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Discover Icelandic Beauty in These Whimsical Photomontages

By Hanssie on August 27th 2015

On many a photographic bucket list is the Nordic island nation of Iceland. From the vast landscape, volcanic rocks, glacier, waterfalls, and black sand beaches, there is no shortage of images to capture. We’ve seen gorgeous time-lapse footage of Iceland, Chris Burkhard’s incredible surfing images in its icy cold waters, and recently, Fstoppers took us on a tour in their Photographing the World tutorial.


Photographer Tom Chambers had also heard and seen many images of his friends’ travels to the geological wonder. They brought back amazing tales of the Icelandic people and the terrain. Intrigued, Chambers decided that the backdrops would be perfect for his photomontages and so made a trip to see for himself this magical land.

While shooting, Chambers focuses on the images he would be able to use in his montages (while his wife shoots the vacation memories on the Canon G11).

 I think ahead and imagine what else I will be adding to the image, leaving space where the elements might be placed.  I also have to keep in mind where the focal plane will be located.  If I anticipate an element, such as a person, being added to the image, then that spot on the background must be in focus. Direction and intensity of light is critical when creating montage or constructed images.

the_trickster_16_hero summer-soliloquy_11_heroIt doesn’t get dark in the middle of the summer in Iceland, with the sun just dipping below the horizon line at night. Likening it to a cloudy day in the evening on the East Coast, offering a nice subdued light, a photographer can shoot all night long, an aspect Chambers took full advantage of.

Keeping his gear light, a Nikon D800 and two lenses (the 24-70mm and the 14-35mm), Chambers also brings a backup drive, an abundance of memory cards, a monopod and extra batteries, a charger, and an adapter. After his 8 day vacation in Iceland, he chooses the images that would work for the scenarios he has envisioned. He then will photograph the other elements – animal, bird, children – and uses a small sketch of the backgrounds to use as reference. Using light similar to the conditions that were shot for the backgrounds makes it easier and more believable when constructing the images in post.


The following images are a part of Chambers’ series called, “To The Edge.” He strove to explore the hidden Iceland, the biodiversity in the natural world around him and to celebrate the glaciers, volcanic rock, and other geological wonders that have “endured over many millennia.”

Here are some of the images from “To The Edge.” For more from this series and more of Tom Chambers’ work, check out his website here and follow him on Facebook.

stone_and_sand_7_hero pulling_anchor_4_hero object_of_curiosity_14_hero last_bough_10_hero fowl_play_15_hero clouds_touch_stone_1_hero blood_moon_6_hero beyond-the-upheaval_2_heroCREDITS: Photographs by Tom Chambers are copyrighted and have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.

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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  2. Tom Blair

    Good subject matter

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  3. Barry Chapman

    Nice work, but I’d like to see some of the original landscape images.

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