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Rare Sunny Day

Seth Willingham


Behind the Shot

On the south coast of Iceland, near the coastal village of Vík on the shore of Reynisfjara beach, massive rock pillars jut from the ocean surface over 200 feet into the air. Icelandic legend tells of two trolls who waded into the ocean one night to steal a boat. The trolls’ sense of timing was poor, and when dawn broke, they found themselves forever frozen in stone in the shallow waters.

Seth has visited the black sand beaches of Iceland many times to capture the indescribable beauty of this popular destination. Normally this area can be unforgiving. As Seth recalls, “One minute there is crushing rain with 40-mile winds, and then it’s dry and windless. The weather changes every 10 minutes. I’d never seen the sun shine here, but on this day, not only had the sun come out, but there was no wind. It was a completely calm sunny day.”

Shooting from about 400 feet in the air, Seth was shocked at the water’s condition: “Normally it’s black and gloomy. With the river runoff, the water can be murky. But on this day the water was a milky blue like I’d never ever seen before. It’s almost tropical.