Impromptu Iceland (Story Contributed by Tamron)

A last-minute change of plans sent Tyler Glass to the “Land of Fire and Ice” with the Tamron SP 24-70mm VC G2 lens.
By Jenn Gidman of Tamron
Images By Tyler Glass

It was supposed to a marriage proposal in Scotland, but Mother Nature had different plans for Tyler Glass and his girlfriend, Danielle. “Scotland was slammed with one of the worst winter storms in its history, and we ended up getting stranded in Iceland during our layover,” the photographer based in Louisville, Kentucky, says. “I had the whole proposal planned for Scotland, though, with a photographer hired and everything. I was a little thrown, but we decided to rent a car and drive to the south and southwest coastlines of Iceland to salvage at least some of our trip.”On this spontaneous vacation, Tyler had the Tamron SP 24-70mm F/2.8 VC G2 lens at his side. “I was impressed with how sharp this lens was, especially when handholding, thanks to the Vibration Compensation feature,” he says. “Keeping my images sharp was especially useful when I was photographing the waterfalls of Iceland. The focal-length range, meanwhile, makes the 24-70 G2 a versatile lens for a trip like this. It was my go-to lens throughout our unplanned adventure.”

Even though he wasn’t taking pictures where he’d originally intended, Tyler applied the same principle he always does to his landscape photography: Find a previously unearthed angle. “Lots of people may take the same recording of a landscape, but everyone has to put their own interpretation on it,” he says. “My biggest goal is to show an interpretation no one else has come up with yet. That often means sifting through photos online to see what others have already done. I also think perspective is huge, so I’ll often try to place humans in my landscape photos for a sense of scale, so the viewer can see just how immense a landscape truly is.” 

© Tyler Glass
120mm, F/4.5, 1/40th sec., ISO 100
One of Tyler’s first photos was on the evening of their arrival, as the day’s last light lit the mountains in the distance. “I hadn’t planned on taking too many pictures that evening, as I didn’t think the light was going to be that great, but I looked out the hotel window and saw a lot of alpenglow going on,” Tyler says. “So I set up my tripod and went for it. I opened up my shutter a bit to let a lot of that waning light in. My goal here was simply to show the pinks and oranges going on in the scene for a nicely saturated shot.”

© Tyler Glass
24mm, F/2.8, 1/1600th sec., ISO 100
One of the biggest waterfalls in Iceland, Skogafoss Falls, has a drop of 200 feet and offers an extra bonus for photographers: the almost-guaranteed promise of a rainbow. “The sun shines on the waterfall from early morning to early evening, with the light constantly hitting the mist, so people know to visit there for rainbow photos,” Tyler says. “In fact, visitors sometimes have to struggle to keep a rainbow out of their images.”

When Tyler and Danielle visited the falls, it was about 2 p.m., and the rainbow arched neatly over her as she stood in the middle of Tyler’s frame. “I wanted her right in the center, so I could capture the full scale of the waterfall,” he says. “I could have taken a longer exposure, as many photographers like to do with waterfalls, but that’s not my style. I’m more about showing the structure of the waterfall instead.” 

© Tyler Glass
35mm, F/2.8, 1/400th sec., ISO 100 
Not as many tourists know about the Kvernufoss waterfall, not far from the Skogafoss, which the couple visited next. “The light was very harsh, with the sun shining right down on the waterfall, so I decided to capture it from behind instead,” Tyler says. “This was an accidental composition, as Danielle wasn’t supposed to be in the photo. I actually got annoyed at her at first for walking into the frame, but then I realized it worked for that sense of scale I talked about earlier. The rocks below her were completely iced over, so you can see a bit of light reflecting off of them. All of that mist made me thankful for having the 24-70 G2 with me, as it’s weather-sealed and able to withstand the spray. As for us, we were pretty soaked by the time we got out of there.”

© Tyler Glass
70mm, F/2.8, 1/1250th sec., ISO 100
Tyler’s friend, an Iceland native, suggested they head up onto a nearby cliff to take pictures of the coastline. “There’s a slab of rock that juts out, and I took a picture of Danielle as she was perched on it, looking out over that coastline,” Tyler says. “Usually the surf line would be lined up with the person on the rock from that particular vantage point, but I think because it was low tide, it ended up slightly to the left instead. The leading lines leading back into the distance help make this a compelling image.”

© Tyler Glass
44mm, F/2.8, 1/320th sec., ISO 100
After their clifftop climb, Tyler and Danielle headed down to one of the most iconic photographic spots in Iceland: the haunting US Navy plane wreck on the black-sand beach of Sólheimasandur. “It’s a Douglas Super DC-3 that crash-landed there in 1973,” Tyler says. “Fortunately, everyone survived the crash, but the plane wreckage still remains. It’s become a big tourist attraction.”

Visitors have to hike about 2 miles from a nearby parking lot to get to the abandoned fuselage. “We got there right at sunset, so I was able to get the sun directly behind the plane,” Tyler says. “You can see the highlights on the metal edges of the plane. One of my biggest struggles, though, was capturing a clean shot of the plane without anyone next to it—there were about 30 people there at the same time we were. You can even climb on top of it: I have one drone photo of Danielle lying on top of it, which I took from up above.”

Even though Tyler and Danielle never made it to Scotland, Tyler isn’t too disappointed in retrospect. “First, if we’d ended up there, I don’t think I would have captured many of the photos I’d planned due to the bad weather,” he says. “Meanwhile, in Iceland, the weather was clear blue skies the whole time we were there (though it was cold and windy).”

© Tyler Glass
24mm, F/3.2, 1/320th sec., ISO 100
And Tyler still got his chance to get down on one knee—just in the Vestrahorn mountains instead of in Scotland. “I proposed on the last day we were in Iceland,” he says. “I was able to capture a picture of the mountains at sunset, which I thought I’d missed because a massive sandstorm from the black-sand beach had kicked up right around the golden hour time. I couldn’t use a tripod because of the weather, but thanks to the 24-70 G2’s VC feature, I was able to still capture a sharp handheld shot. It was the perfect way to end our trip.”

To see more of Tyler Glass’ photos, go to

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