The following post is part of our “My Destination” series, in which we ask our staff to tell us about their favourite highlights from our Nordic destinations.
You don't have to travel far in Iceland to capture some astoundingly beautiful moments. Just follow in the footsteps of Nordic Visitor's own Dagur Jónsson, internet marketing expert and landscape photography enthusiast. Dagur has been involved in the company pretty much since its founding in 2002 and has been cultivating his photography hobby over the past two years.
As a self-proclaimed night owl, his main subjects are gorgeous sunsets and moody ocean scenes off the coast of western Reykjavik, where he has lived his whole life. (Wouldn't you stay up late to catch a glimpse of those glowing skies?)
Says Dagur of his subject interests:
"I love doing moody shots with lot of emotion and try to process the images so they look a bit dramatic with a story to tell. I like shooting landscapes with dramatic scenes like dark clouds or captivating sunlight. I have done a lot of sunset shots, and I always find something new and interesting every time I see one. The northern lights and the dark Icelandic winters are also something I really enjoy shooting."
Dagur's top 10 photo spots in Reykjavik:
1. Island of Grótta in Seltjarnarnes
This is a great spot to capture the beautiful lighthouse, bird life and distant mountains. As it is on the very western tip of the city it's also good for watching the northern lights in winter if you can't hop in a car and drive out to to countryside.
2. The seashore by the golf course in Seltjarnarnes
A beautiful seashore to photograph and great spot to capture the Grótta lighthouse. And very often you can watch a nice sunset in the evening from here.
3. Ægissíða seashore
On the southern side of Vesturbær, a family neighbourhood in the western end of the city, is this beautiful spot and a favorite outdoor area among locals. It's great to catch the sunsets here in the spring and autumn, with a nice seashore and mountain views all around.
4. Behind the oil tanks at Grandahólmi
A great spot to capture the mountains of Esja and Akrafjall is at the very edge of the fish packing district in Grandi, on a seafront path near the oil tanks. This is a short walk from the Víkin Maritime Museum, Whales of Iceland, Saga Museum and Aurora Reykjavik centre.
5. The old harbour in downtown Reykjavik
This lively part of the city offers great shots of maritime life, the ships, the old downtown buildings and the shipyard. Come for the photography and stay for a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants or take short whale watching cruise from here for even better city views.
Not many people know about this beautiful headland, just east of downtown. It's a fantastic place to capture the Reykjavik cityscape and the island of Viðey, which is where Yoko Ono's Imagine Peace Tower is installed. There are also some interesting sculptures here and the Sigurjón Ólafsson art musuem.
7. The Sun Voyager & seafront
Every visitor to Reykjavik should walk along the seafront fro the Harpa concert hall to the famous Sun Voyager sculpture. The best times are at dusk in winter or during the "golden hour" of the midnight sun in summer.
This outdoor area on the hill near Perlan ("The Pearl"), just outside the city centre, is a great place to take a quiet hike and photograph the elusive Icelandic trees.
9. Skothúsvegur street
A splendid place to capture the Hallgrímskirkja church. In wintertime, the bridge on this street has a light installation that slowly and constantly changes colour, turning the icy pond below into a sort of outdoor art exhibit.
10. The area around the pond close to Tjarnargata
Another great place to capture the Reykjavik downtown area. From here you can overlook the city pond, Tjörnin, and the City Hall. If you need to warm up, go inside City Hall to sit at the cafe overlooking the swans and ducks or take a look at the huge relief map of Iceland.
On blending work and leisure, Dagur explains:
"Working with Nordic Visitor and photographing as a hobby is an excellent combination. Besides the city, I also love shooting around the family summerhouse in Northwest Iceland, where we have interesting mountain scenery and a lovely small village called Hofsos. My other favourite area is South Iceland, where we have the Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls, the stunning beach at Reynisfjara with the Reynisdrangar cliffs, the church at Vík, the Dyrhólaey lighthouse and the famous Jökulsárslón lagoon."
Dagur uses a Canon 700D with Samyang 14mm f/2.8 lens. See more of his images online at photo community 500px.
Inspired to make your own Iceland photo album? You can reach all places listed above with any of Nordic Visitor's vacation packages, as all tours start and end in Reykjavik. We recommend the Short Breaks if you don't want to stray far from the city or our Iceland Full Circle self-drive tour for a serious photography journey all around the island.