Friday, January 13, 2012

Matthew Eisman got to experience Iceland as a volunteer for its Environment Agency

New Yorker Matthew Eisman's photographic career is currently thriving on live music concerts and portrait work, which has appeared in publications such as The New York Times and SPIN. "Last summer, I decided to volunteer with the conservation trail teams in Iceland’s national parks through the Environment Agency of Iceland (Umhverfisstofnun). One of my photographic goals was to try capturing the grandeur of the Iceland landscape with the help of my Singh-Ray filters.

"For this venture, I challenged myself to compose all of my images in-camera with one exposure and minimal post-processing. My f-stop Tilopa BC backpack contained my Nikon D700 camera, Nikkor lenses and a set of Singh-Ray Filters. My filter kit included Singh-Ray’s LB Warming Polarizer, Gold-N-Blue, Vari-ND, plus three types of P-size ND filters: the 3-stop Solid ND filter, the 3-stop soft-step and hard-step ND Grad filters and the 3-stop Reverse ND Grad.

"The waterfall images above were made in the vast Þórsmörk area in the Stakkholtsgjá canyon. Þórsmörk is only accessible by specially equipped all-terrain vehicles and the region is very popular among hikers. Mountains, glaciers and fast-moving waters encircle it in all directions. Singh-Ray’s Gold-N-Blue brought this waterfall to life. The only difference between the two exposures was a slight turn of the Gold-N-Blue Polarizer, and I was able to produce two vastly different, but equally dramatic results.

"These next three images were made at the famous Jökulsárlón iceberg lagoon in the southeast near Skaftafell National Park. Jökulsárlón is an abstract photographer’s dreamscape. No two frames are ever the same. It’s one of the most rewarding and challenging locations that I’ve ever photographed. I spent one week near the lagoon waiting for the ideal shooting conditions. My first three days were washed out by rain, but weather finally cleared on the fourth evening and I made this image.

"These next two images were both made the next night at the iceberg lagoon. My goal was to simulate impressionistic brushstrokes with the ebb and flow of the waves. The Gold-N-Blue Polarizer plus the 3-stop Solid ND Filter was the perfect combination.

"The final image below was made at the majestic Dynjandi waterfall in Iceland’s West Fjords. It’s a great example of an image that would not have been possible without help from my Singh-Ray Filters. Using Singh-Ray’s Vari-ND plus the 3-stop Solid ND Filter, I dialed in a six-second exposure in bright afternoon sunlight!

"I gained a lot of valuable photography experience during my adventures in Iceland. The two most important lessons -- familiarizing myself with using filters and learning to be patient when composing my shots. I’d strongly recommend volunteering if you’d like to spend quality time in some of Iceland’s most beautiful areas and experience it in way that most tourists never will."

You can view more of Matthew's photographic work at his website, or check out his music photography website. You'll also find him on Twitter and Facebook.

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