Vestrahorn is a 454m high mountain located at Stokksnes, just east of Höfn on the south east coastline of Iceland. The distinctive mountain has been the subject for many photographers and the landscape at this location can create some very atmospheric and dramatic images depending on the prevailing weather and light conditions.
The Horn area below Vestrahorn is an interesting geological site composing of unstratified plutonic rock, mostly gabbro but with some granophyre. East of the mountain is a strange-shaped outcrop called Brunnhorn that stretches out to sea.
One of the first settlement farms in Iceland was Horn, built by Hrollaugur Earl of Møre in Norway. The municipality Hornafjörður and several nature site are named after the settlement farm. Horn means the same thing in Icelandic and English.
In the Second World War the Horn area became a base for the British army and later a NATO radar station was set up at Stokksnes, south of Horn. At Stokksnes you can feel the power of the Atlantic Ocean as the waves hit the rocky shore with massive force.
It was a cloudy and rainy morning when I visited Stokksnes to try and capture an image of Vestrahorn which I had seen in many photographs about Iceland. At the end of the road below the mountain is a small car park area at the Viking Cafe. The small track running out to the east (where there is an old viking settlement) and also the track heading out to the radar station and the sand dunes had no entry signs with access allowed only by permit (which could be purchased at the Viking Cafe for ISK 300). I have subsequently read online that the legality of the owner charging for access to this track is rather dubious …. but never the less I am happy I did as I got some great images.
Even with the rather cloudy and misty conditions that morning I thought it was worth the effort to get a shot so I paid the owner and got access to drive out to the radar station and the sand dunes from where the best shot could be framed with the dramatic black dunes and the the black sand beach in the foreground and then Vestrahorn as a backdrop.
Although the day was not clear or sunny I believe the misty conditions created some wonderful atmospheric shots with the mountain looking rather dark and foreboding with its mask of cloud around it. The distinctive black sand dunes and the contours of the sand made for a wonderful foreground to set off the mountain in the background.
Passionate Photographer …. Lost in Asia
Stuart Taylor of HighlanderImages Photography has been making images for over 25 years and can offer a diverse range of photo imaging services with a focus on Asia and a documentary/photojournalistic style. These services include planning and executing a photo shoot on location but importantly all the post-processing and image preparation needed for the specific finished media format required by the customer. Stuart’s experience and knowledge in all of these aspects makes HighlanderImages Photography a one-stop-shop for a comprehensive and professional image production service.
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