Untethered: A Photo Essay on Icelandic Views

What does it mean to be untethered? Untied, unkept, devoid of any sort of fastening. It’s wild, it’s disquieting, it’s… incomparable to anything else.

This week, we’re proud to introduce a new photo series to “Out There.” “Untethered” will celebrate the moments when we go grid-less. The moment where (wo)man meets wilderness and the former is never quite the same thereafter. First up, local photographer Laura Morgan takes us on a trek through Iceland. Where will we go next?


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Puffin: After almost two hours of patiently hovering over the rocky cliffs of Dyrhólaey, a guardian angel in the form of a Puffin landed within feet of the viewpoint. Just as I began my retreat back to our camper van, I saw crowds gather and knew – now was my chance! I ran back to the edge and as the sea of tourists parted for my larger-than-life lens, this flying friend elegantly posed for the shot.

Pool: Take a short walk to the pool they said, it’ll be easy, they said. Little did we know that a hike through rocky terrain awaited us when we headed out to find Seljavallalaug in our swimsuits and sandals. It goes without saying that the frigid trek was well worth it, and I can’t imagine having missed out on one of the oldest natural pools in Iceland.


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Rock circle: I can’t help but look at this picture and think of the cliche phrase, “anything for the shot.” Despite the signs warning of unstable cliff edges, I gently made my way out to the end to capture this angle of one of the most majestic rock forms I have ever seen! Then, I patiently partook in one of my favorite pastimes – waiting for a bird to fly into my shot.

Houses: Reykjavik is one of the few places I have traveled to that truly felt like home, and the colorful row houses on Njarðargata help explain why. As soon as we arrived, these primary-meets-pastel colors greeted me with a feeling of comfort, so finding this bird’s eye view of my favorite street in the city from the top of Hallgrímskirkja was a dream come true!


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Mountain: Kirkjufellsfoss was easily the place I had hyped up the most in my mind before heading to Iceland. While it was both so different from the way I expected, it also exceeded my expectations beyond belief. I thought – if I only get one day of sunshine, please let it be here! Lucky for us, this was our only sunset where true sun was actually involved, and it was the most magical way to start off our magical trek through Iceland.

Church: Búðakirkja is not only the grungy aesthetic we’ve all been dreaming of lately, but it is also one of the oldest churches in Iceland that “was built in 1848 without the support of the spiritual fathers.” Need I say more? Girl power.


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Waterfall: Deemed Iceland’s most visited site, Skógafoss is another place that truly exceeded my expectations. The clouds of back spray, birds and blankets of moss surrounding this waterfall made it all the more majestic! Plus our nocturnal schedule and soaking in this spot minus the hoards of visitors didn’t hurt, either.

Valley view: Despite being closed just months earlier after it’s appearance in a Justin Bieber music video, Fjaðrárgljúfur was one of the many places that we got to enjoy essentially to ourselves in Iceland. While there, we adapted to a semi-nocturnal schedule that left us exploring the country’s gems as late as 2 in the morning. After everything, I’d lose sleep again and again to enjoy secluded sunsets at the spot I know consider to be the most beautiful place I have ever been!

// Photography by Laura Morgan—Have you travelled recently and want share your story? Write in!


Untethered: A Photo Essay on Icelandic Views
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