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Kingdom of Fire: Part II

Kingdom of Fire: Part II

Alex Jeffers
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A photo essay on the landscape and seascape of iceland




The eastern end of Flatey (‘Flat Island’, Skjálfandi bay) on a hazy midsummer evening. It was permanently inhabited until the late 1960s; now the dwellings are maintained as summer houses.




A humpback whale ‘fluking’ off the north coast of Iceland. Fluking is a typical behaviour of these whales just before deep diving. It is also useful for identifying individuals, as each whale carries a unique pattern on the underside of their fluke. 




The snowcapped dome of Skálavíkurhnjúkur (1094m) stands silently above Skjálfandi Bay




The vast bulk of a surfacing blue whale; it is rare to have both the blowholes and diminutive dorsal fin in view simultaneously. This distance is approximately 1/3 of the total length of the animal. Blue whales are the largest living animals on Earth.




Þriggja nafna fjallið , or ‘The Mountain with three names’; its profile changes depending on the location of the observer




Churning water at the base of Dettifoss, on the Jökulsá á Fjöllum river, which flows from Vatnajökull to the south




Orcas surfacing off the north coast of Iceland. Unlike the resident populations found in western Iceland, the groups visiting the bay at Husavik only stay for a short time, following a particular abundance of prey species.




A schooner sets out northwards from Husavik into the wilderness of the far North Atlantic; in the foreground is a profusion of the controversial Alaskan Lupin. The plant was imported to Iceland in the 1940s to prevent topsoil erosion, but has since ferociously outcompeted native species.




View from the crow's nest: waiting for whales on a calm day off the north coast of Iceland aboard topsail schooner Opal




Looking west towards Víknafjöll as a whale rises for air in the foreground




Schooner Hildur appears out of dense fog




The prominent blow of a fin whale; fin whales are the second largest living animal after the blue whale




A humpback whale surfaces a short distance off the wild cliffs of the north Icelandic coast




Fulmars take flight, startled by a surfacing humpback whale 




Post-sunset, the summer sky above Mývatn is illuminated by the glow of the fissure eruption at Bárðarbunga, a few hundred kilometres away to the south



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