Seltún, Iceland
July 12, 2014

This is the first of twenty locations in Southern Iceland that are in my forthecoming guide "A Landscape Photographer's Tour of Southern Iceland" and this series of blog posts are to whet your appetite for Iceland as a photographic destination. The guide provides the same kinds of information my UK guides provide, including maps, 360 degree interactive panoramic photographs, directions, and more.

Walking around Seltún is like walking on another planet! Seltún is a solfatara field in the Krýsuvík area on the Rejkanes Peninsula of South Western Iceland. The area lies along the volcanic zone of the Mid Atlantic Ridge where the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates meet.

Seltun, Iceland

Solfatara fields have steaming volcanic vents that emit sulfurous gasses produced by groundwater that seeps down and is heated by magma. Where the gasses rise through surface water, sulphuric acid is formed which disolves rock and results in the subtle colours of the clay and minerals that can be seen across the solfatara field.

As well as the volcanic vents there are also shimmering blue grey mud pools formed by surface water being heated by steam from a boiling geothermal reservoir beneath.

Seltun, Iceland

At Seltún there are boarded walkways to allow visitors to walk accross the solfatara field as well as paths. The paths and walkways are wide enough to set up a tripod and as Seltún does not seem to receive as many visitors as other locations close to Rejkavik, using a tripod shouldn’t cause an obstruction. The network of walkways does not take long to explore, but there are plenty of other routes in the area.

Seltun, Iceland

Although vegetation does not grow on the acidic soil around the volcanic vents, there are pathches of vibrant green at the edges that contrast with the earth hues of yellow orange and red of the soil of the solfatara field.

Seltun, Iceland

Nearby there are several maars, craters created by the explosion of overheated groundwater, that have filled with water and created lakes. One of the most spectacular is Grænavatn, the green lake.

Iceland has many folklore tales and one of them is about the ellusive hot spring birds that swim in the waters of the boling pools and dive into a bubble when anyone comes near. Some believe these birds to be the souls of the damned that swim in the boiling waters as punishment!

The photographs in this blog post are actually frames from video taken with a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera. I hope to have a short video of the locations available soon.

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A Landscape Photographer's Guide The Norfolk CoastA Landscape Photographer's Guide The South Yorkshire DalesA Landscape Photographer's Guide The South Yorkshire DalesA Landscape Photographer's Guide The Central Dorset Coast