Ultimate Photography Guide with Car Rental in Iceland

Ultimate Photography Guide with Car Rental in Iceland
Kirkjufell mountain under the Northern Lights.

Whether you’re an amateur or a professional photographer, Iceland’s diverse scenery is sure to impress.  From towering waterfalls and sprawling glaciers to volcanic fields and the ethereal Northern Lights. Iceland promises a breathtaking backdrop for your images.

But to truly capture the essence of Iceland’s beauty, freedom to explore is key. Here’s where car rental in Iceland becomes not just a convenience but a necessity. Allowing you to chase the perfect light and find those untouched spots at your own pace.

Why Iceland is a Photographer’s Dream

Iceland’s appeal lies not just in its natural wonders, but in the extraordinary light that bathes them. The country’s position close to the Arctic Circle means summer days are long, with the midnight sun stretching into golden hours.

Giving photographers an extended canvas of time to work with. Winter, on the other hand, counters with its own spectacle. The Northern Lights dancing across the sky, painting it with vibrant hues of green and purple.

Capture the beauty of Iceland’s Natural Wonders

The landscapes themselves are a testament to nature’s artistry. Waterfalls like Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss not only impress with their sheer power and beauty but also offer unique perspectives. Like the path behind Seljalandsfoss, where you can capture its cascading water against the backdrop.

Glaciers and ice caves in Vatnajökull National Park present a frozen landscape of surreal blues. Accessible, with a bit of adventurous spirit and a reliable car rental. The black sand beaches and towering basalt columns at Reynisfjara near Vik provide a dramatic contrast to the typical beach scene. Perfect for those seeking a more somber tone in their photography.

photography in Iceland, Skogafoss lagoon car rental.
Skogafoss is one of Iceland’s most photogenic waterfalls.

Why You Need a Rental Car in Iceland

And then, there are the roads themselves. Driving in Iceland is an experience unlike any other, with each turn revealing views that are worthy of a postcard. Having the flexibility to stop and capture these moments is invaluable, making a car rental not just a luxury but a pivotal part of the Icelandic photography experience.

Best Scenic Spots for Photography

Iceland’s landscape offers an eclectic mix of photography spots that cater to a wide range of interests and styles. Here are some of the top locations where your camera will be as essential as your sense of adventure:

Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss

These two waterfalls are among Iceland’s most iconic and are a must-visit for any photography enthusiast. Seljalandsfoss is unique in that you can walk behind the waterfall, offering a rare perspective that frames the falling water against the sky. For the best shots, visit during the golden hour when the light adds a magical glow to the scene.

Skógafoss, with its mighty drop and frequent rainbows on sunny days, offers a classic yet breathtaking waterfall shot. Having a car allows you to visit these spots early in the morning or late in the evening. Great for avoiding the crowds and capturing the waterfalls in their most natural state.

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

A photographer’s paradise, Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon is where icebergs break from the glacier and float serenely on the water before drifting out to sea. The contrast of the icebergs against the dark water, especially during sunrise or sunset, creates a mesmerizing effect. Wildlife photographers will also find joy in capturing the seals that often lounge on the ice. The lagoon’s accessibility by car makes it a flexible trip for photographers aiming for the perfect light.

iceland car rental: Top 10 ring road stops - jokulsarlon glacier lagoon.
Jokulsarlon, glacier lagoon on iceland ring road.

Reynisfjara Beach

Famous for its black sand, towering waves, and basalt columns, Reynisfjara Beach near Vik is a dramatic and powerful photography spot. The black beach provides a stark contrast to the white surf of the waves, and the basalt columns offer interesting geometric patterns to explore with your lens.

Safety is paramount here, as the waves can be unpredictable, so always keep a safe distance. A car rental in Iceland allows you the freedom to wait for the moment when the light and tide align for that perfect shot.

Capturing the Northern Lights

The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, are perhaps the most sought-after photographic subject in Iceland. Capturing this celestial dance requires patience, planning, and mobility. The best times to witness the Northern Lights are from September to April, with the highest activity often occurring on cold, clear nights.

Photographing the auroras requires a tripod, a camera capable of long exposures, and the ability to adjust ISO and aperture settings. Scout for locations with minimal light pollution—something easily done with the flexibility a car rental offers. Keep an eye on aurora forecasts and be ready to drive to areas with clear skies. Remember, the Northern Lights are elusive, and capturing them is as much about the chase as it is about the photograph.

Reynisfjara beach.
Reynisfjara beach.

Safe Travel and Photography Tips in Remote Areas

Iceland’s beauty is vast and often found in its most remote areas. Here, a car rental becomes your gateway to the untouched wilderness. However, driving in Iceland, especially in remote or rural areas, requires preparation and respect for local regulations. Always let someone know your travel plans, especially if you’re heading into less populated areas.

When pulling over to capture a breathtaking scene, ensure you’re doing so in a safe manner. Use designated parking areas whenever possible, and never stop abruptly on narrow roads. Respect the natural landscape by staying on marked paths and adhering to local guidelines, preserving the beauty of Iceland for future visitors.


From the cascading waterfalls and black sand beaches to the mesmerizing dance of the Northern Lights, Iceland is a photographer’s dream come true. And while its landscapes offer the perfect subject at every turn, the freedom to explore them at your own pace, provided by a reliable car rental, is what truly makes the experience unforgettable.

Lagoon Car Rental offers the perfect companion for your Icelandic photography adventure, ensuring you have the mobility to chase the light, the flexibility to discover hidden gems, and the safety to explore Iceland’s breathtaking beauty.

Remember, the journey through Iceland is as captivating as the photographs you’ll take home. Travel safely, respect the environment, and let every picture tell a story of adventure, beauty, and exploration. For more travel tip about Iceland, please visit our Blog.