The Hidden Beauty of Brúarfoss

Heavy rain during autumn turned this waterfall in Iceland into a swirling cauldron!

Over the course of a few days in October, I headed out with my friend Mads Peter Iversen to work on a couple of projects. Brúarfoss waterfall had been a long-awaited destination of mine for quite some time, though I hadn’t gotten around to visiting it yet.

There has been a bit of controversy surrounding this waterfall, given that it sits on private land and the owners have sought to restrict access through their summer houses. However, there is a ‘Right of Public Access’ law in Iceland which stipulates that it is permissible to cross uncultivated private property without seeking any special permission, though landowners may limit routes with signs and other marks.  At the time that we went, Brúarfoss remained accessible via the main entrance and parking lot away from the summer houses. It was well-signed through uncultivated brush, with quite a bit of trekking through mud.

I hope at some point there will be an official path or boardwalk that will lead to less impact caused to the surrounding environment for visitors. If you choose to visit this waterfall for yourself, then I hope you’ll take steps to care for the surrounding area during your journey.

This photo was taken from within the base of the waterfall itself. Immediately to my left, the cauldron of deep glacial water churned thickly due to recent rainfall. However, my Sorel snow boots withstood the wetness and freezing temperature to keep my feet dry! I chose to use the natural curve of the flow of water to lead the eye into the waterfall itself and got down quite low into the water for this shot. A 3-stop neutral density filter was enough to slow down the fast movement of the water and to create a hair-like effect towards the bottom left, which brought me an immense amount of joy!

Location: Brúarfoss, Golden Circle, Iceland.

Equipment: Canon 5DsR, Canon 16-35mm f/4L IS USM, Singh-Ray GND 4-stop soft & ND 3-stop, Gitzo GT2531LVL Levelling Carbon Tripod with Acratech GPSS Ballhead.

Settings: 1/4 sec, f/16, ISO 100.

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