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Akranes Lighthouse - Color and Black and White!

Hello everyone,

Here's another image from my Lighthouse series. This one was photographed in Akranes, Iceland.

Image Details: Nikon D800, 17-35mm F2.8 Lens. Exposure time: 210 seconds @ F5.6. Total of 16 stops of ND filtration on lens.

I drove to Akranes directly from the airport. I remember being really tired, and my jet lag got worse the longer I was out photographing, but the weather that day and the incredible natural setting of the lighthouse had way too strong of a pull so I couldn't stop taking pictures despite my tiredness.

Shortly after I started shooting here, a man came walking up to me. He also had a camera with him, and it wasn't long until we started chatting about photography. Next thing I remember was being asked: "So do you wanna' go up on top of the lighthouse?" I thought he was joking at first, but to my surprise he pulled out a set of keys and said: "Let's go". I wasn't going to turn him down. 

In the image below you can see that Akranes is home to not just one, but 2 lighthouses:

So Hilmar took me to the top of the lighthouse pictured above. But his generosity didn't stop there. He pulled out a series of old photographs, and told me about the history about both lighthouses as well. The old lighthouse that is depicted above was erected in 1918, but is now virtually unused due to the newer, much taller, tower that has been built so close to it.

While visiting the newer lighthouse, I took some pictures from the top, including one of my host, Hilmar:

What a nice man and generous host Hilmar truly was. Running into him within hours after arriving in Iceland really set the stage for a fantastic week. I felt truly blessed having met him, and hope I will be able to return the favour someday. Hilmar made me feel welcomed not only to his hometown Akranes, but to Iceland as a country. It's because of him that this image will always have a special meaning to me. It was great learning about the location I was photographing from him. Months later, he found me on Facebook and it's because of things like that that I appreciate using social media services. Next time I will be in Iceland I'll surely make a point to say Hi again.

The climb to the top of the lighthouse was very steep. I took this quick snapshot while standing at the top looking down the first set of stairs:

And on this image, you can see the view from above, including my camper van that was my home while visiting Iceland:

On the image above you can get a vey good idea of the incredible location this lighthouse is in. I actually returned to this lighthouse 2 more times before I left Iceland.

Finally, I wanted to share another view of this same lighthouse with you. This one was shot with my Phase One P45+ Digital Back:

Image Details: Phase One DF camera, 45mm F2.8 Lens, Phase One P45+ Digital back. Exposure time: 64 seconds @ F14. Total of 13 stops of ND filtration on lens.

Yes, this is another color image. I just couldn't resist. It's photographed from a slightly elevated viewpoint compared to the first black and white image.

Please feel free to leave me a comment about which image you prefer - black and white or color.

Really been experimenting with color lately, and I think I am getting close to starting a new series of photographs that will be 100% in color. It's funny. I was chatting with a good friend the other day, about the fact that little over a year ago I wouldn't even look at any of my images in color. I wouldn't even consider it. Despite the fact that this series started as black and white only, today I am much more open to experimenting with color. I am curious to see what it can do. 

So please let me know what you think!

More tk..

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Reader Comments (4)

Mark; I like the b&w better. It communicates the raw power of the ocean beating up against the lighthouse. You get a sense of how fierce the atmosphere can be for those on the ocean, and the force that the lighthouse stands up against. The colour is nice image but not as strong nor as expressive about the atmosphere. The streaking clouds in the b&w give you sense of the wind, and just how stark and desolote it can be on the coast.

December 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSucha Ollek

Thanks for visit Akranes lighthouse and welcome back whenever you like to visit Akranes and Iceland again.

December 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHilmar photo@simnet.is

We went to Iceland, on driving round went to the lighthouse on a Sunday morning, Hilmar was leaving , in fact had gone about 200 yards away. As we were looking around he drove back and invited us on a tour of the lighthouse and gave us the guided tour. Photos displayed are great. He is very accomadating, enthusiastic and a nice bloke.

March 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSteve Pratt

They both speak volumes and speak them very differently. I cannot say I like one better than the other. I get one very distinct feeling from the black-and-white and I get a totally different but equally as good feeling from the color. I have Photographed lighthouses is all over the Northeast of United States especially the one I have worked on for 22 years and I've been a professional photographer for over 25 years. My suggestion? Don't discard your color images! They're both gorgeous!

December 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPamela Setchell

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