Shine On You Crazy Diamond

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Iceland / Inspiration / Photo Log / Photography / Seascapes


January 28, 2020 — Diamond Beach, South Coast, Iceland

About a half a mile from where the photo in the last post was taken, the lagoon empties into the North Atlantic. Miniature bergy-bits flow out and then are washed back ashore by the tide and the surf. There they sit, shining on the beach awaiting their inevitable trip back into the sea. They look like diamonds. This one seems to be sniffing the air, contemplating its fate.

(Just so you know, during the trip there was the constant subtext of checking the Aurora app on our phones and the Icelandic weather site in the web, hoping for a Kp index of at least three and a relatively cloudless night. So far, no joy.)

(Nikon D850, Tamron SP 24–70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2. processing in DxO PhotoLab 3.1; Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

The Author

California based fine-art photographer featuring abstract, impressionist, and minimalist seascapes — near and distant — and floral-based images. Fine-art photography can be seen at All original images on this blog are copyright 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 Michael Scandling. All rights reserved. No images on this site may be copied, duplicated, reused, published, or re-purposed in any way without express permission from the copyright owner, Michael Scandling.


  1. What a cool image, Michael. I love how you were able to capture such wonderful details of the ice, showing all kinds of glistening facets. The material makes me think of crystal and the depending on my mood, the shape makes me think of a diving bird, a seal emerging from the water, or a submerging whale’s tail. The soft, indistinct but recognizable background helps to draw our attention back to the shining ice.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The first thing that came to mind was my Kosta Boda crystal votive. The texture’s remarkably similar, although I couldn’t find a photo that captures the votive as well as you captured the intricacies of the ice.

    It also made me think of Icelandic spar, a clear crystal with an interesting history:

    “A crystal of Iceland spar has two very interesting properties. First, it is a natural polarizing filter. Second, because of its natural polarization, Iceland spar is birefringent, meaning light rays entering the crystal become polarized, split, and take two paths to exit the crystal – creating a double image of an object seen through the crystal.

    There is good evidence that the Vikings used the polarizing effect of Iceland spar to navigate the North Atlantic. The constant fog and mist in the North Atlantic often make navigation by stars or sun impossible. The Vikings called Iceland spar a ‘sunstone’ because the polarizing effect can be used to find the direction of the sun even in dense fog and overcast conditions. It can even find the direction of the sun when the sun is actually below the horizon, as happens when you’re sailing above the Arctic circle.”

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  3. Whatever the weather, when you do something like this, you have been successful. It’s beautiful and it’s different from other Iceland images I’ve seen. I love the foamy wave edge colors and texture and of course, the crazy shape of the bergy bit. Wonderful!! I hope you don’t feel too bad when the weather isn’t cooperating.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very very much. Sometimes I am disappointed if the weather isn’t cooperating and it’s my only chance (or a very rare chance) to look at a particular scene. That happened in England last summer. But as my mentor said, it just forces you to be even more creative.

      Liked by 1 person

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