Thursday, June 12, 2014
Official Business and Good Company
After colorful dreams from the ZzzQuil I took and a full breakfast without waffles, all 16 of us expeditioners were faced with a challenge by Erika to treat the day as if we were on assignment for National Geographic to cover Reykjavik. This task, though at first daunting, really encouraged us to focus on not being the obnoxious American tourists we hear so much about (but sometimes act like).
A short taxi ride over, we visited the famous Lutheran cathedral, Hallgrimskikja which I don’t expect anyone to pronounce. This was were we split up into our small groups to get more one on one work done with a specific leader. Today, my group got to work with Erika! At the cathedral we tried out shooting in HDR and different challenges with capturing big monuments such as deciding whether you want the monument lit up but avoiding overexposure or shooting from a different angle to get more of a silhouette effect.
Up on the top floor of the cathedral we played around with the AWESOME view all around Reykjavik. I have to say, I was pretty jealous of those with wide angle lenses and being able to include a huge span of the colorful roofs throughout the city. Also, I was kicking myself in the butt a little for forgetting my fisheye lens back at the hostel.
Enough of the geeky photo talk. I could do it all day but I won’t.
So we walked around the city, official business in mind, and really just started wandering. Since we had already meandered through most of Reykjavik yesterday, today we were pushed to really pick, choose and seek out minor moments or things that could be easily overlooked. In this, I was surprised by how diverse my images became when I wasn’t careless or "shutter-happy”.
At a local fish restaurant we stopped at for lunch, some of us were bold and tried a whale kebab. Though most of us came to feel guilty about this after talking of a documentary on the torture of whales called Blackfish, lunch was filled with laughter, good conversation, macro food photography, and DELICIOUS bread and butter. I would say a break well spent.
I really love these people. Even the loud ones.
Not only did I improve in my choosing of shots but I also became scary good at changing lenses. Whether crossing the street, walking up stairs, or scouting out good subjects, I’m pretty sure I changed my lens at least 20+ times. These are true life skills we learn here with National Geographic. Thank you parents!
Later in the day we visited a photography exhibit by Ragnar Axelsson with none other than Ragnar Axelsson. He was incredible to talk to and hear his stories on the unheard-of dedication he put into getting just one shot. His monochrome work with film and capturing the ways of the arctic wild was truly inspiring. I was especially drawn to his photojournalistic section of works covering from rebellions to volcanic eruptions.
On and on I could go but I will refrain in the prospect of a lukewarm sulfur shower and the search of my beloved eye-mask.
By the way… there is no such thing as darkness here.