I have a habit when I have my camera with me, and that is my disregard of time, comfort and company, a photographers ability to switch off to all the distractions around them is in many ways a gift and a burden, and the only way to truly understand what I mean by this is to either be a photographer or to be with a photographer when he or she finds that moment that they have been dreaming about, as was the case for this photo.
Jokulsarlon Iceland, if you are lucky enough to have visited this unique part of the world you would know that driving in to a car park at this famous glacier lagoon will give you views that you could have only imagined, you will also know that every man and his camera are there hoping to get a post card perfect shot, and when you get to see this scene of icebergs so large they could crush a house yet so close you could sit from the comfort of your car as if you are at the drive in cinema, it is breathtaking, and yet for me the stubborn photographer I’m not satisfied, where is the story? Where is the pain and the sacrifice?
So with this in mind when I wake in the morning from the back of the car that my wife and I decided would be our accommodation while in Iceland, I tell my wife that I am going to hop out of the car for a FEW minutes to take photos of the icebergs that are so conveniently right in front of our car, as my wife approves of this while tucked away in a warm sleeping bag I grab my camera gear, tripod and I’m off, at first I only venture 10 meters from the car….then 20, until 5 hours later I find myself walking in freezing cold wind with no tourists in sight, I struggle to feel my face and my fingers were no better, and then I see it, the photo that I was looking for, a little bay so sheltered from the wind that the water looks like glass that reflects the overcast sky, and there among a sea of iceberg’s is a small iceberg that looks like crystal, in this instant I am transported to another world where I am no longer cold and a 5 hour venture from the car all made perfect sense, I was justified in my cause, hoping that my wife would understand.
As I capture this photo, filled with an overwhelming sense of a achievement I make my way back to the car, lucky for me I’m not 5 hours from the car, time just tends to go by fast when you have a camera, so as I walk for 1 hour back to my wife who I left at the car believing I would only be a few minutes, I wonder to myself what sort of welcome home I would receive?
As I reach the car park full of tourists that come by the bus load I reflect on my day and I know I made a good choice, now I just need to convince my wife, as my wife sees me she gives me a look you can only imagine, am I dead?
That thought goes through my head as you can imagine, to my surprise my wife lets me live, she tells me while I was gone she got to meet all the tourists as they arrived and departed, occasionally taking the photo or two for the posing couples.
My wife by this stage already knows the mind of a photographer and has made this photo an even better memory for me, and even better I found my story, I had my pain, and my wife understands the sacrifice.