Winter Iceland From the Air

Just back from an amazing week trip in Iceland. This is my second visit in winter to this magical place and it could not have been more different than the time before. In 2017 the weather was wet and temperate. No snow existed save for our last night in Helnar. Of course, on that trip, we only did the souther portion of the ring road where as this time we did the entire loop.

Fast forward to 2019 and it was a land of snow. We drove most days in some form of white out which made for tough driving and photographing conditions. I carried with me my Leica SL, the Leica 16-35 and the Leica 90-280 lenses along with my Leica Q. I also took the little Mavic Pro 2 versus lugging my Inspire 2 kit. While the conditions were difficult, and much more suited to flying a big drone, I was so amazed with the quality and capability of the little Mavic.

It flew in conditions down to -12c with no issues whatsoever other than my freezing fingers working the controls. This was a classic trip where having the new integrated controller would have been optimal. Dealing with my iPhone as a display mounted to the RC, was a consistent challenge not due to technology but instead the cold. Luckily, I have one on order and it should be here shortly.

Having only been back for a few days, I am still working on my photo essay, but in the meantime I wanted to throw up some of the aerial images and one or two stills, just to get things going. Head over to my stories site, and subscribe to the 2019 Iceland story to be notified of updates.

Leica Super Vario Elmar SL 16-35mm f/3.5-4.5 ASPH Lens

Thanks once again to the team at Lens Rentals, I have some very cool Leica SL lenses to use on my upcoming trip. From my first trip to Iceland I discovered that about 70% of my shots were taken from 18mm down and the other 20-30% were either shot long >200mm or on my Q @ 28mm. So for my trip this coming week, I have rented the amazing 16-35 to pair with my Leica SL. The lens arrived two days ago and the weather here in SW FL has not been conducive to much testing. However I did manage to get out the first night at sunset and capture a couple of images at the beach.


My first reaction was that like all of the SL lenses, this glass is super well built and relatively large. In a perfect world, I would love to see these lenses be somewhat smaller, but on the same hand, I appreciate what Leica has done. Solid build with weather seeing and state of the art optics with AF comes at a price. Having also shot a great deal with both Nikon FF and Sony FF gear, I can say that size wise this lens is on par with their offerings. As for weight, well, the build quality of the Leica gear is definitely on the more robust side. Very reminiscent of the MF Zeiss glass that I used with my D800 series cameras.

Shooting into the sun, B&W conversion done in LR

Shooting into the sun, B&W conversion done in LR

After an evening shooting a couple of test shots I am definitely very excited to use this lens in Iceland. I think on the beaches, around the water falls and in the ice caves it is going to perform brilliantly. Paired with a B&W ND filter to slow things down in the bright reflective light, I am excited to see what it can do.

As we travel the coast of Iceland I will be updating the blog infrequently and instead focused on building out my Iceland Story over on my exposure site. You can follow along there.

For my long work, I have rented the Leica APO Vario Elmarit SL 90-280 which I have to say is quite the beast. I was unable to do any real testing with that lens other than an obligatory selfie in the mirror. More on that lens will be forthcoming.


Welcome to the new site

It is always a labor of love and pain to launch a new web site. After much hard work, I am excited to have this new site up and running. Embracing my inner Wabi Sabi, I am sure it is not perfect, but it is good enough.

This week I head to Iceland for my second trip to this magical place. We will be circumnavigating the entire Island which should lead to diverse set of imagery and some good stories to boot. I have created a Story where I will be live blogging images and words during my trip and then upon my return I will be updating it with my final selections.

Limited edition prints will be available for purchase this spring.