Photographer of the Month: Scott Drummond

by Dr. Jessie Voigts / Oct 16, 2018 /
Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

Just wait until you see the photos from our featured photographer this month, Scott Drummond. They are incredibly beautiful, and truly capture the essence of this extraordinary landscape.

View from Dynjandi - Wild Westfjords 4 Day Tour
View from Dynjandi - Wild Westfjords 4 Day Tour 

Scott is the Lead Guide / Co-Founder of immersive and educational, small group tour provider Hidden Iceland. Scott is originally from Perth, Australia, who found himself in Iceland not wanting to leave. Upon quitting his job as a geologist in Australia, Scott set off to travel the world, planning only a short stay in Iceland for the summer. A few summers have now passed, and Scott is no closer to leaving his adopted home. He holds degrees in geology and finance, and has travelled extensively for more than just work or study. Scott is a trained glacier guide, Wilderness First Responder, and is certified in a number of emergency rescue procedures. He spends his spare time exploring Iceland and searching for amazing locations across the country to explore and photograph. 

Winter blue ice of Svínafellsjökull Glacier - Glacier Lagoon 2 Day Tour. PhotographerScott Drummond
Winter blue ice of Svínafellsjökull Glacier - Glacier Lagoon 2 Day Tour

Diamond Beach waves - Glacier Lagoon 2 Day Tour. Photographer Scott Drummond
Diamond Beach waves - Glacier Lagoon 2 Day Tour

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A moody and foggy Jökulsárlón - Glacier Lagoon 2 Day Tour. Photographer Scott Drummond
A moody and foggy Jökulsárlón - Glacier Lagoon 2 Day Tour 

How long have you been a photographer? How did you get interested in photography?
I do not really consider myself a photographer. Photography is definitely a hobby that I thoroughly enjoy and have probably invested quite a bit of money in over the years with new cameras. It is hard not to be drawn to photography when you live in probably the most photogenic place in the world. The landscapes around Iceland have to be seen to be believed.

I remember my grandfather passing me down an old film SLR camera when I was about 10. This definitely piqued my interest in photography. It wasn't until a few years later when I started to travel around Western Australia and internationally that I really got into it more, but with newer DSLR cameras.

So I guess I can thank my grandfather for really getting me interested in photography. I really like the challenge of trying to capture what you can see, and making it represent what you saw and felt when experiencing it. 

Sunset walk along Djúpalónsandur Beach - Snæfellsnes Peninsula Tour. Photographer Scott Drummond
Sunset walk along Djúpalónsandur Beach - Snæfellsnes Peninsula Tour 

Arnarstapi Harbour - Snæfellsnes Peninsula Tour. Photographer Scott Drummond
Arnarstapi Harbour - Snæfellsnes Peninsula Tour

What is your favorite place or thing to photograph?
Definitely the landscapes in Iceland...in particular, the southeastern part of the Iceland where glaciers dominate the landscape. Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon never gets boring. I have probably visited this site hundreds of times and it is always different.

The seasons and light conditions in Iceland vary so much during the year. Combined with how much the ice and glaciers change over the year, it is always different and always something different to capture.

I still remember the first time I visited the glacier lagoon for the first time. It was a really amazing spring weather evening, with the icebergs floating around the lagoon just glowing in the evening sun. I would normally visit the Glacier Lagoon at least once a week on our 2 Day Glacier Lagoon tour, and its the perfect place to shoot. We will normally visit in the evening, getting the fading evening light. And we will stop by again in the morning, and it somehow seems so different, with different tides, amounts of ice and lighting. 

Jökulsárlón first ever visit - Glacier Lagoon 2 Day Tour. Photographer Scott Drummond
Jökulsárlón first ever visit - Glacier Lagoon 2 Day Tour 

How can photographers be a part of change in the world?
With social media and peoples' ability to be able to share news and pictures so widely and easily, especially through platforms like instagram, I feel photographers can have a massive say and definitely help to shift attitudes. A recent example I can think of is the images associated with the problems with plastic in our ocean. The amazingly powerful photos you may have seen on the covers of National Geographic have had a massive hand in raising the profile of this problem, and hopefully getting people to consider their actions and their impact on the environment. 

We have probably also noticed on a more local scale here in Iceland, where all the photos that seem to fill social media feeds of Iceland's incredible landscapes has just enhanced its profile as a trending destination for travel. It has probably caused some sites within Iceland to be overcrowded due to their popularity and people wanting to replicate the same shot.

But I think photographers, especially high profile ones, can assist with this, by only taking photos from places they are meant to be and not doing things that put them or the environment that they are in just to get that 'perfect shot'. There has been a push within some of the more well know 'influencers' and photographers in Iceland to push an agenda of responsible travel and behaviour whilst visiting Iceland. 

Falljökull Ice Cave - Glacier Lagoon 2 Day Tour. Photographer Scott Drummond
Falljökull Ice Cave - Glacier Lagoon 2 Day Tour 

Falljökull Glacier Raven - Glacier Lagoon 2 Day Tour. Photographer Scott Drummond
Falljökull Glacier Raven - Glacier Lagoon 2 Day Tour 

Do you have any trips planned for the future, and if so what are you looking forward to?
I basically constantly travel around Iceland as part of being Lead Guide for Hidden Iceland, so I get to see some pretty magical sights pretty often. I have a few upcoming trips that I am really looking forward to.

I am heading up to the Westfjords of Iceland soon. I do not get visit this area maybe as often as I would like to. I get to spend 4 days in this rugged and remote part of Iceland as part of a tour. This is definitely one area that isn't as widely visited by people coming to Iceland, but it really should be.

One of my favourite places is Látrabjarg bird cliffs, the western most point of Iceland. These cliffs are just enormous, and are flocked to by thousands of sea birds each summer to nest, including the very photogenic puffins. Here is a photo of my partner Dagný looking out over these towering cliffs. I really like this photo as the light was just breaking through the clouds after a gloomy morning, and the scale of the cliffs is really highlighted in this photo with Dagný in the shot. 

Latrabjarg Cliffs- Wild Westfjords 4 Day Tour. Photographer Scott Drummond
Latrabjarg Cliffs- Wild Westfjords 4 Day Tour

Any photography tips you want to share?
I feel that trying to incorporate people into a photo, even when taking photos of the dramatic landscapes of Iceland, makes the photo more interesting. Having that human in the element in the photo not only provides scale, but I find it also capture peoples attention much more than just a standard landscape shot. I feel it also helps people to picture themselves in the same place. Despite the amazing sunset and scenery we were looking over here from a small peak within the Vatnajökull National Park, having my friends in this shot really makes this picture much more interesting and captivating. 

Sunset over Vatnajökull Glacier. Photographer Scott Drummond
Sunset over Vatnajökull Glacier 

Obviously just getting out and trying lots of different techniques and getting photos in so many different light conditions, even if it is the same location, will help you to improve the quality of photos you will take. I still bring the camera along on tours as often as I can, in the hopes of getting a chance to practise getting photos in the varying conditions that we always get to experience. Digital cameras allow you to really just try out different settings and compositions without any real consequence. I have found, as I just experiment with different things, I work out what works and what doesn't. 

Snæfellsnes Mountains - Snæfellsnes Peninsula Tour. Photographer Scott Drummond
Snæfellsnes Mountains - Snæfellsnes Peninsula Tour 

Diamond Beach - Glacier Lagoon 2 Day Tour. Photographer Scott Drummond
Diamond Beach - Glacier Lagoon 2 Day Tour 

Is there anything else you'd like to share with us?
I no longer get massive amounts of time to spend really trying to practise or learn more of late, with the first year of Hidden Iceland keeping us all very busy, but I hope to try to take advantage of the abundance of online courses and workshops that help with photography and editing. Editing software can really take a shot to another level, even amateur shots like mine with the basic understanding I have used editing packages like Lightroom, which can really make a photo stand out.

A photographer friend of mine often tells me that you will spend almost as much in post production as out in the field taking shots. I hope to improve my field photography skills, and get more time to really make these photos stand out with some minor tweaks with editing to enhance the feel that I was trying to capture in the field. I don't normally edit too much; I still want to try and keep the feel that I was trying to capture in the field. I still have a lot to learn, but it's definitely a fun process. 

Selvallavatn lava fields and lake- Snæfellsnes Peninsula Tour. Photographer Scott Drummond
Selvallavatn lava fields and lake- Snæfellsnes Peninsula Tour

Diamond beach (Jökulsárlón) - Glacier Lagoon 2 Day Tour. Photographer Scott Drummond
Diamond beach (Jökulsárlón) - Glacier Lagoon 2 Day Tour

 

Read more on Wandering Educators about Hidden Iceland: 

Visiting Iceland: All you need to know about glaciers

 

All photos courtesy and copyright Scott Drummond

 

 

 

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