ÍS: Siglufjörður (Part Two)

Siglufjörður, Iceland In case you were wonder, yes, Icelander regularly leave their babies unattended in their prams and strollers outside cafes and shops. There’s no danger of the baby being taken (especially in a remote little town like Siglufjörður), so they prefer to leave the baby out in the fresh, healthy air, especially if they are sleeping.

Siglufjörður, Iceland

Siglufjörður, Iceland

[35mm taken with my Canon EOS Rebel 2000. Click here for more pictures from my June Ring Road trip around Iceland]

 

ÍS: Class Field Trip Day in Ísafjörður

Ísafjörður, Iceland

An adorable group of Icelandic kids spotted on their way back to school from the Westfjords Heritage Museum.  Ísafjörður seems like a wonderful place to grow up. Safe and small, kids run around without any supervision, knowing no one here would ever hurt them. As one reader described it, reflecting on growing up here in the ’70’s and’80’s: “A whole town as your playground.” Ísafjörður, Iceland   [35mm taken with my Canon EOS Rebel 2000. Click here for more pictures from my June Ring Road trip around Iceland]

June 15 || Dettifoss & Seyðisfjörður

20140620-095355-35635121.jpgDettifoss is the most powerful waterfall in Iceland. We hitched a ride there with the sweetest family from Bavaria (in the photo below, at another waterfall on the side of the road. They gave a ride there, back, and then all the way to Egilstaðir.

20140620-095652-35812904.jpg Egilstaðir is tidy and functional, but with little to nothing of interest for travelers. We stopped for a wifi/coffee break, and then carried on to the completely charming Seyðisfjörður.

20140620-100034-36034072.jpgWe were picked up by two young Icelandic men trying to make the most of their days off. One was on a two month leave from his job on a fishing boat. They decided it would be good fun to take us all the way to Seyðisfjörður, even though they hadn’t been planning on going that way. After picking up beer and cracking one open, we drove over a dip in the mountains that leads to the cozy fjord.

20140620-100351-36231850.jpg Having nothing better to do, Kolbeinn and Theodore (except Icelandic spelling?) gave us the “grand tour,” stopping at the scenic overlook and driving all through town. I’ve found that the average Icelander knows quite a bit about their history, literature, and the geology behind the landscape.

20140620-111204-40324288.jpgWe were then treated to our first rúnta: aimless driving around the same circuit through town, listening to music (DJ Muscle Boy and The Dead Weather in this case), drinking, and passing the time in a small town. [These photos taken with my iphone 5c]

Wandering Around Old West Side & the Harbor

Reykjavik, Iceland Some days, I really love the energy of downtown, with all the tourists and locals laughing and enjoying the city. But other days, such as a recent evening (it was about 8 or 9pm when I took these photos), I like to wander through quieter corners of the city. I love Old West Side and the harbor area. The houses are charming and quirky, and the streets are quiet except for the folks who live there. And there’s something special about wandering residential areas of Reykjavik in the afternoon or early evening. Everywhere I walked, I heard the laughter of children inside and out and the chink of glasses and silverware as families ate together with the window open to enjoy the first week of summer.

Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik, Iceland

[These photos are scanned 35mm film shots taken by me with a Canon EOS Rebel 2000.]

The Kids Are Alright

Kids in Reykjavik, Iceland I’ve mentioned before how Reykjavik is such a safe city. Consequently, you see a lot of kids running around and playing- straying from their parents or skateboarding on their own with no affiliated grown ups in sight. It’s the kind of thing a documentary photographer like myself can’t resist trying to capture. Which brings me to my next point: parents are generally not bothered upon seeing someone taking a picture of their child or being asked for a picture with their young’n. I think again, that’s due to a sense of finite boundaries and community, an absence of stranger-fear.

Kids in Reykjavik, Iceland

Kids in Reykjavik, Iceland

Kids in Reykjavik, Iceland [These are scans of pictures taken with a 35mm disposable film camera.]

Reykjavik’s Vintage Wheels

Vintage car in Reykjavik, IcelandNow that the days are longer and full of sunshine, Icelanders are taking advantage of the clear days to show off their vintage cars. Sit anywhere on Laugavegur (the main drag, where one-way traffic inches along, making for great car and people watching), and you’ll see at least one or two beautifully restored classic cars. I’ve taken to keeping a small disposable film camera on me at all times in readiness, since I love old cars and trucks. Here are a few from before the Easter Holidays.  Vintage car in Reykjavik, Iceland

Vintage car in Reykjavik, Iceland

 

When Icelanders Protest || Pt. 2

Protests in Reykjavik, Iceland Icelanders have been out protesting in front of the Alþingi quite a bit lately in regard to voice their opinion about the government’s plans to withdraw from negotiations to join the  EU. The atmosphere of the protests is really interesting to me coming from DC. I tried to take images that would capture the strong sense of community. 

Protests in Reykjavik, Iceland

Protests in Reykjavik, Iceland

Protests in Reykjavik, Iceland

Protests in Reykjavik, Iceland    [These photos are scanned 35mm film shots taken by me with a Canon EOS Rebel 2000.]

When Icelanders Protest… || Pt. 1

000031Icelanders have been out protesting in front of the Alþingi quite a bit lately in regard to decisions on whether the nation should join the EU. When Icelanders protest,  they sometimes express their displeasure with bananas. It’s their way of saying that this current government is acting like a “banana republic.”

Protests in Reykjavik, Iceland

Protests in Reykjavik, Iceland
Protests in Reykjavik, Iceland

Protests in Reykjavik, Iceland Protests in Reykjavik, Iceland   [These photos are scanned 35mm film shots taken by me with a Canon EOS Rebel 2000.]

Sunny Days are Family Days

Reykjavik, Iceland One of the things I’ve really grown to love about Reykjavik are the young families. Children are not considered a burden here. You can tell that by the way young families go together to cafes and restaurants and bring their children to the student union at the University. On Sundays, the church service at Fíladelfía is punctuated by laughter as kids play happy and un-shushed in the back of the meeting hall.

Reykjavik, Iceland On sunny weekend days like this one, the young families come out en mass to enjoy the company of each other and their neighbors. I wandered around the pond, and soaked up the love and community. One of the things I miss most about home is being able to play with all the kids in my church or visit my friends with kids.

Reykjavik, Iceland

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This was one of the cutest things I saw all day. This little girl had fallen, and her brother walked out onto the ice to help her up. Their grandfather was sitting on the bench at the edge of the pond watching. I asked him if I could take their picture, and he said, “Of course, but you don’t have to ask here.” That really surprised me, and over the last week or so, I’ve realized that Icelanders are, on the whole (I hate to generalize…), very comfortable being photographed. I think there’s just not that fear of strangers I’m used to knowing at home.  Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik, Iceland[These photos are scanned 35mm film shots taken by me with a Canon EOS Rebel 2000.]

There Are Also People Here

000007My New Year’s resolution, inspired by the likes of HONY and Nomad Russ, was to get waaaayyy out of my comfort zone and start taking more photographs of people- friends as well as strangers. On a recent sunny Saturday afternoon, I wandered nervously around Reykjavik 101 asking strangers if I could take their photo. This young Icelandic family was the first I asked. You see a lot of young, stylish families downtown, and on the weekend, it’s delightful to see so many families out together enjoying the nice weather and each other.

Reykjavik, IcelandSo in the coming week or so, you will see more products of my tentative foray into street photography, instead of just channeling my Wes Anderson fandom into rectilinear-framed shots of colorful buildings. I’ve also been working on my covert portrait snapping skills, like pretending to take a picture of a bakery, but waiting to take the picture till interesting looking people walk by.

Reykjavik, IcelandAnd last but not least, I brought my camera along to a recent performance by my friend Malo Adeux at Loft Hostel. We’re not sure, but we think may have been the first time a singer/songwriter has performed the Breton language in Iceland. And it was definitely the first time a French singer spoke in English to an international crowd in an Icelandic hostel to teach them the refrain of a traditional Breton song about harvesting seaweed. [These photos are scanned 35mm film shots taken by me with a Canon EOS Rebel 2000.]