Good 'Ol Geysir

September 18, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

As we’ve nearly reached the end of the trip venturing out in the regions, the past few days have seen us do the touristy-locations for shooting. As mentioned in yesterdays’ post, wrangling the crowds has been another complex part of our already-difficult and time consuming task. The crowds not only make time at a location longer, but make that all-important shot harder to take.

Today was not at all like that, and I found that I could get in, get the shots I wanted and leave quite easily. This was a refreshing change. We visited Gullfoss waterfall and Geysir geothermal-explosion-thing. Gullfoss was a large waterfall spilling over a wide ledge and into a canyon below. While I don’t doubt this fall would be quite beautiful in the morning or mid afternoon light, it was not however, all that striking in the midday sun that we chose to shoot it in.

and

I was finished here quickly and keen to get up to the cafe for lunch. Our elaborately-decorated hostel had had a pile of magazines lying around, of which one of them told of the amazing home-cooked Icelandic Meat Soup served at the Gullfoss cafe. Upon telling Josh about this, we agreed that it’d be great to try it. It was a delicious soup, the “meat” was a tender lamb, with some assorted soup vegetables like carrot, onion and potato. The broth was warm and spiced like the taste of all the ingredients combined, and made a delicious warmer to the cold air outside.

They also had souvenir sizes of two Iceland-produced spirits! I must have looked like an alcoholic buying a few of these, but I’m keen to try them before commiting to a big bottle in Duty Free.

One thing that has come to annoy me so is the cold air and what it does to my sinuses – they seem to turn to waterfalls themselves at the contact of cold air. The same goes for my lungs. Everything starts moving. A good or a bad thing depending on how you look at it. The cold from the first week is long gone, leaving its legacy in the form of things I expel from my body in said cold air.

..ewww…. TMI?

As I sit here typing, I’m currently trying to process, backup and transfer around 4400 images that I shot today. 3900 of those were taken on the D300s doing a few timelapses of Geysir exploding. The anticipation of the scalding hot water expelling itself from the earth with little warning every few minutes was a tourist draw card. As each motion, bubble, inhale or exhale of the Geysir teased eager photographers, hands on shutter buttons waiting, anywhere from 1 minute to 10 or even 20 in one case. I got into a habit of being able to see if it was going to erupt a few seconds beforehand, in order to start the shots on my D700 which was being controlled manually by me with a wired remote on CH mode (point and spray… high speed). After a few hours of this I was tired, needing to go to the bathroom and dizzy from standing in the full midday sun staring at a bubbling pool of water.

^Here’s 6 that give you a good idea…

A bit of techical background information first:

I had my D700 on my big tripod with a remote (as previously mentioned) and I could trigger this whenever I wanted with the remote.

I then had my D300s running in the Interval Timer Shooting mode that comes with higher-end Nikon DSLRs. I used this and set up 999x 1 second shots with 1 second interval, so 999 shots was taking a timelapse for just under 17 minutes at a time. This is the endless clicking you can hear in the video. This is how I got just under 4000 shots. I was taking a video of my seemingly ludicrous setup when the Geysir happened to blow. (lucky huh?!) So if you can imagine, one camera clicking away, Iphone in one hand and remote for the D700 in the other… madness….

Here’s the video:

The visitor centre (and subequently souvenir shop) was almost as fascinating as the geysir itself. Shelves and shelves of overpriced clothing, stuffed fake animals, mugs, plates, jewellery, anything you can possibly brand on table upon table. Mind you, there was some really great things to buy, and I had to exercise the patience, similar to that of waiting for the geysir to blow, not to buy anything in the (very) overpriced shop. I’ll get most of my souvenirs in Reykjavik when I return there on Friday.

For now though, it’s time to do some more image cleanup and organisation. Handling this many files on my laptop is making it groan and complain!


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