Iceland Photo Blog – Hiking to Dyrhólaey Lighthouse

Story and images by Carly Rahl

If you know me, then you know my affinity for traveling. I’m always off to somewhere and always have something planned. At the time, I was traveling in the central southeast coast of Iceland. I heard about a little lighthouse, and I wanted to check it out.

The Summit

Coming from Vik, the southernmost village in Iceland, the lighthouse was not far. For views of beaches, the lighthouse and nesting birds, a hike up a hill was a little price to pay.

The hike up – A steep rock staircase aided the journey up for a bit, a practically uphill hike.
Image taken on a Panasonic G7 and a 14-42mm lens.

The View

After making it part of the way up the hill, I saw a beautiful view. I saw the lighthouse in the distance, with sea stacks and an arch among the blue waters and black sands. The most notable view was the arch, a local landmark that provided the name Dyrhólaey. In Icelandic, Dyrhólaey means ‘the door hole island’, a testament to the stone arch that has been produced through erosion.

The Arch with the Hole – After climbing up the seemingly never ending set of rock stairs, I was greeted by this view: a beautiful arch formation with various sea stacks in greenish-blue waters.
Image taken with a Panasonic G7 and a 14-42 mm lens.

The Lighthouse

As I rounded the corner, it went from being a clear day to pouring rain within minutes. Just after reaching the top, a short walk led me to the Dyrhólaey lighthouse. This lighthouse was built in 1927, and the lighthouse has a white flashing light that fires every 10 seconds. The lighthouse is 43 feet tall, with a small ‘keepers quarters’ added to the right and left of the lighthouse.

Dyrhólaey Lighthouse – A view of the stone lighthouse with storm clouds looming nearby.
Image taken on a Nikon F, an old school film camera with Superia 400 film.

For the above picture, I actually enjoy the look of the film grain with the scene. The rusty water tank and telephone poles with wiring seemed to add to the image, giving it an overall sense of abandonment. The storm cloud also seemed to set the mood of the image, and I’m happy with how it came together.

Behind Dyrhólaey: An image of the lighthouse taken from another angle, with the ocean in the background.
Image taken with a Panasonic G7 with a 14-42mm lens.

For this image, I wanted to showcase the interesting shape and architectural style of the lighthouse. When viewing the lighthouse from this angle, I thought it looked much more three dimensional than when shot head on. After taking this image, I noticed a wire in the left hand side of the image. I could have zoomed in the image to crop out the wire, but I enjoyed the original composition. The original image shows about a third of negative space to the left of the lighthouse, which I appreciated. I decided to remove the wire from the image using Photoshop. This was a very easy fix but made the left hand side of the image much less distracting.

An image of the side of the lighthouse. I liked the composition of this image due to the slanted roof of the side buildings connected to the lighthouse – made the lighthouse look as though it was slanted.
Image taken on a Nikon F (film camera) with Superia 400 film.

From the Top

After taking my photos of the lighthouse, I noticed the view to the other side. From here I saw miles upon miles of beautiful black sand beach, with birds circling the area. Upon further inspection, I saw puffins nesting along the cliffs.

View from above – black sand beaches and nesting puffins.
Image taken on a Nikon F with Superia 400 film.

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