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.

The Leirhnjukur Lava Fields is a bizarre landscape comprising of ash and steam in the Krafla volcanic region near the town of Myvatn in Northern Iceland.

There’s even a tiny pocket of grass on which sheep graze against distant mountains.

That’s somewhat surreal given the fact that, during most of my visit, the soles of my shoes would start to melt if I stood in one spot for more than a minute or two.

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 of the Leirhnjukur Lava Fields beckoned and I headed out for the next few hours to explore the area.

Leirhnjukur Lava Fields | A Walk in Mordor

What awaited me at the Leirhnjukur Lava Fields 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 (i.e., 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 where I made the above photo of sheep grazing on a small patch of grass, adjacent to the Leirhnjukur Lava Fields

I photographed the sheep 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 the 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, quite resolutely, and looking back towards the camera. Okay, I baa baad them.

Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru