Bill Peake  

Katla Lava Fields by Bill Peake

October 2019 - Katla Lava Fields

About the Image(s)

Here is an image I took during our recent trip to Iceland. This is a view of M½rdalssandur, which are the lava plains created by the volcano Katla, which is under a glacier. The lava plains are created from the volcano erupting and melting the glacier ice. A lake is formed and held by an ice dam. The dam will eventually fail and create a deluge of water and lava sand, which flows out to sea. Anything in the way is destroyed. This shot was taken with a Nikon D7200 with the stock lens set to 18m at f/7 and shutter speed of 1/500. The ISO was set to 360. Post processing was done in Photoshop. A Camera Raw filter layer used to adjust the exposure, shadows and highlights A levels layer was added to bring out detail in the sky. A unsharp filter layer was used to bring out additional detail in the glacier on the right and the foreground. A brightness/contrast layers was used for the mountain. A hue/saturation layer was used to enhance the color of the glacier. As an interesting side note, the opening scenes of Star Wars “ Rogue One were shot here.

4 comments posted

Richard White   Richard White
Bill, this is a really good composition with the lava fields in front and the mountains in the back. You did a wonderful job of bringing out the detail in the clouds. However, I had a problem with the laval flow as it was too dark to see the detail. I modified it using curves to bring out the detail in the laval. All-in-all, nicely done.   Posted: 10/10/2019 14:19:19
Comment Image

Michael Jack   Michael Jack
I think you captured a powerful subject and the context in which is exists. I agree with Richard that you did a nice job on the clouds and could increase the exposure for the lava flow. Just some thoughts you might consider: Since the subject is the lava flow, to direct more attention there and away from the clouds, I would consider cropping down quite a bit from the top and adding exposure and clarity to the lava field. Did you have any images which incorporated the entire flow of the field on the left so you could display that rather than more of the mountain on the right? You might see how this looks in B/W too.   Posted: 10/10/2019 15:35:00

George R Phile   George R Phile
Bill, Very good image of a tough subject. I agree with Richard that the lava flow was too dark. Adding a little clarity or texture to the lava field would make it pop a bit more. The only distracting thing is the white line between the mountain on the right and the sky and the same thing on the small hill at the far left. Overall a very good picture.   Posted: 10/12/2019 15:42:14

Arne Skinlo   Arne Skinlo
Iceland is a fantastic land for landscape photography. I have been there several times, but not at this spot. You have made a well-composed image with leading lines to the mountain in the background. The clouds are perfect, but I agree with the others that the foreground and the bottom of the wally should be brighter to bring out more details.   Posted: 10/15/2019 01:31:03


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