Mark Jansen

For the last 20 years, our planet’s environment has been going through some amazing and highly noticeable changes. Some will argue about the semantics of global warming. But inserting one’s self into the midst of it will truly make you reflect. What does this mean? After a few trips to Iceland in the last couple years as a landscape photographer, I’ve reflected quite a bit about the future of Iceland’s Diamond Beach.

Being a creative, the camera is my brush and canvas, and it’s my most successful tool of expression. I’ve been able to capture the results of our warming planet in intriguing ways.

Many of the images seen of ice melting globally, from the Jakobshavn Glacier in Greenland, to the Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica to the largest glacier in Europe Vatnajökull, (the one in Iceland I am most familiar with) show this global warming phenomenon. I’ve photographed this by-product many times. By this, I’m referring to the many ice chunks washed up on Iceland’s black sand beaches as a direct result of climate change.

The beach ice is only found at this location, as Vatnajökull melts into the newly formed glacier lagoon. The phenomenon of a freshwater bay, formed only in recent years pushing chunks of ice into the ocean through an ever decreasing channel river. Its future as a river is finite, as well as the glacial chunks it pushes out onto a black sand beach through a narrow channel for eager photographers to capture through the lens. 

Its terminal future is basically due to the extremely rapid melting of this European glacial giant.

In the not too distant future, this inland freshwater lake known as glacier lagoon will form many more miles back inland and there will be no outlet deep enough as there is now, to push these glacial gems of ice to the ocean. Photographing them is a treat and a visual ecstasy to any landscape photographer, and not to be missed.

Join us for one our upcoming Iceland workshops to experience much more, as we explore its ever-changing environments.

And if you would like to read more about our photographic experiences in Iceland, here are a few of our blogs that may interest you.

Iceland: Land of Contrasts for the Landscape Photographer
Beyond the Golden Circle…an Iceland Photo Expedition
How to Photograph Iceland’s Diamond Beach
Visual Story Telling, It Takes More Than Just One Shot!