Iceland – You’re Icy – The Glacial Lagoon and Diamond Beach

There are so many amazing things to shoot in Iceland but there is a reason for the ice in, well, ‘Iceland’. Vatnajökull ice cap has around 30 outlet glaciers flowing from the ice cap and covers over 11% of the countries land mass. I think its fair to say ice can make for some pretty amazing shooting material and there’s no more famous locations to shoot ice than the Diamond Beach and Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon.

Thor on the Diamond Beach
Darah Muldowney against an amazing sky..It can only be one place..Iceland..



To get to the glacial lagoon area it’s between 5 and 6 hours drive straight from Reykjavik but don’t worry, there’s lots to shoot in between. We tend to book an overnight in a hotel en route around other prominant locations such as Vik, to make sure the workshop runs smoothly for our participants.

Once we arrive at the lagoon area we tend to spend 3 or 4 nights shooting the surrounding locations. Its geographically a small area, so that gives you a good idea of what an amazing part of the world this is. The conditions change every day and Im not just talking about the light, which can be stunning beyond measure in this part of Iceland, but the ice itself. I have been to the Diamond beach at sunset with little or no ice on the beach and returned the next morning to a beach covered in ice. Hence give yourself a few days here and reshoot locations numerous times. Days can be long and tiring with so much to shoot so maximise your potential energy levels by staying in close proximity.

Ice Beach Northern Lights by Daragh Muldowney
Dramatic morning Ice Beach by Peter Gordon
Looking for that perfect combo of icebergs on the black beach in Iceland can be touch sometimes. Couple that with a great sky and it can be a pretty photogenic place..

The beach and lagoon are adjacent to each other. If you haven’t visited before it’s a bit tough to visualise, but the ice is breaking off the glacier, some sitting in the lagoon, and eventually flowing down on to the black volcanic beach. It truly is a sight to behold. Photogenic isn’t the word. It’s out of this world.

Perfect pastels at the glacial lagoon on Icelands south coast..
Northern Lights at the Glacial Lagoon ..
Abstracts on the Glacial Lagoon by Daragh Muldowney
A still subtle morning at the glacial lagoon Iceland. Perfect for patterns and reflections. by Peter Gordon


The ice beach itself can be tough to shoot and it can take a while to get in the rhythm of the shots. Most of the time we find our workshop participants are only really getting the sots after their second or third visit. Once you’re in the rhythm it truly is a marvel.

If you would like to take the guesswork out of your visit to the Glacial Lagoon why not join us in Iceland in 2019.


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