How to Photograph Diamonds in Iceland

Diamond Beach is one of the most beautiful and popular spots in Iceland. The beach is a strip of black sand located by Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon on the south coast of Iceland and is a nearly 5 hour drive from Reykjavík.

Chunks of glacier break off from the nearby Vatnajökull Glacier and gather in the lagoon. The lagoon has an outlet that the icebergs flow down and into the Atlantic Ocean. The waves from the ocean push the chunks of clear and blue ice toward shore. The contrasting ice on the black sand make this a favorite spot for photographers.

How to Compose a Shot of the Beach.

For the most dramatic shot, a long exposure is necessary. For this, a tripod and low lighting conditions are essential. There are two ways of achieving low light. The best way is to arrive early before the tourists come and before the sun is up. Set your F/stop to a high aperture like f/13-/f18. The higher the aperture, the longer you will be able to hold your shutter open. About that shutter speed. You will need a slow shutter speed of at least 8 seconds to get motion in the water. A cable release will help keep the camera from vibrating on top of the tripod.

The second way of achieving low light is to use a Neutral Density filter on your lens. This will allow less light to pass through your lens and allow you to slow down your shutter.

Wearing water proof pants and boots are a good idea so that you can allow the water to come up and past your lens for the nicest effect.

In my image, I chose to wait until the water receded back into the sea instead of the water flowing to me because I liked the way the lines drew my eyes to the center of the frame toward the blue ice. Also, I waited until there was black sand in the foreground to give the image contrast.

One other tip would be to bring a waterproof flashlight and stick it behind one of the pieces of ice to make it shine like a diamond.

Have fun on your Icelandic Adventure!

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