Hailstones lashed down from the graphite-grey sky, stinging my face; I winced as the wind whipped the storm up into a blazing fusillade of ice. Above the rattling of hail on my raincoat I heard the Atlantic exploding furiously against serrated cliffs. Then, as though a switch had been flicked, the storm was over. I uncapped my lens, fitted an ND filter, and captured one of my favourite photographs: the Svörtuloft lighthouse at Öndverðarnes, gleaming bright orange against the stormy sky.Read More
This is a story of an air crash, wild beauty, film photography and selfies. It’s my recollection of a visit to the famous Iceland plane wreck site at Sólheimasandur – and of my view on the popularity of ‘abandoned’ places and the ubiquity of the selfie.
The story behind the Iceland plane wreck might already be roughly familiar to you. In November 1973 a small US Navy DC-3 transport aircraft ran out of fuel over southern Iceland, and ditched on the pristine black sand beach at Sólheimasandur. The wreck is still there – a weather-worn, graffiti-clad monument to Iceland’s inhospitable terrain.
I visited the Iceland plane wreck in 2016 during a two-week solo tour of the country via the ring road. It was my first ‘proper’ photography expedition; I’d been seduced by countless blog posts and travel stories pitching Iceland as a pristine wilderness: a place where I might find limitless solitude amid the glaciers and snow. For much of my trip, that’s precisely what I found – but not always. And the DC-3 wreck rings in my memory as an example of what can be a dispiriting experience at the hands of people who wield selfie sticks like rapiers.Read More
This week I learned that two of my travel photographs have made it through to the finals of the Association of Photographers Student Awards. The pictures are both of lighthouses – a subject that I seem to return to time and time again – from travels over the last 18 months to Scotland and Iceland. Both pictures will be on show at Downstairs at Mother London, a creative agency in Shoreditch, from 6 to 28 July.
One thing I sincerely love about travel is the opportunity to endure all kinds of weather (I wrote about this a little in my recent post about a visit to the north of Scotland). Landscapes are often at their best beneath cloudy or stormy skies, and for both of my AOP finalist pictures I had to get quite wet. The orange lighthouse is at Svörtuloft, near Öndverðarnes, the westernmost tip of Iceland’s storm-lashed Snæfellsnes Peninsula.Read More