The Photographer´s paradise; Iceland is one of the most breathtaking countries in the world and there are many places to photograph.

Here is a list of the best Iceland photography locations and items to photograph.
 
 
Ice Caves in Glaciers
One of the best mystical places to photograph is for sure the Ice Caves and Glaciers. Amazing natural phenomena. Some of Iceland's ice caves are among extraordinary natural wonders! Blue crystal ice colors, lakes, and lagoons will take your breath away. At the same time, you can visit and experience Glaciers above and Ice caves in glaciers. Almost all the ice caves in Iceland are located at Vatnajökull Glacial. As the caves melt during the summer, they change shape from season to season.
 
Tips for Ice cave photography
Ice caves are quite dark places. You need to have a tripod, ultra-wide-angle lens and macro lens are both useful. Use manual focus, 5 minutes exposures. ISO setting is ideal between ISO100-400. It would be good to have some scale while shooting photos in the ice cave because the pictures will appear as abstract, which on the other hand can be very interesting too. Most photographers are using humans as a scale and picturing a figure in a photo. Safety equipment and helmet are very important. Also waterproof clothes and rainy pants as there are places with dripping water. Ice caves and glacials with its unique formations and colors will be an unforgettable experience!
 
 
 
Diamond Beach and Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon
A world-famous destinations in Iceland are perfect for photography; the Diamond Beach and Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon. The black volcanic sand beach is situated in South Iceland and it takes about 5 hours’ drive from Reykjavik. In wintertime, you can capture some pretty amazing photos. In winter the roads are icy, and the wind can be really strong in South Iceland.
It's the stunning place where icebergs from the glacier lagoon float down and being poured into the North Atlantic Ocean. Diamond beach is a perfect name as the Ice is sparkling like diamonds, in all sizes and shapes. The interesting thing is that it is never the same. It's like being in a magical world and nature surprises you over and over again. 
Another great photographic location is a glacial lagoon near Jökulsárlón; Fjallsarlón Glacial Lagoon. It's a 10 km distance between those two lagoons. It's a spectacular lagoon where you can have more time and more „ free" space to take some really good shots.
 
Tips for glacier lagoon photography
Be aware and always act responsibly as the floating ice is very dangerous and never step on one. No photo is worth risking and always respect nature in its power and beauty. The icebergs move around in the lagoon and to get sharp images you should use a tripod. The ISO should be as low as 50 or 100 but holding the camera it should be around 400-800. If you want to freeze the montion the shutter speed should be set to 1/125 and blurry with a 1/10.
 
 
 
Lava fields and Lava Tunnel
Another amazing scenery in winter you can find in Lava fields in Iceland. About 30 minutes’ drive from Reykjavik you can visit one of the most beautiful Lava Tunnel in Iceland. It's one of the longest and best known Lava Tunnels and it looks magnificent!
 
Tips for lava cave photography 
It's important to protect your camera while walking around a cave as rocks are surrounding you. Bring a tripod, use an off-camera flash and lower your ISO. Also, use manual focus and shoot in RAW. Be sure to have more sources of light. It would be good to put a person in a picture and maybe to wear a headlamp too. It is important to wear a helmet and also a headlamp.
 
 
 
Frozen waterfalls
Iceland is a country of many amazing waterfalls. In wintertime, you can witness frozen waterfalls. There are several well-known touristic attractions; Godafoss, Gullfoss, Skógafoss, Seljarandsfoss, and Kirkjufellsfoss are among the most popular. In all of these locations, you can get your perfect photography shots.
But there is one particularly interesting and kind of a hidden gem and it is my favorite; Bruarfoss waterfall. Magnificent for its blue color and I think it's just so beautiful. Watching many small waterfalls, running into the deep gorge is a fascinating photography location. It's a bit off-road, situated in southwest Iceland, in the area of Grímsnes. Depending on weather and driving conditions, hopefully, you'll have a chance to see this spectacular nature. It's also called Blue waterfall.
 
Tips for frozen waterfall photography 
Waterfalls are a popular subject to photograph. Use a tripod and be sure that it is stable. Set your camera on faster shutter speed and long exposure is recommended. Try to use also polarizing filters for water reflections. With frozen waterfalls be sure to add a person, to convey a sense of scale.
 
 
Snorkeling or diving in Silfra
There is one completely different and unusual experience that you can try, even in wintertime, that's snorkeling or diving in Silfra. One of my top experiences in Iceland and rated also as 4th best travel experience in the world! 
Silfra is situated in Thingvellir National park. It's a fissure created by the separation of the tectonic plates, North American and Eurasian. Thingvellir National park and surrounding area are under the UNESCO world heritage site. You are snorkeling or diving between two continents. How cool is that?! It's the clearest water in the world, fresh spring water is so pure and it tastes amazing too. The visibility of the water is some 100-120 m. I can't describe it with words, one has to see and experience it. Pure natural beauty, so crystal clear and so cold!! But don't worry, they will provide all the equipment and dry suit and you will have all the instructions on how to stay warm. It's a mind-blowing adventure and an unforgettable experience for sure.
 
Tips for underwater photography
You will need an underwater camera but trust me, it's worth every penny. You will need to adjust color, clarity and ambient light, vertical and horizontal and also sharpen your focus. 
 
 
Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights photography
One of the biggest draws of visiting Iceland in the wintertime is the possibility to see stunning Northern Lights. Dancing and colorful light show in the sky is hard to describe with words. It gives me thrills no matter how many times I see them and to capture it with your camera. It's once in a lifetime experience indeed! The best time of the year to experience this natural phenomenon is from late September to late March. Several conditions should be in alignment to be able to see this magnificent sky show; clear sky, cold night and good sun activity. It's very difficult to predict weather and sun activity forecasts a lot in advance, so be aware that there is no guarantee. 
 
 
Northern Light photography tips
Set your camera and lens to manual mode, turn off image stabilization and turn off flash. The light sensitivity ISO can be on 1600, lowest aperture, manual zoom and focus. Tripod is a must same as replacement batteries! Remember, it's several hours hunting so be sure to prepare well.
Considering extreme weather and driving conditions during the wintertime, my suggestion is to have an itinerary in advance and to book organized tours as well. Hopefully, if you will be lucky and the weather will play in your favor, you can experience and capture gorgeous photography of beautiful dancing Aurora. Honestly, I still didn't catch a great Aurora photo but I'm on hunting trail this winter!
 
 

 

When is the best time to visit Iceland for photography?

For photographers, Iceland is the place to be and summertime is a good time to visit as the days are long with plenty of daylight. You can experience the midnight sun, roads are easily passable, and you can drive the Ring Road all around Iceland. But it is also a great idea to visit Iceland in the wintertime. Iceland in winter becomes like an icy fairy tale, all covered with a white blanket of snow and not to mention the beauty of the Northern Lights. It's a spectacular place to capture some of your epic photos for sure!
 
 
More helpful tips for cold weather and winter photography
Traveling to Iceland in winter is not so easy but it not so hard either. There are few things to bear in mind for sure. Weather is the biggest challenge indeed. It is an island and near the arctic circle. Limited daylight is something to consider, especially if you want to capture good photos. Iceland is amazing in winter and so worth visiting!
Photographing in Iceland during winter is not so easy, to be honest. Low temperatures, frozen places, unpredictable weather, wind, limited daylight and it is easy to get low on batteries.
  • Use a tripod in almost all places. Not just for Northern Lights but also other winter photography. 
  • Take spare batteries and try to keep them warm.
  • Bring some filters for snow and water reflection.
  • Use long exposures, adjust the shutter speed. You can use people or objects for scale and especially with waterfalls and white snowy background.
  • Be careful with your equipment and when moving from cold to warm places.
  • Use water and weather protection, both for your camera equipment and yourself.
  • Dress in layers to stay warm, take good gloves and all the winter „equipment" as a warm cap, scarf, good water, and wind protection clothes.

 

There are so many great opportunities for photography and Iceland is a photographer's paradise! And it's not just in particular places, wherever you go and all around, you will find so much natural beauty that will stay in your memories forever. Even a simple snow-ball on the random tree.

 
 

Bianca Snjezana Glavas from Croatia, former GM in Tourism industry and a student of metaphysics. Moved to Iceland 3 years ago. 

Passionate about traveling, photography, swimming and nature.