Iceland, an arctic island of stunning natural beauty, Nordic lore and the Aurora Borealis seen to its best advantage, is a photographer’s paradise. Mythic, majestic and an easy time frame access has made Iceland a very popular tourist destination. International photographer and director Vegar Abelsnes, a son of Norway himself, knew he had to make the journey. He had been there just for layovers but wanted to go back for inspiration and to present his unique perspective with a personal project, “Trip to Iceland.”
With some extended family in Iceland and a local production company to help scout interesting people ( Hero Production) , Vegar was now ready to explore this volcanic island nation his way. Norwegians have much in common with the history, mythology and culture of Iceland . “The Icelandic language is more like how Norwegian used to be over a 1,000 years ago, but since they have been in isolation as an island the language has stayed intact. The original King Sagas, the stories of the Vikings, Norwegian Kings, their mythology and more, was written by an Icelandic fellow Snorri Sturluson in the 1200s, a poet, historian, and politician,” adds Vegar.
With his recent certification as a UAS pilot by the FAA and expertise in drone photography, Vegar captured dramatic landscapes, incredibly twisted black volcano rock from hardened molten lava formations, glaciers, colorful hot springs, mountains, picturesque resorts and landmarks, locals and fun night life with his Phantom DJI4 Pro Drone, as well as with his still cameras.
Even with four-wheel drive and GPS, driving in Iceland can be a challenge. As Vegar made his way to Reykjavik, the northernmost capital city of the world, he got to experience the regular two-way highways, dirt roads and very bumpy F- roads (narrow, gravel roads) that could lead either to an abyss on one side or a steep mountain on the other. Reykjavik is a gateway to rugged adventure. It is a city that spans history with Viking landmarks, museums, breathtaking views, state-of-the art geothermal energy. and exciting night life of dance clubs where the locals have the custom of kicking up their shoes to the ceiling.
After several days of experiencing the life of Reykjavik, Vegar left the coast and headed west to make his way to the beautiful, symmetric Church Mountain (Kirkjufell). He explored quiet roads and found the beautiful black church in Budakirka with the charming Hotel Budir nearby. Situated on a lava field with a glacier in view, the inn was one of the most serene and peaceful places he experienced in Iceland.
Vegar’s last stop was The Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa that exemplifies the volcanic activity of the island. It is one of the most visited attractions in Iceland and a wonderful place of calming hot springs for bathing and relaxation. As he floated in its soothing waters, Vegar toasted this land with a cold beer, the best way he could say goodbye to a country of amazing sights, sceneries and his own heritage. See his director’s reel and view more work at his site, www.vegarabelsnes.com.