Leirhnjukur Ash and Steam, Iceland

A narrow path leads through black ash, that will melt your shoes, and steaming vents in the Leirhnjukur Lava Fields near Myvatn in Northern Iceland.

Welcome to the Leirhnjukur Lava Fields near the town of Myvatn in Northern Iceland. It’s a bizarre landscape comprising of ash and steam with a tiny pocket of grass on which sheep graze against distant mountains.

I made this image in the early hours of the morning after a long day of travel and exploration. I pulled the camper van off the road and decided to settle in for the night. But I was restless. The light and the weird landscape beckoned and I headed out for the next few hours to explore the surroundings.

Leirhnjukur Lava Fields | A Walk in Mordor

What awaited was a hard, eerie landscape made up mostly of ash and steam. It was Mordor on earth. After a while the sun began to rise and I made photos looking into the light.

The dynamic range (contrast) was extreme, but well suited to the eerie mood of the location. Frankly, it was a bit spooky!

Sheep overlooking a view of ash and fumes at the Leirhnjukur Lava Fields in the Krafla vocanic area near Myvatn in Northern Iceland.

Sheep Grazing, Leirhnjukur Lava Fields, Iceland

After a time I took a circular route back to the car and came upon the outlook from which the above photo was made with my then Canon 5D Mark II camera and Canon 70-200mm f/4 L series lens.

The image was made at 1/8 second at f/8 on ISO 100.

I love the 3-dimensionality of this image and the way the warm sunrise rakes across the landscape. I feel this particular image provides a more hopeful, albeit a little less dramatic, view compared to the ones I'd be exploring earlier.

The sheep provide a great sense of scale to the landscape. I had to make four separate photos as the little blighters kept moving around.

The photo I chose shows both sheep standing resolutely and looking back towards the camera. OK, I baa baad them.

Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru