“Space the final frontier” is the famous line from the epic Star Trek which we all grew up to. But with so much to see & experience on mother Earth, I won’t be bothered about space for now. Last month I had the opportunity to explore one of the earthly frontiers called Iceland. I have been to other destinations around the world & none have amazed me more than Iceland. It’s a photographer’s paradise, a tourist’s getaway & a revelation of the elements of the universe; earth, water, air, fire & space all in one place.
Let me tell you it’s not the place for the weak hearted. The very thought of waking up early, sleeping late barely managing a few hours of rest, trekking up hills, through sand &, gravel & knee-deep water, marching through spray of water, crawling on all fours, braving the cold gusty winds & still be sane to compose & marvel the nature can be attributed to the adrenaline rush one gets from the place. This obsession is multiplied many a fold if you are in the august company of ten charged up passionate photographers.
UAE Landscapers & Xploring Light under the keen eyes of Prakash Kumar Singh, Akhter from UAE & Jassi Oberai from India laid a platform for all of us to experience the marvel of Iceland in September 2017. The well organised itinerary was put to test by the unpredictable Icelandic weather which seemed to lead us on a hide & seek game for light through the thick clouds. We drove passionately through rain, across meadows, over mountainous terrain to get a glimpse of the sunlight & the dancing green lights of Aurora Borealis. Through the long drives we kept awake by generous helpings of chikki, khakras & pulse cookies, not to mention the lead car driving on the wrong side of the road or racing with the Optimus Prime lorries, leaving our sleeping eyes wide open with awe.
Last minute detours to find waterfalls or landmarks to capture were the spirit of the tour. The numerous seasonal waterfalls, the cloud draped snow covered mountain peaks, the winding roads, the moss-covered lava rocks, the black sand beaches, the open fields with sheep grazing & horses running free captured the eye & imagination of the artist within.
Though I had to leave the group 5 days short due to my professional commitments, I came back a learned man, with new friends & memory cards full of images to process. My gratitude & kudos to the organizers for tour well executed, my salute to the fellow photographers for their comradery. A piece of advice to the people still having Iceland on their bucket list…….
Empty your bucket here, you will have a bucketful there.