Iceland is quickly becoming one of the top tourist stops in the world, especially if you’re a shutterbug. From hot springs to glaciers, your trip will leave you with a camera roll so full that no amount of iCloud storage can save you.
Famed for its breathtaking views and unforgettable adventures, it can be hard to make your vacation photos stand out from the thousands that already exist on Instagram.
No worries, here’s where to go, what to do, and how to make those memories worth the double tap.
From colorful buildings crowded together to street art that makes you stop and stare, exploring the streets of Reykjavik is an adventure in itself. Be sure to stop by the famous Hallgrímskirkja church and venture to the top to fully capture the beauty of the island.
Another must-see is the Old Reykjavik Harbor for picturesque mountain views and fun food-themed murals. Try a casual walking photo or a classic scenery picture to spruce up your feed.
Suggested Filters: Instagram’s Lark filter, for bright and exciting accents, or no filter, with increased saturation, to bring out the natural vibrancy of the city
Barnafoss, Children’s Falls
Named for two children lost in the river, Barnafoss is stunning from all angles. You can start with a straight-on view of the cascading white water on brown rocks for a no-editing-needed nature shot.
After, take a short walk across a bridge to capture the path of the falls through twists and turns. To really up your Insta-game, grab a Boomerang from a high vantage point to capture water coursing through the rock arches. It’s all about the bird’s eye view.
Suggested Filters: iPhone’s Chrome filter, for a crisper, brighter shot, or VSCO’s C1 Preset to add to the disparity between rock and water
The best way to experience the second largest glacier on the island is through a tour onto and into the glacier. For photo ops, you can use the backlighting of the ice caves to capture silhouettes. Or try climbing onto a high point, like a mound of snow, for a great scenery shot. Extra points for a clear day with the mountains in the background.
Suggested Filters: VSCO’s JM1 Present, for drastic contrast on the glacier, or Instagram’s Perpetua filter with added Lux, to bring out the backlight in the ice caves
Probably the most popular destination in Iceland, this stunning spot is the perfect opportunity to get up close and personal with nature. If you don’t mind getting a little wet, you can venture right up to the water and play with capturing different subjects while avoiding getting other tourists in the background of the photos.
Try having your friends jump in front of the falls, catching a fellow traveler in amazement, or snapping the moment from a low angle to emphasize the height of the drop.
If you feel like working for your shot, climb to the top of the staircase and watch the waterfall from on high. Horseback riding in the river next to Skogafoss is popular, too, so be sure to check out the furry natives.
Suggested Filters: iPhone’s Noir filter, for black-and-white classic looking shots, or Instagram’s Juno filter to get a white light look
The Black Sand Beaches near Vik
While it’s never warm enough to swim, make sure to stop by the black sand beaches on the south shore to see some of the most amazing rock formations. With stair-like walls and magical caves, there are chances to climb around, snap ocean pics, and test your photography eye by photographing the different textures.
Also try downloading the editing app FaceTune and using the details tab to emphasize certain focal points in the picture. It’s a total game-changer.
Suggested Filter: iPhone’s Fade filter, for dark and gloomy, or VSCO’s G3 Preset, to enhance that little pop of color.