I sometimes get asked what is my favourite photo or subject matter. I would have to say that the answer to that question is a little bit complicated. I like to photograph lots of things but I think the best photos are the ones I had to work really hard to get or that have a great personal backstory.
This image above of a wrecked plane in Iceland was one such image. This is a well photographed plane and it has even appeared in some movies. It was pretty interesting but to me this was one of my more satisfying photographs (at least recently). Why? I had researched the location extensively and thought it was pretty cool. On a previous trip to Iceland, I knew it was there but couldn't find it and I was with Lori and Alexander so stopping for a long time was not going to be an option. This time I was travelling alone but the weather was awful (5 degrees C, horizontal rain and near gale force winds). This time I found the location on the highway (it was unmarked but there is now a small parking lot in the middle of nowhere). I had driven a lot that day and was quite tired so I was considering about whether it was going to be worth the effort. I initially was going to just drive by but as I thought about it more, I realized that I had come all this way, researched it extensively, wanted to photograph it, and I would regret it I didn't do it. So I stopped, parked the car and got out.
It was about a 5 km walk but took a really long time (probably about 2 hours because of the weather), the path was flat with little change in scenery but was really exposed. A big expanse of black sand with few changes in the landscape. It was even more miserable than I thought it was going to be when I sat in the comfort of my car. I persisted, even though I considered turning back a number of times.
There were a few other individuals walking this small marked path but they all looked really tired as they returned. Still I continued. There was no hint of it on the horizon and only close to the plane did it appear. It was alone on this huge vast expanse of black sand.
When I arrived at the plane, there was maybe 15 other people there who had done the same. When I got there, it was really cool. The back story to the plane is that in 1973 a US Navy DC3 was flying and ran out of gas. The pilot landed on this large expanse of black lava sand. No one was hurt but the plane has sat there ever since. It was once mostly forgotten, but more recently and it a bit of thing for photographers to do when in Iceland.
Getting a photo meant timing when I took my images so that no one was visible in the frame. It was pouring when I got there but I waited and it let up a little. No blue skies but that didn't matter. It is really cool because it has been so weathered.
Getting back to my car was even worse than getting to the plane. The weather was awful and I was now heading into the wind and rain/sleet.
So, I have a bunch of photographs. Are they fantastic? Yes and no. I am very happy with my images. Although there are lots of other similar photographs on the internet these are mine. I think you couldn't remove the smile from my face when I was taking these. It was quite the experience.
As I think about these photos as the best ever because I had to work hard to get them under difficult circumstances. I guess I have a story too.
I enjoy the process of going places or meeting people and taking photos that are challenging. This was one of them and one of my best ever.