Making of 40 Photographs #1

This is the first image I'm going to discuss under my new Category of 'the making of 40 photographs'. After spending a few weeks already in Iceland, sleeping in a tent, with eye-patches to help shut out the endless daylight, I found myself in Jökulsárgljúfur national park.

Sellfoss, Iceland

I'd been losing all sense of time whilst in Iceland. Partly due to my immersion into photography, partly due to it never getting dark and also because I was spending a lot of time on my own.

I love to camp when I go away, and spending a few days on my own in a tent is something I really look forward to.

But after a few nights in Jökulsárgljúfur, I did feel that I was going a little crazy. There was no reference point, nothing to say - this is the real world and you're part of it. I just seemed to find that I had all this time on my own to think my thoughts. It's interesting what your mind can present you with when you're on your own for so long. Friends from school days, growing up, being a child, my first girlfriend, first job, where I was now, how I had got there, where was I going.

But I wasn't sleeping too well - or rather, my sleep patterns were becoming more more random and as a result of it, I didn't go out one night to take advantage of the beautiful endless evening sunlight. I stayed in my tent and just did a bit of catching up on my sleep.

I awoke at 6am. I had a nagging feeling that there was something going on outside but not really sure what it was. I peeked outside the tent to find the entire landscape was draped in a thick fog. Normally I'd just turn over and go back to sleep, but when it dawned on me that Sellfoss, or hopefully Detifoss (Europes most powerful waterfall) may look rather moody basked in fog, I was up like a shot and heading the 15 minute walk towards the edge of the Jökulsárgljúfur canyon.

I got there just as the fog was burning off. I'm aware that sometimes I put myself in rather risky situations when making my images and this was no exception. I was literally perched at the edge of the canyon to get this shot. I intentionally shot it in portrait mode and I made a concious decision to go long-shutter-speed on it too. With early morning soft light, it's possible to use a really high saturated film like Velvia to good effect: It picks up the subtle tones in the morning sky and builds on it. I like to spend a lot of time thinking about composition so I used the edge of the canyon as a 'lead in' or 'walk in' into the scene. But I think it was the quality of the light - affected by the fog, that really made this image.