When I first saw this challenge, I thought, “Easy!”. I must have a million sunset photos and, well, a few sunrise as well (I’m really not a morning person). But then I started looking through my recent sunset photos, with their glorious colours and their deep red sun, and maybe you could say I’m over-thinking it (something I’m often guilty of) but these pretty photos just didn’t seem special enough. And I realised I rarely share these sunset photos beyond my personal happy-snaps site; I love a good sunset, but you need something beyond a sinking sun, some clouds, and maybe a bit of water to make it stand out from all the other gorgeous sunset photos. And even a silhouetted seagull in flight isn’t enough anymore (I should add, I haven’t looked at anyone else’s entries yet, and if you’ve submitted a sunset, I’m still going to love it, because how can you not love a good glowing sunset, and there’s heaps of sunset photos that do have that extra special something. I just didn’t feel any of mine really did).
So I’ve gone back through my photos with a more critical eye, and found the winter sun of Iceland. Iceland in winter is a simple landscape, a huge thick white blanket of snow covering the rugged earth. It was early February when I was there, and the sun only graced the sky for a few short hours a day. As we were there to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights, that was fine, but we weren’t going to waste the daylight hours we had.
Under the peaceful snow, the landscape of Iceland is still powerful. Here is Konungshver (The King’s Hot Spring) steaming towards the sun, with Strokkur, (The Churn) erupting in the background. Strokkur is a close companion of the original Geysir (The Gush), the geyser from which all others are named. Geysir is mostly quiet these days, erupting only about 2-3 times a day, but Strokkur erupts about every 8-10 minutes. It was fascinating watching the water boil and bubble, dome up, disappear down then WHOOSH! explode into the freezing air.
And on the next day, late in the afternoon, the clouds cleared and the setting sun cast rich colours onto this white and blue landscape, found just a few metres outside our hotel room.
For completeness, although this doesn’t feature the sun, here is the view from our hotel room balcony. I love the simplicity. And I cannot wait to go back to Iceland.