Double Rainbow Over Skogafoss

Skogar, Iceland

As most landscape photographers know, Iceland is full of some of the most amazing waterfalls in the world, often times much more accessible that people realize. This particular waterfall, Skogafoss, is located in the town of Skogar, less than two hours from Reykjavik. Located in a protected nook, you often have issues with water spray because of the wind in the area. However every so often, the wind will shift, effectively pushing the spray back into the waterfall itself, allowing you to get incredibly close without fear of getting your gear wet or water droplets on lens.

Camera Details:
Camera: Canon 5D Mark III
Lens: Canon TS-E24mm f/3.5L II
ISO: 100
Exposure: f/11 at 8.0 seconds

In order to bring out the color of the rainbow and slow down my shutter speed to get the fluid movement in the water, I used a Formatt-Hitech 105mm Circular Polarizer and a 6 stop ND filter in tandem with eachother. More info can be found here:

Post Processing Details:

This image was initially a large “mega pixel” image taken from there exposures with my 24mm TS lens and the shift feature of the lens. I ended up preferring the standard image crop so I brought it back down to size by cropping it before I began processing.

For this particular image, I wanted to keep a darker and more foreboding feeling, so I kept my shadows dark. The challenge was to bring the highlights back enough to not have then stand out too much against the darker background. For this I used a mixture of Lightroom tools, such as adjusting highlights, shadows, white and black sliders. I then took it into Photoshop and cleaned up a few of the distracting elements, such as rocks that hinted at containing some sun reflections. It was than onto onOne Software’s Perfect Effects to add a touch of texture and to get the green on the walls just right. Before applying my sharpening and noise reduction, I applied a dark contrast to the image to further separate my highlights and shadows using the curve adjustment.

For those interested in exploring Iceland, I have two photography workshop (June & September) running this year: