Chasing the Midnight Sun in Iceland

in #photographylast year (edited)


A few years ago I headed to Iceland with some photographer friends, we headed there over the summer solstice, during which the sun never really sets. Depending where you are on the island you can get up to 22 hours of daylight, with the other two hours being more like twilight than actual darkness. This makes it perfect conditions for landscape photography, as you get the "golden hour" for about half the night, sunset colours can start as early as 8pm and not finish until 4 or 5 am the next day.

Sunset after midnight

In order to capture as many photos as possible during the amazing light we decided to camp our way around Iceland. We would set up our tents and go to sleep around 4-5 am, sleep until mid-afternoon, get up, pack up our tents, go find some coffee and a meal and then start taking photos.

Iceland is very well set up for camping, there are public camping grounds all around the island, most of them not far from the appropriately named ring road that circles Iceland. Each camp ground has basic public amenities such as toilets and showers, some have kitchens where you can cook as well. They also often have amazing views like the following photo (the view outside the tent, not my horrible feet):


The entire island of Iceland feels like it is covered with waterfalls, green grass and green moss, which is why it is pretty much heaven for me. If you have been following my photography for any length of time you'll have noticed that waterfalls and green moss are a favourite subject of mine, hence my repeated trips to the Otways in Victoria and to Tasmania. We visited waterfall after waterfall after waterfall and I didn't get tired of them at all. You may notice that their names all end in "foss", foss means waterfall.


Glijufrabui Foss




The sheer scale of some of the waterfalls is absolutely mind boggling, I approached a few of the waterfalls while holding my camera remote to put me in the photo for scale (#muddyphotographerforscale), each time I ended up completely drenched without even going under the waterfall.

Skogafoss with muddy photographer for scale

Really the very best feature of visiting Iceland at that time of year is the light. The weather can be very unpredictable, there is a local saying that "if you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes" as it changes constantly. We used radar and weather apps to try to stay out of the worst of the weather and mostly succeeded.

Early one morning we set up camp in a town called Vik and then headed up the hill to where there is an iconic church building. During the summer solstice the church building is surrouneded by lupine flowers, which makes it quite picturesque. I captured the following photos that morning:

Vik Church


You may have seen the last photo on your TV if you have Google Chromecast, Google have been using it on there for about 2 years now.


Iceland also has multiple glaciers, black sand beaches with icebergs on them, these were a favourite subject of mine, I ended up being knee deep in the water with the icebergs trying to photograph them. I have a love of cold water and cold weather, so this didn't bother me one bit.

20150624_Iceland_5770Edit_me.jpg Me in the water (photo by Colby Brown)


I could write almost endlessly about my trip to Iceland, it was one of the best trips I've ever done. I'm working on running photo tours there next year with another photographer, so if you are up for an adventure, enjoy camping, photography and sharing a few laughs, let me know, as we'd love to have you along! I'm also working on getting back there during their winter so I can get snow photos, frozen waterfalls and hopefully some of the Northern Lights.



Thank you for checking out my photos, all comments appreciated!

Visit my website for more:

Prints are available on Redbubble: Paulmp on Redbubble

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All photos posted are copyright Paul Pichugin unless otherwise stated.


Amazing photos! I had no idea that it was so many waterfalls on Island.

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I've barely scratched the surface when it comes to waterfalls in Iceland!

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That's a great work

I am very seriously, very nearly at a loss for words. Just.. wow.

I only wish I had more PHOTO staked on this account so I could reward you more. Holy moly, the composition, textures, and colors!

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thank you so much for the support, I really appreciate it.

totally agree, some great pictures here. stunning.

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yeah what he said WOW!

Thanks for sharing this outstanding work! Absolutely impressive! Wow..

Thank you :)

Your landscape shots are just amazingly beautiful. If I had to decide which picture I like best, I would really have a problem with this selection. I am looking forward to more pictures from you.

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Good to see some unique angles of these popular subjects.

Thank you @revo, I do try my best to find my own compositions when it comes to popular spots. I'd rather not take the same photo that everyone else has taken.

OMG these pics are gorgeous!

And about the travelfeed tag, if you can edit the tags and put the "travelfeed" in the first 5 tags then only it'll show up on travelfeed app:
You can also create your travel blogs on TravelFeed app and participate in this contest :)

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Amazing pictures, thank you for sharing and @faltermann for resteeming!

Absolutely stunning shots here. ❤️

Thank you.

There are no proper words to describe these photos man. Absolutely stunning shots. Loved the 2nd, 5th (feels like being in a movie or something) and the one right below you show yourself.

PS. Am I allowed to save that last one to use it as a background pic for my pc? I can also pay in steem if I am not allowed. Let me know plz!

You are more than welcome to save them and use them as backgrounds, they should be high enough resolution. Feel free to swing some Steem my way if you feel like saying thank you, if not, that is fine as well.

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Thank you so much, I appreciate it. I power up all mine as well :)

Incredible! That photo used by Google Chromecast is amazing. Lovely colours.

I'm on a world cycle trip at the moment and wished I got some photography skills beforehand to take amazing photos like yours! Look forward to seeing more of your posts

Wow... what a mission! Following you now.

Cool. Thanks you!

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Wow that's great!
Now you've made me want to go and visit it!
Nice photos and nice editing :)

I share with you some !trdo :)

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@paulmp got 6 TRDO & @alequandro got 4 TRDO!

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Breath taking Photos 💛

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All pictures are very beautiful.

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Amazing shots. I have traveled there as well and have visited all the places you have in photos. It's hard to put it into words how beautiful this country is.

I know right, my photos barely even scratch the surface, it is so much better than what my photos show!

Definitivamente, tienes un gran talento.

I am really speechless. Really. I am wondering how long it took you to get each of these shots! Many of those pictures look so unreal (but I know they are real, don't worry ;) ).

Some of them we were there for hours waiting for the right light, others we we came back several times over the trip to try to get the shot... the photo at the very top of the blog post, we were there for less than 20 minutes in total.

Thanks for the extra bits of information. I am amazed the first shot only took you 20 minutes. I am still speechless, even one day after :D

Awesome photography. I live in Tasmania and we have lot's of waterfalls especially on the west coast.

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I visit Tasmania several times a year for photography, I'm planning to base myself there for awhile :)

Very nice and there is a lot more here then you will ever find from tourist information. Local people keep a lot of things for themselves.

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There isn't much around Tasmania that I'm not aware of or haven't visited. I've even done the South West and much of the South Coast... I only photograph the touristy stuff for Tourism Tasmania and my other clients :)

Very cool😀.

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Definitely my favourite part of Australia :)

These are some amazing photographs

Sublime work!

Felt like I was in someone's dream
The pictures are gorgeous <33

Thank you :)

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This is realy an awesome post with such spectacular photos, are the colours original or did you worked out the photos with some tools?
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with sunny greetings from Andalusia
Don Thomas

Most of the photos are long exposures, which can exaggerate the colours, but the colours were really there to be seen and photographed.

thats cool I dont get so much experiance with the long exposures, but these photos from your article are amazing! Love it, great work, and thank you for your reply to my comment ;)
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with sunny greetings from Andalusia

Don Thomas

Stunning photos! I need to put a trip to Iceland on my bucket list!

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These pictures have to be one of the best if not the best pictures I have seen on steemit.

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Very kind of you.

It's so cool to see this post creep up on trending and bump the steem-centric stuff. Congrats!

Such a nice view and your great shot made it look more attractive.

its really amazing,thanks for sharing❤️😊

Thank you :)

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Demasiado hermoso amigo. Felicidades!

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Das sind wunderschöne Bilder . Danke dafür

Absolutely incredible shots and vista. Iceland is certainly a beautiful place with amazing people. Thanks for sharing your experience. Happy Friday Paul.

I'll come back to your post to give you a proper comment but I don't really have time right now.

I just wanted to say that I'm happy to see the exposure that you got through the curie vote recently. You definitely deserve these large votes! :)


Great pics!!

Simply beautiful

Wow! These are amazing photos!

What kind of gear do you use? Did you do a lot of post processing, or are the colors that good right out of the camera?

These were photographed with a mix of gear, some were on the Sony A7R and the rest were on the Canon 5Dmk3. Nearly all my photos are processed in some form or another, as I photograph in RAW which is a type of digital negative and useless until converted to a usable format such as jpeg or tiff. I also use neutral density filters in front of my camera so that I can do longer exposures, longer exposures tend to exaggerate the colours that are there in real life.

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