Photographs and photo tips by Layne Kennedy



One of the greatest souvenirs of any trip is a photograph (or two, three or many) that you are proud of.

Whether you hang it in the family room or share it on Instagram and Facebook, it's a wonderful way to keep the memory of your trip alive.

Layne Kennedy, an acclaimed editorial magazine photographer who has spent a great deal of time in Iceland, travels there as often as he can. "It's a photographer's dream location,"  says Kennedy. "Every turn a new and exciting glimpse of earth's magic unfolds before you. It's impossible to get visually bored in Iceland."

You can see some of Layne's Iceland work in his book, Light Over Iceland, which you can order here in print or eBook.

Below, Layne shares some of his tips for getting images you’ll fall in love with.

Zoom in on the Wow

There is a tendency for many photographers to show everything in each frame. Consider the photograph of the horse above. How many of you, honestly, would have pulled back and shown the entire horse? But if you saw the horse and first noticed the blue eyes, then that's your photo. Shoot what you instinctively were drawn to first. That's what you share with your audience.

Isolate Your Subject


It takes a little effort to create a dynamic image. In this blooming field of Lupine, I asked this young lady to kneel down into the lupine. With her at the same level as the flowers, I was able to shoot above her and eliminate the background horizon and simply fill the frame with flowers. Using a small aperture and a telephoto lens, I was able to throw out the focus, on purpose, to isolate her.

Create a Mood


One of the things I adore about making photographs is the ability to create a mood. Photography need not be so literal all the time. Using an app with your iPhone, or blending a diffused background in Photoshop, you can create an image that stands alone. Yet, it can be interpreted any numbers of ways. Kinda fun, huh?

Shoot from Above


Places like Iceland offer so much to the visually minded person. And good photographers are always looking for new ways to see their worlds. For me, as an assignment photographer, I always try to include two techniques on each assignment. I like incorporating motion. For example a pan shot, or a long exposure of a waterfall. And, I like to shoot aerials. Capturing landscapes from above offers such a different perspective. All over Iceland, there are opportunities to to shoot from above. This was taken in southeast Iceland; it shows glacial runoff.

Go for Black and White


Some subjects just beg to be seen in black and white. The black church and dramatic clouds on an overcast day were quite flat in color. But, in black and white, they came alive. Stepping back from the church using the stone fence as a line to draw attention to the building, it framed the entire scene quite nicely. Hard to imagine it was shot from the parking lot! Look for angles to help emphasize what your lens is aimed out. You'll be amazed how often this can help in a struggling lighting situation.

Embrace the Weather


I rarely view inclement weather as an obstacle when I travel. I view it as an opportunity to create something unique. This light rain while buzzing along the ring road, the subtle colors glowing through the windshield and the lines on the road, caught my eye and imagination.

Stand back and Capture the Action Shots


Action photography comes and goes quickly. One the hardest parts of being a photographer sometimes is giving up being part of the action in lieu of photographing it. But, it can add such a fine dimension to your trip photography and make those with you super excited that you captured them having fun.


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