LEGENDS OF THE FALL
We have an intense familiarity with Skogafoss in Iceland - a u shaped auditorium that may suck away the light, but it draws in the storyteller. We consider this ice age geological creation to be the best waterfall in the world with which to play with layered narratives. Every time we go back, we have more experience of what does and doesn’t work. It is still a true test for us and failing is very possible. We have often underachieved here and that hurts as this is a spectacular place.
There are two big issues to deal with: firstly, a shoot can only be done before the tourists arrive and that means an early start and a pre-breakfast finish. But for a third of the year, the light before 9 am is suboptimal - so timing and planning is everything. This is not a winter shot unless the roads are tricky and the tourists can’t make it until 10 am.
The far bigger issue is that the closer we are to the waterfall, the more intense the spray. Such is the volume of water that positioning even 200 yards from the bottom of the waterfall is akin to being in a very impressive multi jet shower room. Move in 50 yards and it equates to being in a torrential downpour setting and move 50 yards further in and the camera will not last long. It is, of course, against all my principles to compress distance and that dictates getting close.
I have come to like a position about 125 yards out, but the spray only gives me one second each time to take a shot before the front of the lens is soaked. That makes the whole process very challenging, especially as I am lying in the water. Everything gets very wet and that kind of caps the time to get an image to about 10 minutes a time. Then there are the horses to consider too.
This is the strongest image I have taken at Skogafoss over the last 10 years. I think we were all done by 7 am. It is always rewarding when the end result is far better than the preconception.
The most relevant tips for working here are have loads of lens cloths and take a hot shower within 30 minutes. It is an intense experience that close to the waterfall’s base.