Map: Hraunfossar, Iceland
Hraunfossar is located on the West side of Iceland, and can be easily access by a paved road from Reykholt. It is worth a drive if you are in the area. There is a boardwalk for viewing the most impressive part of the falls and a trail map in the parking lot. The falls get their name from the Icelandic word for Lava – “Hraun” – a reference to the lava fields above and behind the falls. The water flows through the porous lava rock and emerges as a breathtaking collection of cascades.
When I first saw this place, it reminded me of the now extinct Navajo Falls in Havasu Canyon. The entire hillside bleeds water – creating hundreds of little falls that join a beautiful, turquoise Hvítá river below. The site is just stunning under any conditions, and the colors are breathtaking. We visited on an overcast day, when the light was soft and even.
An easy trail will also take you a short distance upstream to Barnafoss. It’s name means “Children’s Falls”, and it is named for two children who, according to local stories, fell to their deaths from a natural bridge that once spanned the falls. Their mother, in her grief, had the bridge destroyed so that no other child would suffer the same fate.
This is a single exposure shot taken with a circular polarizer filter. I used a long lens to frame the shot so that it was full of colors. I made targeted adjustments to the highlights in the water to make sure the flow lines and details were visible in the finished image .