At some point before or very early on in my recent Iceland/Norway trip, Colby Brown Photography warned me about being extra mindful of the waves at the black sand beach near Jökulsárlón. He told me stories of many workshop students getting gear totally saturated by saltwater from rogue waves that came out of nowhere. He also told me about how Varina Patel, of Visual Wilderness, caught the business end of some of the beached icebergs that you see here.

At first, I brushed it off as Colby being melodramatic. I thought, “this isn’t my first rodeo… I’ll be fine.” Well let me tell you something. If you’re planning on shooting these beautiful, heavy, sharp, and gigantic slabs of frozen ice, you’d better have fourteen eyeballs on your head. I can’t recall ever seeing such ferocious waves appear literally out of nowhere. Usually, I can gauge whether a wave is going to be a big one from a distance but these waves would spawn up just a few feet away from you. And guess what happens when a strong wave collides with a gigantic piece of ice that is situated a few feet in front of you? Explosions of sea water? Check. Icebergs being launched in your general direction? You got it. Basically, a big recipe for person injury and gear destruction.

Granted, there is a touch of hyperbole mixed in here but the reality is that spending time hovering around these giant pieces of ice certainly does warrant care and respect. I almost learned that the hard way more than a few times during the two shoots we had there.

Camera: Sony a7R with the Sony FE 16-35mm f/4
Filter: Formatt Hitech Filters ProIRND 3-stop ND
Tripod: Really Good Stuff TVC-34L/BH-55
Stylization: Onone, Inc. Perfect Effects 9 and Adobe Lightroom 5.7