The Blog

The Mighty Gulffoss January 31, 2014 | Gulffoss, Iceland

After booking a 3 day photography tour of Iceland, I did some research on some of the other sites that wouldn't be included. Knowing that I would only have one extra day in Iceland to plan on my own, I wanted to save it for something special, and the Gulffoss waterfall was it.

Now, after deciding that Gulffoss made sense to visit, after all it was only a short drive from Reykjavik, I did some research on it, learning that it is one of the most dangerous tourist attractions in all of Iceland due to the slippery ledges and steep cliffs. Combine this with the fact that when I arrived to Gulffoss the sun had completely set and there was not a soul in the vicinity of the fall and it made for quite the adrenaline rush.

This was quite the scary combination but it all turned out well in the end and I was able to snap this shot.

Gulffoss, Iceland's largest waterfall.

Gulffoss, Iceland's largest waterfall.

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Northern Lights January 29, 2014 | Jokulsarlon, Iceland

What a day! I have never had a day of photographing come close to this. Iceland's landscapes are so diverse and unique, each new sight seems to outdo the previous. On top of that, our tour group was blessed with amazing light both during the sunrise and the sunset. You know that the photography gods are looking out for you when even the tour guides get excited by the photo opportunities that presented themselves at places they have visited countless times.

Having said all that, no moment was more exciting than catching the aurora borealis. After being disappointed two nights in a row, it seemed like tonight was going to be another dud. Catching the aurora is extremely difficult because it relies on not only strong auroral activity, but also clear skies, a rarity in Iceland's winter. Lucky for us, out of nowhere the sky cleared up. The Innkeeper at the Hali Country Hotel entered the lobby of our hotel and announced that the northern lights could be seen. Our tour guide had us quickly pack the car and we made a mad scramble to the glacial lagoon, a prime viewing spot for the aurora. The aurora shined for more than two hours, truly a spectacular moment.

The aurora borealis from Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon in Southern Iceland.

The aurora borealis from Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon in Southern Iceland.

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Hlolla Batar January 27, 2014 | Reykjavik, Iceland

This is a famous hot dog stand in the heart of Reykjavik. Unfortunately it wasn't open when I was nearby but that didn't stop me from taking pictures.

A famous hot dog stand in downtown Reykjavik.

A famous hot dog stand in downtown Reykjavik.

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Hello From Reykjavik January 26, 2014 | Reykjavik, Iceland

It didn't take long for me to start taking pictures in Reykjavik. After about 20 hours of traveling, my red-eye flight landed in Iceland just before 7am local time. I wasn't certain my hotel room would be ready that early, and sure enough it wasn't. I had planned for this though, thinking I would be too excited not to start taking pictures the second I arrived. I had about 3 hours to kill and I spent that time snapping away, knowing that most of my time on the island would be spent venturing the rural landscapes, and that my time in the city was limited.

This is Harpa Concert Hall in downtown Reykjavik. After all the research I've done on this country, I'm surprised that I can't recall ever seeing photos of this extremely photogenic place.

My first impressions of Reykjavik are very positive. The city feels extremely safe and has almost a small-town kind of vibe to it. I have seen more churches and cats roaming the streets of Reykjavik than I would see in months roaming Chicago.

Time for a quick nap, then it's off to the golden circle!

I just arrived in Reykjavik, Iceland and spotted this exceptional piece of architecture. This is Harpa Concert Hall and it sits right on Reykjavik's coast.

I just arrived in Reykjavik, Iceland and spotted this exceptional piece of architecture. This is Harpa Concert Hall and it sits right on Reykjavik's coast.

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Michigan Ave Lights January 24, 2014 | Chicago, IL

On the way to Navy Pier I decided to stop on Michigan Ave to try and catch some light graffiti from the speeding by cars. From the north side of downtown I typically would prefer to shoot facing south but for whatever reason the lights weren't up on the Ave. south of Ohio.

A cold winter morning on Michigan Ave.

A cold winter morning on Michigan Ave.

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James J Versluis January 20, 2014 | Chicago, IL

This is a shot taken this morning near Navy Pier. Navy Pier is of course one of my favorite local places to shoot. I am starting to grow tired of shooting the same places around where I live. If only I had a trip coming up where I could see brand new landscapes...

If you haven't heard by now, I am headed to Iceland in 6 days. This morning's early hike was to test out my cold weather gear for the upcoming trip. The weather was mild here compared to the cold fronts we have seen the last couple of weeks, but it is still a pretty comparable climate to that of Iceland. The gear felt more than adequate and I feel like I am more than ready for that aspect of the trip. Now only if we can get a couple of clear nights and see the Northern Lights...

An early morning's cold trip to Navy Pier. Testing out my cold weather gear for my trip to Iceland in just 6 days.

An early morning's cold trip to Navy Pier. Testing out my cold weather gear for my trip to Iceland in just 6 days.

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Revisiting the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial January 07, 2014 | Chicago, IL

Almost 3 years ago, I was in the heart of my project 365, and posted this shot of the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial statue in Lincoln Park. It's always fun returning to old places and trying to come up with clever compositions, that being said, it's even more fun visiting a place for the first time. I am excited to announce that I will be doing just that at the end of the month, when I make an epic trip to Iceland.

I have just booked a trip to Iceland, including a 3 day photography tour led by an amazing photographer, Tony Prower. I have been looking forward to this trip for well over two years now, and I can't wait do share the photos I make on this trip here on the blog.

The Ulysses S. Grant Memorial near the Lincoln Park Zoo

The Ulysses S. Grant Memorial near the Lincoln Park Zoo

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Lakeshore Bike Path January 02, 2014 | Chicago, IL

Happy new year everyone! I am happy to announce that I have just booked a photography trip to Iceland! The tour includes a trip to Iceland's great glaciers, and a chance to see the elusive Northern Lights. This trip will be a huge scratch off of my bucket list and I can't wait to post photos from the trip on the blog.

This shot is from the Lakeshore bike path on Chicago's Lake shore.

Lakeshore Bike Path on a cold winter's morning.

Lakeshore Bike Path on a cold winter's morning.

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Bird's Eye View of Baha'i Temple December 31, 2013 | Wilmette, IL

This is Baha'i Temple from my helicopter ride several months back. This isn't necessarily my favorite shot, but I wanted to post it for a couple of reasons. First, to wish everyone a happy new year, and second to test some new features here on the website. Thanks for following my photography in 2013, it's been a great year and I can't wait to make 2014 an even better one!

Baha'i Temple From a helicopter!

Baha'i Temple From a helicopter!

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Sunrays over the Jetty December 04, 2013 | Chicago, IL

Some Crepuscular rays poking through the clouds over the North Ave. Beach Jetty.

Some Crepuscular rays poking through the clouds over the North Ave. Beach Jetty.

Some Crepuscular rays poking through the clouds over the North Ave. Beach Jetty.

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