Bruarfoss is a beautiful waterfall we have been itching to see and photograph. It is part of the Brúará river, which is composed of meltwater from Langjökull, west Iceland’s largest glacier. With its origin from a glacier the waters are an amazing aquamarine, almost unreal in appearance. Brúarfoss translates to “Bridge Falls”, named after a dramatic rock arch, that once crossed over the river, but is long gone due to erosion. There is currently a wooden bridge, not nearly is pretty but just as functional. Getting there is just an easy two mile walk along-side the Brúará river through the Icelandic countryside. The only downside is the time of day in which we began our hike, commencing at 9:45pm.

During our last visit to Iceland nearly two years ago, we attempted this hike. Unfortunately, upon arrival to the parking lot, Kathryn became ill. If you know Kathryn at all, missing out on a hike is tantamount to sacrilege. We had to abandon the hike/photo shoot, leaving both of us very disappointed. As we drove away, we vowed to return the next year. Unfortunately, the next year became the year of infamy. Now, nearly two years later, here is the rest of the story.

We arrived at 9:30pm (sunset is at 11:45pm) where there was only one car in parking lot. Two years ago, the lot was completely full. Within the first few minutes of the hike, the only person out here was walking back. We now have Bruarfoss all to ourselves. After the two-mile hike, we arrive at the bridge which spans the river. It gives us a perfect spot for viewing/shooting. We turn to each other and say, “it was well worth the wait!”

As good as it gets. Look carefully at the water next to the river – it is rosy on color – a reflection from the sky. Makes for a nice contrast with the aquamarine of the river.

This photograph was constructed from three photos, each taken with different camera settings, then merged into one photo using the magic of Photoshop. The next paragraph is geeky photography stuff – you can skip if uninterested.

The first image was taken for the foreground with a 1.3 second exposure in order to have water look like it is flowing. The second image was taken for the sky using ½ second exposure in order to darken the sky (I could have used a split graduated ND filter to darken the sky while shooting, but I did not have one in my camera bag). A this point I noticed that with a longer exposure for the water, it turned mostly white due to the foam. To fix this I took a third image at 1/30 second to freeze the water just enough to retain its blue color. I merged the three images in Photoshop, first blending image one and two which resulted in an even exposure from sky through foreground. I then merged the water portions of the third image, erasing part of the white water, bringing forth the blue water.

All this work for one image. Do you think it was worth it? What do you think of the result?

Remember, it’s all about the light! And, some perseverance.