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Icelandic Waterfall

Taylor Stephens


Behind the Shot

Taylor visited Iceland for a week while on a working trip in the North Atlantic. “This photo was taken on my only day off. This trip to Iceland was my first trip outside of the United States. I didn’t really understand how to prepare for a trip abroad. I live in Los Angeles, and I didn’t have any down jackets or proper clothes for the trip, so I showed up in a basic raincoat and I was freezing the whole time. When I saw this waterfall, though, I knew I had to get this shot. Whatever it took.

“This was taken just about an hour’s drive outside Reykjavik. I experienced the strongest winds I’ve ever felt in my life while taking this photo. Even though the waterfall looks fairly peaceful from this angle, just out of frame the water was spraying in every direction. I was totally unprepared for the cold. To get to this location I had to climb an icy bridge and staircase, and I almost slipped a dozen or so times. I think the shot was worth it, though

“We were traveling in these huge monster truck vehicles. After the tour, on the way back from getting this shot, the Icelandic driver and our guide decided it would be funny to treat us to several rounds of Opal.” The national adult beverage of Iceland, Opal is a liqueur imbued with black licorice and menthol, perfect for cutting through the pungent taste and smell of the fermented skate fish, skata, considered a delicacy to locals.

“That night we partied so hard. In Iceland in April, the sun never fully sets, so we lost track of time. Before we knew it, it was 9 in the morning. I was punished with the worst hangover of my entire life, but we had so much fun.”