An engineer and part-time photographer has shared a series of incredible images which portray Iceland like never before – as if taken straight from an alien planet.
David Gay, 36, from Denver, Colorado, took a solo trip to Iceland during a stop-over on his way to Europe, visiting his family four years ago.
He spent four days travelling around the region, admiring the jaw-dropping landscapes – and it left a deep impression, with David making it his mission to visit the country every year to take photos.
The engineer has since travelled to Iceland four times between 2017 and 2019 – before the pandemic saw travel restrictions come into place – taking stunning shots of the beautiful nation.
Iceland is already well-known for its incredible scenery but in David’s images, the tiny island transforms into something of an alien planet.
A big part of the reason for the rare and out-of-this-world shots is that the 36-year-old is willing to scale mountains and trek over treacherous terrain in order to get the best photos.
“The best parts about why Iceland is so great for landscape photography would be the various types of landscapes it has to offer,” David told Jam Press.
“You can really find almost anything out there. For me, the unique and dramatic landscapes are second to none.
“The island is full of glaciers, waterfalls, epic rivers, mountains, cliffs, hot springs, and atmospheric and dramatic weather.
“Everything a landscape photographer would want.
“Not only that, but if you are trying to escape the big city life and you want to feel like you’ve transported yourself to a new world, then you can definitely get that experience in Iceland.”
David’s favourite photo is a small creek based in a hidden canyon along the southern coast of Iceland.
The foggy and rainy weather combined with a peak of sunshine through the clouds create an atmospheric scene.
He has also taken incredible images of huge volcanic rocks and cliffs, covered in ash since the 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull – and the photos are breathtaking.
However, while it’s thrilling to get that perfect shot, it’s not always an easy task.
David said: “I love taking photos of nature, especially landscapes.
“There is just something special about the adventure and the exploration that comes with finding that epic composition mixed with the perfect light.
“It’s a way to really be in the moment and appreciate our natural world.
“With that said, it can be very frustrating when conditions don’t pan out the way you want and you realise just how little power you have over the elements.
“The moments in the field can also become quite hectic when you are trying to find the best compositions for the scene while battling the ever-changing, fast-moving light.
“When it all lines up, the panic and stress are always worth the shot.”
In one incredible shot, the aurora borealis can be seen through a cave entrance, the sky illuminating the cave with blue and green light.
Another photograph shows Kirkjufell creek at sunset – with the mountain image looking like a postcard with a babbling brook in the foreground running along to the base of the mountain.
David photographed the Thakgil campground just outside the town of Vik, capturing the stunning waterfall in full flow.
In another shot, the Vik church is pictured, with the steeple highlighted eerily against a foggy sky.
Iceland is on the green travel list for entering England under the government’s international travel guidelines.