It’s time, yet again, for multiple photos of the same subject. This time it’s Seljalandsfoss, one of the most famous waterfalls in Iceland. So buckle up while I force my photography of one of the most popular waterfalls on earth into the world.

Seljalandsfoss Iceland at Sunset

As stated previously, Seljalandsfoss is one of the most popular waterfalls in Iceland. There are a few reasons for this. First off, it’s not super far from Reykjavik, maybe a two hour drive. Second, it’s right off the ring road, like literally right there. And third, this thing is impressive.

Seljalandsfoss

I have been to Iceland twice now (I’d go every year) and we stopped at Seljalandsfoss both times. The first time was super early in the morning, right after sunrise. At this time of day the waterfall is still stunning, however due to the massive cliff it careens off of, the lighting is not ideal. The whole thing is doused in shadows which makes it difficult to shoot.

This time however, we showed up a bit before sunset, and what a difference it makes. Gorgeous, soft light tinges everything just a tiny bit gold, the shadows are soft and delicate and clouds start turning orange and pink as the sun dips below the horizon. This time around conditions were perfect for shooting this waterfall.

A Walk Around Seljalandsfoss

One thing you should know about this area, is that there is actually a campground (or at least there was) just past the main waterfall. There’s a small building with toilets and a kitchen and then a field with some parking spaces. We camped here overnight and it’s nothing special, but you are so close to the waterfall that you can hear it in your van at night. Camping here also means that you can spend however long you want admiring this waterfall and the surrounding landscape.

Gljufrabui, Iceland

You should also know that Seljalandsfoss isn’t the only waterfall within walking distance. About five minutes down the gravel path is another waterfall called Gljufrabui. It’s mostly hidden in a canyon and a bit more difficult to get to. The very narrow path into the canyon is slippery and you will more than likely end up stepping in the river at some point. However, the short hike into the canyon is worth it. The canyon walls are covered in moss, the shallow pool is a gorgeous blue-gray color and the waterfall is impressively beautiful.

Gljufrabui was incredibly difficult to shoot. The canyon is dark which made for very slow shutter speeds and the mist from the waterfall was intense. My lens was covered in water droplets in about 30 seconds.

Behind the Waterfall

Seljalandsfoss is one of many waterfalls in Iceland that you can actually walk behind. The path behind the waterfall is steep, bumpy, slippery and often crowded with other tourists and photographers. The mist from the falling water is intense, and while you won’t be drenched, every bit of you will be damp, including your camera gear. The view this hike provides, however, is one hundred percent worth it.

Seljalandsfoss

Photography at Seljalandsfoss, Iceland

My first time at Seljalandsfoss, I was deeply unsatisfied with how my photos turned out. I felt that the lighting was all wrong, there were so many people, we didn’t have much time to spend there, and I just wasn’t as skilled at photography as I’d thought. I’ve learned a ton about photography and how to be a better tourist since then and I feel that it definitely paid off.

Shooting Seljalandsfoss is challenging no matter the circumstances. Waterfalls are some of my favorite subjects to shoot and can be tricky no matter the situation. I was determined to get some good shots of this waterfall so I took my time exploring the area and setting up my shots. This time around, I am much happier with my photos.

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Author

Hey there! My name is Leah and I'm a photographer, blogger and wanderer from north Texas. I've been doing photography for nearly a decade now and absolutely love it. My day job is real estate photographer and in my free time you can often find me at a park taking pictures of leaves and flowers. Outside of that my fiance and I love to travel. We spent nine months backpacking through Europe and now spend our free time attempting to plan and going on shorter trips both in the States and abroad.

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