The last blog post was exactly a year ago and the difference to the title of this one is only one letter. I guess it’s fair to say that not much happened on this blog this year (let’s see if I can do better in 2022). However, in my life, some things changed this year.
I moved to a new city (Munich, Germany) near the Alps, and started my first full-time job after I finished uni. I fulfilled a dream of myself and traveled to Iceland for two weeks. And I never spent more time out taking photos than this year.
So here are 10 pictures I took this year, each with a particular story behind them that make them the most memorable to me. Some of them I would consider among the best ones as well, but not all of them. They don’t come in a particular order.
This shot is special to me for two reasons. Firstly, because this place is absolutely nuts. It was already challenging for me to organize to get there, but I knew I absolutely had to go there when visiting Iceland. And even though the drive up there is completely crazy in the last bits, it was so so rewarding to finally get there. It made up for all the anticipation, actually being there exceeded it.
Secondly, because this place broke my camera. It was extremely windy and rainy when we got there. Yet, I could not not take pictures in this place, so I had my camera out all the time at the beginning of our hike. I already used my camera (a Canon 5D MIII) in light rain and never had a problem but never over such a long time I guess. Still, my camera worked until I finally put it in my backpack. Just when the rain stopped and I got it out again, it showed a battery communication error. Luckily it was already the end of our hike and I could take most of the shots I wanted. After one very long day of worry and frantic planning if and how I could get a new camera, and of opening every slot of my camera, it unexpectedly worked again – so a happy end and a story which made this place even more special to me.
This year, I bought my first drone. While I was drawn especially to abstract aerial photography for a while now, I was never a big fan of everything that comes with a drone. The additional time you spent flying it, the extra gear to carry, the noise it makes, the regulations, you name it. Having planned that trip to Iceland made me tip towards getting one in the end, though. So I used a short holiday in the Austrian Alps to train and this is the first drone shot I took that made me really exciting because it has that abstract feeling to it, where you have no idea what’s going on at first sight. Actually, I still don’t really know why this looks like Pistacchio Cream.
This one makes the list because it was unexpected. I took it on my first solo photography trip after I moved and I went to a rather known photo spot. I got nice photos on that spot but you know, they looked similar to many other pictures people take there. So after I wrapped up there, I saw this little pier like 5 minutes away and I was just curious to check it out. And man, I was blown away. The fog rolled over the lake, I was completely alone and it was just pure bliss and tranquility.
Back to Iceland. Wild camping is forbidden in Iceland since a couple of years ago and good tourists as we are, we never did – except once. That wasn’t planned though. We were in a quite remote bit of the Westfjords and there were not many campsites but we found one on a camp guide we had. So we planned on getting there…and found it closed. Apparently, it only opens from July to mid of August and it was September. When we arrived, it was too late to drive to another campsite and there were no signs of a single person anywhere around us. So we parked our van on the grounds of the closed campsite – and that was the view during dinner.
Meant To Be
Sometimes there are things that seem like they are meant to be. I took this on a really famous photo spot in the Dolomites. We were there for sunrise – together with around 20 other photographers. For the reasons I described above, I often get discouraged in these situations. I love remoteness and solitude, and knowing there are many other people taking very similar pictures is just not very appealing to me. However, already during sunset I saw this perspective on the road and thought it would be cool to try to capture some car lights after the sun has set. I wanted to take such a shot for a long time – and this is where it was just meant to be. After the sunset, literally, all other photographers packed up and left, we were the only people who stayed for so long. I was afraid it would take a long while to get such a long trail of lights or some blending of pictures afterward but it literally took 5 minutes until two cards drove down the road with a perfect distance to each other to get this shot.
Yep, Iceland again. You might have heard about the eruption of a Volcano in Iceland this year, that started in early 2021 and was literally going on for months. Well, guess what, it stopped in the week when we flew to Iceland and while we of course didn’t go mainly to see the Volcano, it was quite a bummer. We paid the volcano site a visit anyway at the start of our trip but there was no lava. It was still cool, but you know, lava is way cooler. Luckily, the volcano is literally half an hour away from the airport and we decided to just see if it starts again – and as you can see, it happened again. Of course, there have been many way better pictures of the eruption and mine is not that special. But seeing an erupting volcano with your own eyes is something I consider very special.
This is from one of the most memorable hikes I did this year. And that’s because the weather report predicted no rain aaand well, there was rain. In the beginning not so much. In the last 20 minutes to our destination, a hut, then a lot. In the last 5 minutes, it turned into hail. When we reached the hut, it didn’t matter anymore that the hut was closed, at least it had a terrace with a roof. Pretty shit so far, but while we had our lunch, the hail stopped and the clouds revealed the surrounding mountains.
As I said before, I mainly bought my drone for abstract aerial photography in Iceland. More specifically, I’m a huge sucker for pictures of river veins. So already before I went to Iceland I researched possible locations but once there one after the other was – disappointing is maybe a bit too much – let’s say not what I hoped for. Then, again in the Westfjords, one of our last days on the Island, I finally found what I was looking for. How happy I was? I directly flew all of my three batteries in a row, and on the next day again.
Into the Snow
Another one from a memorable hike, this one not because of the bad weather but because of the snow. We didn’t have snowshoes and had to fight up to the peak in snow that sometimes went up to our waist. The reward? This view of the sunset. As simple as that.
And lastly, my stay at this hut. I will probably write a dedicated post about it this experience. But long story short: I loved the experience of staying there. I like staying in huts in general but this was still special. The remoteness, the mountains, and glacier in the distance, the company. And the things that were maybe not so pleasant back then but made my memories even better in hindsight: the cold in the night, the bathroom around 200 meters outside of the hut, the almost clichée story about a ghost in the hut.
Everyone who read through until here: thank you so much! If you have any questions about one of the pictures, feel free to ask. I hope you enjoyed and I would appreciate any kind of feedback.
I wish you a happy new year and a great start into 2022!