Iceland in high contrast mono (shot with the Sony a99)

Iceland is somewhere I’ve always wanted to go, so when the opportunity came up earlier in the year to visit the country to test the new Sony Alpha 99, I couldn’t quite believe my luck.

We visited in mid-September, where I naively believed it wouldn’t  be *that* cold. I couldn’t have really have been more wrong, and was very grateful for the thick winter coats provided to us after I’d only packed a light jacket (the fool).

On one of the days, we visited the geysers, a waterfall and the blue lagoon. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t really in our favour for much of the day and the weather sealing of the a99 was really put to the test as the heavens opened.

Not one to let bad weather spoil a photo taking opportunity, I engaged the a99’s high contrast mono mode and created this set, which I think showcase the beauty of the country in all its stark and cold glory.

For those wondering, the Sony a99 is the world’s first translucent mirror full-frame camera. I’m looking forward to a full production model of the camera coming in for testing, as these were all shot on a not yet finalised version.

I hope you enjoy the pictures, I’m hoping to go back to Iceland one day, perhaps when it’s a bit sunnier with any luck.

Any comments, thoughts, suggestions or questions can be left in the box below.


  • Any chance of seeing a few in full colour? I cant decide whether monochrome actually does the wonderful Icelandic scenary any justice here! #justsaying


    PS did you go on a pre-arranged tour or organise it all yourself? I’m looking to go in October! Any hints, tips and places to visit are well received.

    • Hiya,

      There are some full colour shots in my review:

      Personally, I think the shots that I took in colour on the day that all of these in this blogpost were taken look pretty grim. When it’s pissing it down with rain, the grey skies and muddy floors don’t exactly look lush! The only place I’d disagree is with the blue lagoon where you can’t see the blueness of the water in a black and white shot, but then it wouldn’t have matched the set if I’d put the full colour version in 🙂

      I went on a pre-arranged tour with Sony. My best tip would be take a warm and windproof coat and gloves! Quad biking is also great fun.


  • you can´t be too cautious when you go called ICEland 😛
    wich lens did you use? Still waiting for the a99
    I would prefer RAW than letting the camera do the high contrast mono
    great photos BTW

    • Thanks!

      I used the 28-70mm f/2.8 lens.

      I agree that generally I prefer to shoot in raw and then edit afterwards, but I just wanted to have a bit of fun when the weather turned bad!

      It’s a real shame that you can’t shoot with Picture Effects enabled and in raw, so that if you didn’t like the effect you could get rid of it – that’s one of the criticisms I have of the camera to be honest! Thanks for your comment 🙂

  • Hi, hope to get the a99 some day, actually I play a lot with B&W with my camera ( I have the a330) adjusting the contrast and sharpness I think I get very good results and I really don’t like to spend to much time editing on the pc, I prefer to spend my time taking photos so I use a lot of the effects on camera, so I really appreciate this samples… there’s a lot of great images here but my favorite one is the “mono-13” very beautiful… thanks for this photos, greetings…

    • Thanks for your comment – I’m glad you like the photos 🙂

      I know what you mean about not wanting to spend time on the PC, sometimes it’s fun to just concentrate on composition and so on without having to worry about making tonnes of edits when you get home 🙂

      Best wishes!


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