Curved, the black sand beach of Reynisfjara in Iceland

The black sand beach of Reynisfjara and its Reynisdrangar sea stacks near Vík í Mýrdal, Iceland, captured in black & white.

Reynisfjara beach, Vik, Iceland
October, 2015
Buy a licence or print

Buy a licence or print


Camera & lens

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/4G ED VR III

Camera settings

ƒ/10, 151s, ISO 250 and 45mm

Size original

7335 x 4891 pixels


Reynisfjara black sand beach is one of the most famous black sand beaches of Iceland. The beach lies on the south coast of Iceland, close to the small town of Vík í Mýrdal. It is about 180 km away from Reykjavík. The sand of Reynisfjara’s beach, and many other beaches in Iceland, is black because of Iceland’s history of volcanic activity. Over the years, the North Atlantic Ocean water gradually eroded hardened lava rocks and created the black sand as a result.

This fine art photograph in black & white was taken from an elevated position at the west side of Reynisfjara beach. It was close to sunset on a day with rather moody weather. A longer exposure time smoothened the incoming water of the North Atlantic Ocean. Besides that, it enhanced the contrast between the black sand beach of Reynisfjara and the white water created by the ocean. As a result, the white water curve leads the eye towards the Reynisdrangar basalt sea stacks and the rest of the coastline on the horizon. This Icelandic coastal landscape photo begged for a black & white treatment. It strengthens the photo in many ways.

The area around the black sand beach of Reynisfjara is a great place to photograph coastal landscapes like this one. There are many beaches that each give a unique view of the Icelandic coast, its sea stacks and arches. Additionally, there are various points where you get a bird’s eye view of the beautiful Icelandic landscape.

Please visit our Black & White Photography portfolio for more fine art photographs like this one. Alternatively, check out our Nordic Landscape Photography portfolio to see more landscape photos taken in the Nordics, including more photographs from Iceland.

This photo can be purchased as a print. We offer unmounted fine art prints as well as premium prints that are ready-to-hang when they arrive at your home. Visit our Purchasing a print FAQ page for information about the various types of prints that we offer and how to order one.

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7 comments for Curved, the black sand beach of Reynisfjara in Iceland

  1. Bruce Howland

    How do you see stuff like this Johan? Beautiful!

    • Johan Peijnenburg

      Hard to explain Bruce … and there is some luck involved 🙂

  2. Joshua

    What a composition! So strong! The long exposure works very well here 😎

    • Johan Peijnenburg

      Thanks! Glad you like it Joshua 🙂

  3. Joyce Wong

    Just wow! The contrast between the black sand beach and the white water of the ocean is so striking and I love how my eye is led to the sea stacks in the back 👌

    • Johan Peijnenburg

      Thanks Joyce! The Reynisfjara black sand beach is a marvellous place. You need to get lucky with the weather though. The area around Vik gets a lot of rain.

  4. Alex Walker

    How a longer exposure can transform a landscape scene! Top!

    • Johan Peijnenburg

      Indeed Alex 🙂 Thanks!

  5. Sarah Parker

    Really love the effect of the longer exposure time used here. A one of a kind image! I visited Reynisfjara’s black sand beach quite a few times now. Unfortunately, however, I missed this awesome view.

    • Johan Peijnenburg

      Glad you like it Sarah! 🙂 I’ll mail you to let you know where the viewpoint is …

  6. Michael Barr

    Saw this image of Reynisfjara’s black sand beach come by on Twitter the other day … compliments … what a strong image!

    • Johan Peijnenburg

      Thanks Michael. Glad you like it! Yes, noticed some traffic coming from Twitter. Always welcome!

  7. Anette Mossbacher

    Hi Johan,

    This is one of my favorite photographs of yours. 😀

    Cheers Anette

    • Johan Peijnenburg

      Thanks Anette!

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