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Lava Field Story

We made a first attempt at shooting in the Eldhraun Lava fields after shooting at the Arnardranger Sea Stacks, The vast Eldhraun lava field (“Fire Lava“), in the south of the Icelandic highlands, was created in one of the greatest eruptions in recorded history and is of the largest of its kind in the world.  This eruption lasted from 1783 to 1784 and is known as the Skaftáreldar (The Skaftá River Fires). This was a cataclysmic event for Iceland and beyond. In Iceland, it lead to disease, crop failure and disasters and impacted lower crop production in Europe. Despite the abysmal affect the eruption had, this lava field of 565 km is today one of the most stunningly attractive ones in Iceland. The moss that grows on them creating a soft pillow can take centuries to grow. We drove for 30 minutes and did not see any areas we wanted to shoot in. I knew we would be driving through the area on our way to our next base, so we decided to return to Vik to continue our day there.  

The next day, the pouring rain, cold and wind that prevented us from shooting in the lower Dyrholaey in the morning followed us as we traveled north to our next base near Diamond Beach. The wind gusts were rocking the car making it difficult to keep on the road.  Now traveling further than the previous day, we started to see some beautiful places to shoot, but no place to pull off the road.  Finally, we spotted both a pullover and a shooting location. As we stopped the car, the wind rocked the car and rain continued to pour. We looked at each other daring who would go first. Anastasia jumped out of the car and headed over a ridgeline, finding a depression that shielded her from the wind, first enjoying the mossy pillow in her rain gear. I followed after attaching the rain cover to my camera and positioned myself on the ridge overlooking where Anastasia was located.  The wind was knocking me around as I tried to keep the lens rain free, and focus on her. She jumped around to several different locations and poses and we shot quickly...probably 10 or 15 minutes. I gave her the thumbs up that we were done, and we ran back to the warmth of the car and a shot of Icelandic schnapps (Aquavit). Beyond Anastasia's enthusiasm to embrace shooting under these conditions, the next most amazing thing were the results. The rain saturated the moss making the colors an intense green and also gave Anastasia a wild kind of look.

Our next lava field experience was in Grindavik after returning to the Reykjavik area from eastern Iceland. We found a beautiful spot near our hotel and did a combination of art nude and fashion under much better weather conditions.  Anastasia did a beautiful job conforming her body to the contours of the form of the lava beds. For the fashion images, we captured some nice images of exposed lava rock, moss and the gray skies using the ever dependable green dress we used throughout the trip.

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