Landscape photographer, Joe Cornish, went to Iceland with the IQ2 60MP Digital Back when it launched in 2013, he chose Iceland for his destination. Iceland offers amazing light and stunning high contrast landscapes, but its scenery is as unforgiving as it is beautiful.
Joe: "Iceland is one of the most remarkable countries in the world. It's the most volcanically active region on earth. It's also extremely cold in the winter because it's so far north although it does have a maritime climate.
It offers an unbelievable challenge to the photographer. It has snow fields, ice caps, extraordinary geology, and the most dramatic coastline you'll see anywhere, and very high contrast. It also has the magical possibility of seeing the aurora borealis (the northern lights), one of the most amazing natural phenomena to be seen anywhere.
This country is a great opportunity to test the IQ2 60MP."
"I'm using a Phase One 645DF+ camera with the new IQ2 60MP Digital Back. 110mm Schneider lens is just the lens for this composition. It frames it as I want it to be. As the sun is now hitting onto the ice field in the distance, pink light is starting to come through into the reflections of the ice below. Just been shooting out on the end among huge boulders of basalt and dolerite and other types of volcanic rock with huge waves pounding in. A great test for the IQ2 60MP."
"There have been several occasions when the big waves have dumped huge amounts of seawater over me while I was standing with my tripod. The camera seems to have survived fine, I'm happy to say. It also reminded me that there is no way in the world. I could not have shot this on a technical camera, a view camera, a film camera or even probably a technical view camera with its back on it because it's totally impractical."
"When you have these bright, white, sunlit plumes of sea water with white snow covered mountains behind and then deep dark shadows of black volcanic rock, it really is a profound test, probably the ultimate landscape test for any camera system."
"Add that to genuinely exposure capabilities for the first time in this kind of equipment of exposures up to an hour, that makes a very exciting opportunity for me."
"One of the really enjoyable aspects of this trip has been meeting up with Tony Spencer.
Tony is a younger landscape photographer than me, very talented, and he really specializes in the subarctic and polar regions. He has a huge amount of experience of shooting the aurora borealis particularly, and he knows Iceland really well."
"We photographed at night with the geothermic features and I found myself doing the kind of images I've never tried before. Very experimental, very exciting."
Joe: "Tony, you photographed auroras many times. The IQ260 has this special long exposure mode, it's optimized for an ISO of 140. Do you feel that that still has potential?"
Tony: "Absolutely, I think in the first instance there's far more scope to pull in post processing, to pull back in the shadows and lift the shadows up so that we can brighten the exposure probably a lot more than we would with 35mm full frame images."
Joe: "So, even an underexposure can still be pretty decent quality?"
Tony: "Yeah, I would think so. You would be far better with a foul from one of these than you would be with a 35mm underexposed image. The fouls from the test we've just done are incredibly clean."
Joe: "The exposures I just made at 140 at 2 minutes are completely noise free. I've never seen anything like it."
Tony: "Yeah, they're looking absolutely fantastic."
Joe: "I always expected Iceland to be a real challenge for a digital back and so it has proved. I've had to work in sea spray, it's been really cold, high wind conditions, extremes of contrast, extremes of long exposure. All of these things would challenge any digital camera but the IQ2 60MP has come through with flying colors."
Special thanks for the assistance at this project to Joe Cornish and Antony Spencer's partners of choice,
DDI (http://www.directdigitalimaging.com) and
Teamwork digital (http://www.teamworkphoto.com) respectively
Phase One - http://www.phaseone.com
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