 2015

    Gorgeous photos! I went to the Westfjords in Iceland back in November and I cannot recommend the place enough- definitely the most rugged and wild part of the country.

    Reply
    • Ric
      July 18, 2015

      Hi Alexandra, how was the weather in November ? We have a 2 night stip planned on 6th Nov ..any tips? Thanks

      Reply
  67. Andy Tran
    May 26, 2015

    OMG, best photos I have ever seen. Hope I can go to Iceland now.

    Reply
  68. Anita
    May 18, 2015

    Those pictures are just breathtaking! I am going to Iceland soon and I am so excited!

    Reply
  69. Marc
    April 30, 2015

    Awesome pictures! Simply stunning! I really want to travel to Iceland someday. I’m just scared of the costs once you’re there…

    Reply
  70. Craig Prothero
    April 17, 2015

    Amazing photo’s Matthew, they have a real pop to them! Looking forward to a trip to Iceland later in the year to practise some photography. Out of interest, which software do you use for your editing? And do you spend a great deal of time editing each photo, or do you have some specific ‘go to’ settings that you use for everything?

    Reply
    • Matthew Karsten
      April 17, 2015

      Thanks Craig. I use a particular method that takes about 5-10 minutes per photo with a combination of Lightroom, Photomatix, and Photoshop.

      Reply
  71. rachel
    April 13, 2015

    The photos are stunning. I can’t believe such place exists. I cannot wait to see Iceland myself. Thank you for your really helpful guides!

    Reply
  72. Maja
    April 9, 2015

    Beautiful pictures! I love Iceland, it’s such an amazing place!

    Reply
  73. Dan Blystone
    April 7, 2015

    Great article Matthew. The full width layout really does justice to the photos! I imagine that being so sparsely populated the country gives a refreshing sense of calm and openness, hope to visit someday.

    Reply
  74. Lauren
    March 20, 2015

    Matthew,

    Your pictures are gorgeous! I enjoyed seeing some of the highlights of your trip.
    I have been going back and forth as to which season to visit Iceland in – spring or fall. It is top of my bucket list right now – so I am planning for later this year. I look forward to reading about your experiences.

    Lauren

    Reply
  75. stefano giovannini
    March 20, 2015

    Hi,
    these photos convey the spectacular beauty of Iceland (I visited many years ago, in my black and white film phase).

    I am curious about the Silfra Fissure photo and snorkeling itself. The photo does not show the usual GoPro fish eye curvature. I sold my GoPro because i did not like that effect, but I have to say it was way more waterproof than m Nikon AW1 and AW110 that both leaked (unlike an old Pentax P&S that was always dry). I would love a GoPro that would shoot without the fisheye effect and raw files.

    Anyway great info and images on your blog, makes me want to travel more!

    Reply
  76. itzybellababy
    March 15, 2015

    The colors in these photos- all I can say is wow. A friend of mine just went to Iceland as a part of her bucket list, I think I am going to have to add it to mine too. So many interesting activities. She really had a blast!

    Reply
  77. Laura
    March 12, 2015

    Wow absolutely incredible photos! Iceland was high up on our hit list but think this has just secured it a top spot! Can’t wait to experience it for ourselves and hopefully get some great shots/video like these too!

    Reply
  78. Corry heinricks
    March 11, 2015

    Fantastic photos Matthew! Just wow! As an avid photographer and traveler I’m beyond excited to,be spending a few days in Iceland this July on a stopover from Norway (another amazing place you really should visit with your camera) and after seeing your Images I can’t wait to get driving the golden circle! Where did you discover those adorable little elf houses ? ( I think I’d rather come upon those than the plane :).

    Reply
  79. Kris
    February 24, 2015

    Hi there!

    Your photos are amazing! Wow I am also thinking of going to Iceland but I am not sure what time of the year is best? Summer or winter to see the “winter lights” ;) Did you find Iceland expensive? Because everywhere I read it says expensive food, hotels etc, (compering to other countries from Europe)?

    Thanks
    Kris

    Reply
  80. Uptourist
    February 1, 2015

    That crystal ice cave and lava cave is epic. I cannot believe that you took them both in one country. Iceland is truly a place that I must visit.

    Reply
  81. Jimmy Dau
    January 28, 2015

    The quality in the Sony camera is amazing. I bet you’ve got a few people buying photos of Kiersten? haha

    Would you say that October is the best time of the year to go? I’ll be in East Coast of the states in September, so working on my timing right now.

    Reply
  82. Milena Yordanova
    January 24, 2015

    Amazing photos! I love the one of the glacial ice flow. Iceland is such a beautiful country.

    Reply
  83. winny
    January 22, 2015

    u have such wonderfull photo journey! u succed to make going to iceland :)

    Reply
  84. Ozkan
    January 21, 2015

    Vavvvv. Really very beatiful post. And great photos.
    Thanks very much.

    Ozkan / Eastern Turkey

    Reply
  85. Deb
    January 15, 2015

    Incredible images Matthew! We didn’t get to that ice cave at Vatnajökull Glacier. I’m wishing we were more organized to make it happen because it looks awesome. Thanks for sharing such an amazing visual journey.

    Reply
    • Matthew Karsten
      January 15, 2015

      Thanks Deb! Yeah, the cave was particularly amazing. I almost missed it too, but another photographer insisted I visit. So worth it!

      Reply
  86. Escape Hunter
    January 8, 2015

    Enthralling place, your photos are just spectacular ;)!
    And it comes to my mind again… why do we call Iceland, “ice-land”, when it’s so green?
    We should call it “Greenland”! Thing is, there already is a Greenland, which is far from being green, it’s full of ice!
    :D

    Reply
    • Matthew Karsten
      January 8, 2015

      Actually, the rumor is they called it Iceland to keep waves of people from settling there. Doesn’t sound so appealing…

      Reply
  87. Gabriel
    December 31, 2014

    Hahaha, the little houses are awesome!!! Iceland does look incredible though, so much beauty and diversity of landscapes in one place. Incredible!!

    Reply
  88. Dean
    December 23, 2014

    Absolutely stunning photos. What a beautiful place! How long do you recommend for a trip to Iceland?

    Reply
    • Matthew Karsten
      January 3, 2015

      A week at least — but the longer the better. You won’t get bored in Iceland! Many people also stop for a 2-4 day flight layover on their way across the ocean.

      Reply
  89. Sigurdur Bjorgvinsson @theRedHeadExplorer
    December 16, 2014

    I am glad you liked my country Iceland, I just moved back to Iceland after staying abroad for few years and I can understand when you say that Iceland is a great place for nature photography. Pretty much everywhere I go there is something amazing going on: Glaciers, volcanoes or northern lights.

    Iceland truly is an amazing place, I’m glad you guys liked it.

    Reply
    • Matthew Karsten
      December 18, 2014

      It is Sigurdur! I can’t wait to return and see more. Iceland is amazing for travel photography.

      Reply
  90. Angel
    December 11, 2014

    Hey Matt,

    As insparing as always. Iceland has been added to my bucket list now (along with more places) thanks to you. Have you made any video with the Sony a7? How do you like it?

    Cheers

    Reply
  91. Valerie B
    December 8, 2014

    Visited Iceland July, 2014. Your photos revived my memories, and now I want to go back there so badly! What an amazing place, coming back to Europe was like returning from a space trip to moon surface. Amazing pictures! Thank you!

    Reply
  92. Grace @ Green Global Travel
    December 3, 2014

    Gorgeous photographs, Matthew! Iceland must be one of the most photogenic countries in the world!

    Reply
  93. melanie
    November 28, 2014

    Fantastic post Matthew! Just got back from Iceland and can’t wait to go back myself! Question for you: are you shooting with only your GoPro? The Northern Lights pics? Just got the Hero4 Black and was so disappointed by my pictures… :(

    Reply
    • Matthew Karsten
      November 29, 2014

      Thanks Melanie! Only one of these photos was shot with my GoPro, the underwater Silfra shot. Everything else was shot on my Sony A7. You can see all my travel photography gear here.

      I also post-process my images using software. They don’t come out of the camera looking exactly like this. Years of experience helps too! Good photos of the Northern Lights are particularly difficult, requiring specialized camera settings. I’ll be sharing details about those in a future article.

      Reply
  94. Paper Boat Sailor
    November 27, 2014

    Lovely round-up of this fabulous country. I’ve always wanted to go to Iceland for the Northern Lights, but always felt it might get too crowded or touristy around that time and take away from the experience of the open landscapes. Now that I see your pictures I can tell that it doesn’t happen–no matter how large the crowd it’ll always appear tiny in the face of such vast splendour!

    Reply
    • Matthew Karsten
      November 28, 2014

      There are no crowds in Iceland in the winter. Quite the opposite actually. Aside from a few of the popular waterfalls, you won’t see many people.

      Reply
  95. Havneet Pal Singh
    November 27, 2014

    Awesome Shot. Loved all the pictures. Iceland is surely on my list now.

    Reply
  96. Natacha Pierre
    November 27, 2014

    aah. I visited this beautiful country last year, in December, as a treat for completing med school. It was spectacular if not downright freezing. I stayed a week and the whole time most of Iceland was a blanket of white snow. It was magical and celebrating Christmas in the unique Iceland tradition was amazing. The magical experience of witnessing the Northern Lights was the highlight. however, I know I must go back in the summer, spring or fall to see the whimsical colors that make the name Iceland a complete misnomer. Last month I was in Norway, saying the same: must come in summer for the fjords. I don’t know why I always end up in Scandinavia and Nordic countries in Winter. No more!

    Reply
  97. De'Jav
    November 26, 2014

    Your pictures look amazing. Iceland was already a place that was on my bucket list need to make it there sooner than later. Favorite pic Sunrise at Jökulsárlón Lagoon.

    Reply
  98. Wicked Walkabout Family
    November 26, 2014

    Your images always make me gasp Matthew and these ones certainly did not fail either (not that I ever expect they would)! Such an incredible country. We are leaving Australia on Christmas Day for 6-12 months in the UK and beyond with our daughters… I have flight scanner open right now to check flights over the next few months and definitely want to add Iceland to the list of ‘absolute must do’s’. Will be looking out for you next articles about travel there! Thanks!

    Reply
  99. Nita
    November 26, 2014

    Ah, how your post makes me miss Iceland!! I too feel like it’s the most beautiful country I’ve ever been to. I visited Iceland earlier this summer and I was just in awe. Missed the ice caves because it wasn’t winter and definitely need to return for the Northern lights. Must have been quite the experience. Really stunning pictures! :)

    Reply
  100. Nomad Revelations
    November 26, 2014

    Great pics from an amazing country. Fantastic how fire and ice live together… I really want to go back again. hug from Marrakesh!

    Reply
  101. David Ouellette
    November 26, 2014

    Wow dude, you make Iceland look incredible! How much time did you spend there?

    Reply
  102. Traveling Ted
    November 26, 2014

    Incredible photography and adventure. Definitely have to visit Iceland one of these days. Is there any interesting wildlife to found?

    Reply
  103. Nancy Hammer
    November 26, 2014

    Beautiful photos…hard to pick my favorite, but I think it would be the ice caves. I never thought of visiting Iceland because I do not like cold weather, but you pictures make it very tempting.

    Reply
  104. Michael Sterns
    November 26, 2014

    Matt, I continue to be in awe of your amazing adventures around the world! Absolutely phenomenal photos, videos, descriptions and tips. Your “road partner” in Iceland looks like she was a super cool addition as well!

    Much love to you, brotha.

    Michael

    Reply
  105. Jennifer
    November 26, 2014

    Wow, I can’t wait for my upcoming trip when I see photos like that!
    Was all the video with your GoPro?

    Reply
  106. Terry at TerryTreks
    November 26, 2014

    Amazing photos. Makes me want to go to Iceland now!

    Reply
  107. Dr Abdul Hafeez LAGHARI
    November 26, 2014

    places become more beautiful when you capture.

    Reply
  108. Renuka
    November 26, 2014

    Just too good! Iceland is truly magical. I love that abandoned car photo the most.

    Reply
    • Matthew Karsten
      November 26, 2014

      I found it while trying to get close-up photos of the famous Icelandic sheep.

      Reply
  109. Deepika
    November 26, 2014

    Wow! Matthew, these are just jaw dropping and amazing shots. Definitely inspired to visit this beautiful country!

    Reply
  110. Aleah
    November 26, 2014

    Wow, wow, wow! I would LOVE to see that crystal cave, and the northern lights! <3

    Reply
    • Matthew Karsten
      November 26, 2014

      Yeah, the Crystal Cave was a highlight for sure. They actually call that particular one the “Northern Lights” cave because in one area it kind of looks like blue aurora surrounded by black volcanic ash.

      Reply
  111. Amanda
    November 26, 2014

    Love the video, and of course your photos are stunning! That rainbow over Reykjavik is so perfect.

    Now I’m really really wanting to go back to Iceland!

    Reply
    • Matthew Karsten
      November 26, 2014

      When the rainbow materialized, I was down on the street and sprinted up to the church to get a photo before it disappeared.

      Reply
  112. Chanel | Cultural Xplorer
    November 26, 2014

    Stunning photos! Makes me want to jump on a plane and head back to Iceland right now!

    Reply
    • Matthew Karsten
      February 12, 2015

      Thanks Chanel, I’d like to return as soon as possible too. I feel like I only scratched the surface of this amazing country.

      Reply
  113. Carlo
    November 25, 2014

    Wow. Best travel pix I’ve seen in a while!

    Reply
  114. Hannah @ GettingStamped
    November 25, 2014

    AMAZING! After following your trip to Iceland it makes me kick myself for not getting to Iceland this year…guess we have to make it a priority in 2015. Great photos like always.

    Reply
    • Matthew Karsten
      November 26, 2014

      Do it! I’m kicking myself I haven’t spent more time there over the years. Might have to make it an annual trip, it’s that good.

      Reply
  115. Emiko
    November 25, 2014

    Uh, those are kind of the best pictures ever. I’ve always been on the fence about Iceland, but you’ve convinced me. I’d love to hear your tips for how to plan a photo-centric itinerary in the country.

    Reply
    • Matthew Karsten
      November 26, 2014

      Thanks for the suggestion Emiko! I’ll see what I can whip up.

      Reply
  116. Katherine Belarmino | Travel the World
    November 25, 2014

    Gorgeous photos. One of my goals for the next year is to see the Northern Lights.

    Reply
    • Matthew Karsten
      November 26, 2014

      It’s really hit or miss with them. The longer you stay out at night, with clear skies, the better your chances.

      Reply
  117. Crazy sexy fun traveler
    November 25, 2014

    LOVE the pics! Iceland is really beautiful, gotta go back too :)

    Reply
  118. Gareth Leonard
    November 25, 2014

    Incredible photos man! I’m sold on Iceland!!

    Reply
  119. David Bjorgen
    November 25, 2014

    Great pics! We’ll be heading to Iceland in October 2015. I may be hitting you up for information and tips before we leave.

    Reply
    • Matthew Karsten
      November 26, 2014

      Awesome David, for sure. Hopefully some of my future Iceland articles will help.

      Reply

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