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Iceland, fresh and salt water, May 2011

Finni in the Cathedral, Silfra

My big trip for the spring took me north to the amazing island of Iceland, to dive where there earth is ripping apart. It was a 12 day diving trip, mainly around the remote north coast, and a further 6 days of topside photography. The diving was amazing. Mind blowing. And very diverse. I was diving extensively in both freshwater and the North Atlantic Ocean and experienced such a variety of scenery it is almost impossible to summarise in words. I dived with Dive The North, Scuba Island and Iceland Arctic Diving and I cannot recommend visiting Iceland and diving with these guys enough.

I dived in the famous Silfra Canyon and three other canyons, which have rarely if ever been photographed before. We had special permission to dive in several places to make photos of them. I also dived on the hydrothermal chimney at Arnarnes Strytur in Eyjafjordur, where hot mineral rich water pumps into the sea and has built a chimney more than 60m tall (as the water cools and the minerals precipitate). I dived in a number of freshwater lagoons, some icey cold, others heated to a variety of temperatures by geothermal activity. One is at a constant 30 degrees and is filled with 1000s of fancy goldfish. Quite surreal. However, I did most of my diving in the cold water of the North Atlantic and was thrilled with all the subjects there. Lumpsuckers were there in good numbers on almost every dive, as were other species such as wolfeels and many species of flatfish. There were also many macro subjects including butterfish, scorpionfish and many interesting invertebrates, including some very unusual crustaceans and nudibranchs. In the sea we dived at Gardur, Grindavik, Husavik, Akureyri, Kopasker and more.

There should be more videos in the future from this trip, but these cover shore diving in the south of the island: diving in Gardur and diving in Grindavik.

Kitting up in the snow

I am very happy to report that a selection of my underwater photos from Iceland have already been published in more than 30 newspapers around the world following a press story about my trip. They have also appeared in 100s of newsblogs and even been shown on TV (Discovery Channel in USA). What was particularly pleasing is that the images were being published while I was still in Iceland on the shoot, as I had sent them out during the trip. My favourite was the awesome double page spread in the Guardian, which look stunning printed so large. The Daily Mail piece gives a good overview of the story. Actually these pictures actually all come from just three days of shooting and I have many more stories (and images) to share from Iceland, so keep an eye out in dive magazines in the coming months.

Butterfish Portrait

I used both my Nikon D700 and Nikon D7000 cameras. I tended to use the D700 for wide angle and the D7000 for macro, but it did vary. I used the D700 in my Subal housing with Subal's 45 degree viewfinder and Zen 230 dome. I shot wide angle with both the Sigma 15mm and Nikon 16-35mm. I used the D7000 in my Nauticam housing, invariably using TTL strobe or strobes (I shot manual strobes with the D700). I shot mainly with the 105mm VR, although did also use a 1.7mm teleconveter (once) and regularly the FIT +5 dioptre. I also used the Nauticam system with the Inon fisheye relay lens. I used both Subtronic Alpha Pro strobes and Inon Z240 strobes for lighting, attaching the Ken Sullivan fibre snoot for macro work.

These images are divided into two galleries: one for freshwater and one for saltwater. These galleries are password protected in order to keep them fresh for publications. Please email me for access details letting me know which gallery you wish to see. No need to state reason - just browsing is enough. If I am online access password sent by return. However, you can see many images from this trip, and hear me talking about them in this video of a talk I gave in London, just after the trip here - the Iceland bit starts at 5:15 on the video.

Gisli in Silfra Canyon

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