Long exposure in Arnarstapi peninsula

Nikon D4s / 14-24 / f11, 30 sec / 10 stop Lee filter.
Nikon D4s / 14-24 / f11, 30 sec / 10 stop Lee filter.

In my last post I felt sorry for the tourists in Iceland not seeing the sunset and sunrise. This does not mean I never take photos in the middle of the day. At this time of year the light does get better after 18.00 if it´s partly cloudy. Using a 10 stop filter can also create a more dreamlike atmosphere in the photo. This was the subject of the day. I was scheduled to pick up my wife at the airport in Reykjavik later tonight and the plan was to make the most out of the day photographing in Arnarstapi.

I went to sleep at 5.00 am and woke up at 10.00, sleeping at the parking lot in Malarrif.  After two cups of coffee and some look at last night photos I drove from Malarrif to Arnarstapi which is only ten minutes drive.  Waited there and relaxed in the seldom seen sun until six in the afternoon. There were hundreds of tourists in buses and around the area. They have many reasons to visit Arnarstapi. For bird photography it´s a great location. For landscape also. Arnarstapi or Stapi is a small fishing village at the foot of Mt. Stapafell between Hellnar village and Breiðavík farms on the southern side of Snæfellsnes, Iceland.

The most popular rock formation to photograph is probably Gatklettur which is a large rock with a hole in the middle. Unfortunately a big platform was built above it for the tourists last year which makes it difficult to photograph properly and in my mind takes the unspoiled feeling out of the experience of it´s nature. Therefore I did not go there this time, but concentrated on the many other rock formations which are endless.

I am getting very fond of the new Lee SW150 mark II system for the Nikon 14-24 lens. Until now I have mostly been using the Little Stopper which is a six stop ND filter. At Arnarstapi I experimented with the Big Stopper which is a ten stop filter. Combined with my Nikon D4s it´s a match made in heaven. Having used the D3 for seven years and then turning to D4s last year I find the dynamic range and constantly correct white balance wonderful. Even when using the new Lee filters the auto white balance is correct.

I did use it around noon at Londrangar. To make a long story short – the time around noon on sunny days in Iceland are best spent doing something else than taking photos.