As a dedicated lover of Mother Nature, I will never forget the dramatic landscapes of Iceland. Beautiful and unpredictable. I went there for just a week completely unprepared but very excited to attempt for the first time a real solitary hiking adventure on the most popular trail of Iceland “Laugavegur”.
I would rather film people but being just by myself forced me to turn the camera towards my face for once. I filmed mostly everything using my GoPro 3 and my telescopic monopod (with a rotative head) to help create dynamic action shots spinning around me. I sometimes filmed at 90fps and change to 33% speed in Premiere (my movie is at 30fps so 90/3=30 – a third is 33.33%). It creates a clean slow-motion with no flickering or gaps and intensifies the emotion aspect of the video. I used my 50mm for the prime shots and even tried to film me filming! The music did the rest.
- Nikon D7000 (Sigma 12-24mm 4.5 + AF-S Nikkor Fisheye 10mm 1.8 + Nikkor 50mm 1.8)
- Gopro 3 + Monopod (with rotative head)
- Premiere Pro CS6
Someone told me about Iceland Air and their “Stay over” solution to stay up to a week in Iceland for no additional flight costs. So this is exactly what I did, I booked a flight to Iceland when I came back to Boston from Paris in july 2014. It’s pretty much like taking the bus with a transit ticket! I left Paris with a one person tent, my cameras and a saucisson. All I knew was from my quick research 24h before departure, when I decided to just aim for the most popular trail in the South. Close to the airport, the trail is “moderate” and beautiful with many different landscapes to cross in just 4 to 5 days. Perfect for my one week stay over.
I went straight to the trail as soon as I hit the ground and didn’t see much people for 24h.
As soon as I touch ground with my plane at 10AM, I was already in my “Amphibian Monster Bus” ready to leave for Landmannalaugar at 2PM. After crossing black lava fields and turquoise volcanic lakes, I decided to camp a little off the trail passed that little memorial rock for that young man trapped in a “flash snow storm” about the same time last year. That first night I camp I realize that you don’t need a headlamp in the summer time here. Instead you have the ”Midnight Sun”. It makes sunsets very long but it also perturbates my little African biological clock.
The trail is not too far from the airport and was a perfect fit for my 1 week stay over.
A humble smile decorates my face as I fall asleep in my little tent completely charmed by the elements around me. But weather can just turn on you dramatically. I woke up later in a wind storm holding my tent down from the inside for 2 hours that so it doesn’t blow away with me in it… In those moments, I was thinking about that young man who died and I felt him in the wind. The relative danger started to dissipate as the winds slowed down. I was able to get out of my tent and pack quick, before joining back the trail hidden by the passing clouds.
I eventually bound with a group of hikers from all over Europe.
The trail has a few stops and campgrounds where you should register yourself so people know where you were last if something happens. After 48h not talking to anybody like a silent monk, I finally met a group of frenchies, 2 dutch girls, a german gentleman and this belgium guy we called “The Machine”. It was nice to hike in good company and share the effort as much as stories and liquor at night. We hiked in group and cross more epic landscapes till we made it to Thórsmörk, happy and older.