Continuing with my theme of cool and unusual subjects found in Iceland, today I'm showing you this US Army Airplane that crashed landed.
Here's the story...
In 1972 a US Army pilot while flying over Iceland noticed his fuel gauge, it read that he's almost on Empty. Knowing he still has hundreds and hundreds of miles to his destination, the pilot deliberately crash lands the plane on a deserted Black Sand Beach just outside the city of Vik. In later investigations, it turned out the airplane had plenty of fuel, but the fuel gauge was working improperly. Nobody died in the crash landing.
Instead of spending thousands of dollars shipping the plane back to the US, the Army decided to leave the plane AS IS, and it still remains there today, some 40 years later.
Again, this is a subject i knew about through my research, and i was BOUND and DETERMINED to locate it myself or die trying. I read many travelers own personal blogs, and they couldn't find it on several attempts, so i'm glad we got lucky :)
It was incredibly difficult. For starters, the black sand beach is HUGE, it goes for miles and miles, and it has the look and appearance of being on the Moon! When driving on the beach searching, you are literally thinking you're an Astronaut! Iceland is so amazing that way!
The airplane seems to blend in SO well with the surrounding black sand beach, it fools the eye into thinking its a large boulder, again, so amazing. You have to experience it to believe it.
I was so determined to locate this plane, that if I hadn't, I would have actually deemed the trip to Iceland a bit of a disappointment - thats how important it was to me. We couldn't find the plane on our first attempt, but we found it on our second attempt!
I'll add a couple of WS photo's for you to see what i mean about the plane and how it sits on the black sand beach. Hope you like this hdr.
Critiques | Translate
ACL1978 (7511) 2013-03-24 6:37
Did you guys go anywhere near civilization while in Iceland!?
This is an unspeakably cool shot - I can only imagine the excitement when you first saw this downed beauty, and I can only imagine the strain you put your memory card on while exploring it. This is a perfect POV - there's a sense of flight and movement despite its obvious condition, and great light on the exterior. I love how you lined up the windows so that sky can be seen through it. A really gorgeous portrait of a wreck - straight into favorites here.
snunney (87284) 2013-03-24 6:40
Framing is perfect and the light excellent. Every little detail can be clearly seen.
Sergiom (63979) 2013-03-24 6:45
Il n'a plus beaucoup d'espoir de revoir le ciel bientôt.J'aime le point de vue qui fait paraître l'avion très long dans l'image. La netteté est superbe ainsi que la gestion de la lumière.
Noel_Byrne (26105) 2013-03-24 7:04
What a subject for a photographer to find, and what a place to find it in! This is beautiful, despite the decay in the plane, it is full of character and has a very precise mood. The abandonment is palpable, and even more so with the description in your notes. Really great photo of this most unusual subject.
Sonata11 (33426) 2013-03-24 7:30
Hello dear Craig,
this looks depressing. Great documentary snapshot and perfectly well an executed with magnificent clarity of details, colors, perfect sharpness, POV. An excellent photo job. I like this an amazing picture. Tfs
Kind regards and have a nice Sunday,
eldancer1 (30034) 2013-03-24 7:33
This looks like the remains of the military version of the DC-3. I like your pov, showing the plane from the rear. Good lighting and dof with sharp details. Well done, tfs.
worldcitizen (7301) 2013-03-24 8:11
An unusual but fascinating subject for this one. I like the black sand, too. I've never seen a beach with black sand before. Great WS photos. The fuselage has lots of strange dents and holes to enjoy. :-) I was just wondering...why hasn't the government of Iceland ever decided to remove this wreckage? I'm guessing they might not find it as beautiful as you do. It seems odd that they have left it there indefinitely...
PaulVDV (23413) 2013-03-24 8:49
Perhaps after your research and your pictures here, this place might become a tourist attraction.
The weather and the light were perfect to create the strongest contrast between the metal colour of the plane and the black sand.
I also like the pictures in the WS.
Best regards, Paul
mafegan (8624) 2013-03-24 9:18
A great story you have told. Congratulations on your successful location of the wreck - shows that if you are determined you are bound to succeed. I have been to Vik and clearly remember the black sand but I never saw anything like this. Looks as though it has been used for shooting practice. Wonderfully detailed composition. By the way New Zealand's west coast also has black sand. Cheers, Marlene
jacquest (18863) 2013-03-24 9:26
I like your view on this battered Douglas DC-3. Excellent ligh giving sharp details. The aluminum skin has endured the passage of time quite well.
holmertz (43285) 2013-03-24 9:55
I am tempted to ask the same kind of question as Andrew (ACL1978), like "did you have time for any nice dinner in Reykjavik?". Now, this is another artistic installation perfectly placed in the Icelandic wilderness, looking quite fascinating, and with an even more fascinating story to go along with it. You sound like a VERY determined guy. This is a fantastic shot well complemented by the workshops. And what an amazing weather you had. Not quite what I expected from Iceland.
krzychu30 (15510) 2013-03-24 10:41
the landscape around the airplane gives really impression like we were on the Moon(especially watching your other pictures in WS).The wreckage of the plane,just like old and devastated cars is a great subject to photograph.I´m glad you did a profound research before the trip to Iceland(I bet you wouldn´t find a word about this airplane in none of the guidebooks).
Brilliant composition Craig!
We´ve seen many pictures showing us the beauty of Iceland landscape,but this one is really cool and different from what we´ve seen so far.
archimatica (20327) 2013-03-24 15:53
Very interesting note, and the picture perfect with a great light.
yquem46 (38746) 2013-03-24 15:59
A somewhat non conventional view of Iceland !
Seeing this, I'll think twice before going to this country, LOL
Perfect exposure and clear blue sky, another non conventional aspect
Best regards, have a nice sunday
chrisvek (7001) 2013-03-24 18:44
Yes.Indeed that it is a very unusual composition.Great details and focus.Perfect job!Well done!
Have a nice day
emka (82572) 2013-03-24 23:54
Hi Craig, unusual photos from Iceland. very often we see here photos of the wrecked ships old old cars, crashed aircraft is more difficult to find. Was it possible to get inside? The photo invites for some exploring. I like it and I am waiting for waterfalls :)
jjcordier (77834) 2013-03-25 0:12
le sujet est insolite et tu l'as bien mis en image. Je suis assez surpris que les islandais aient laissé l'épave au beau milieu de la nature (j'ai l'impression qu'il sert de cible pour les chasseurs, non?)
Royaldevon (31791) 2013-03-25 1:09
Although the w/s immages are very useful for providing information about the location, this shot is certainly the one with the WOW factor. The proximity to the wreck gives the impression that you are really there. There is a very strong contrast betweeen the gritty, black sand and the smooth, silver carcass; it almost suggests that the carcass is emerging from the sand like some resurrecting, long-extinct being.
There is a wonderful clarity about the shot, which I noticed in your last shot. Either the light is amazing or, maybe, there is little pollution. Whatever, it is a gem.
Have a good week,
finlay (1549) 2013-03-25 2:13
A great shot and a really interesting story to go along with it.
Your pov is excellent and there certainly is a sense of an alien landscape about the location.
Difficult to think that something this big could be so hard to find. The area must be very remote indeed.
CLODO (31132) 2013-03-25 3:14
incredible story, and it's so amazing that it was one of your aim during the Iceland visit! Now you can help visitors by telling the GPS locationof the aircraft!
The picture is bettter than the WS because we can detail the bullets holes thanks to the lateral light. The propellers and engines have disappeared and also the end of the wings.
carlo62 (36121) 2013-03-25 3:48
indubbiamente questa è la foto migliore, anche se le immagini del ws aiutano a capire.
L'aereo sembra "navigare" nella sabbia e l'effetto è impressionante.
timecapturer (49288) 2013-03-25 5:27
amazing story to accompany an amazing image. Your determination has paid off here as this is not only original but also strangely beautiful. A trip to Iceland has been on my itinerary for some time and this series of shots from you just whets my appetite even more. Powerful imagery! Love it!
Have a great week - regards Brian.
Oceania (5174) 2013-03-25 6:28
It more likes a touching story of your determination. These is just a wreckage of an airplane, not something precious treasures.
This picture really taught me new meaning of traveling. Thanks.
chawax (19566) 2013-03-25 6:45
I stayed in Vik during my trip in Iceland but I didn't see this crashed plane. A nice subject for photography ! I will pass by there on my next journey in Iceland, I will have to convince the people I travel with it worths a visit ! Very good framing here and perfect sharpness. I love the contrast between silver colour of the plane and the dark sand.
Have a nice week,
tyro (21114) 2013-03-25 13:29
You and Tosca did well to seek this old 'plane out in the middle of nowhere! What a trek you must have had - but it was all worthwhile for these wonderful images!
Again, your favourite wide "city" lens has stolen the show and given you amazing depth and strong perspective and your expert and very subtle use of HDR has enhanced the picture beautifully to bring out all the textures of the battered aluminium skin of this old machine.
Fabulous textures, lovely light and colours, perfect exposure and exquisite details and sharpness.
ktanska (25301) 2013-03-25 13:40
I never thought you'd be such a serious planespotter!
Awesome light, even that black sand seems to glow. And all details are clearly visible. It seems that it has been a shotgun target too.
Very interesting story. Thanks for the other version too, but this is clearly my favourite.
abmdsudi (44964) 2013-03-25 23:10
Incredible find! -tx to your infor notes - What a great adventure ala Indiana Jones you had! must be tough and energy consuming trip but it's fruitfull enchanting result no doubt, a poignant shot indeed. This compo does a lot to viewers as there is a real focus there with lots of amazing detail and interest to absorb against the black sandy beach. Getting close with wide lens like this has the benefits to open up whilst maintaining a sharp in focus on the wreckage. Good attempt at trying to capture an awkward subject. Credit to you, in very tricky circumstances, the contrast of light, colours and shadow are very effective. Very good work indeed, Congrats. TFS
speedymanu (3587) 2013-03-26 13:32
your tenacity is quite amazing, kudos for that; I like the derelict aspect of your composition, the mix of textures. oreover, do I appreciate that quality of light, white, stark which complemen,ts the metallic touch of the subject.
Thanks for sharing,
marabu61 (9043) 2013-03-26 15:18
Now that is quite a story and it sounds like it was a great adventure to seek for this aeroplane. My first thought after seeing this was this is the plane from the film " the flight of the Phoenix"
Great framing, really dynamic I think.
have a great day
Hansaphotos (7149) 2013-03-28 8:24
You know I love subject like this. A very interesting story to accompany. As I`ve been in Iceland I remember well the black lava sand that provides such a splendid framing for this shot. Wondeful angle for the shot and superb details. Truly amazing! TFS. Have a nice evening.
Best regards, Erling
serp2000 (41356) 2013-03-28 12:46
Sad story. And amazing monument of US air force on the Islands. The numerous holes in the plane body look like a steps of fights. Anyway, this is unique document photo, thanks. Iceland is not very popular place for trekkers. Good report!
Urs (14082) 2013-03-29 18:32
Where I have been? Last year there was far too much work, so I had to stop posting pictures. It was a crazy year. This year is a completely different story, I broke my left wrist on 7.2. had surgery and I'm still working hard to get all my function of my left hand back. Now I can type again with 10 fingers instead of 1 finger and I can hold the camera in one hand, but that can be difficult. However I do it. So I hope to post regularly to TE, if nothing goes wrong.
A crash landed air-plain pointing the way to the future, I like the dynamic POV and the message, technology certainly is a good thing, but there are limits, it may crashes ...
adores (39209) 2013-04-01 16:54
I'm glad you found it:)!I like the Ws, but this one is very good. I like the quality, the pov, the details of the plane. Good work! Even the location seems magical!
jcpix (13724) 2013-04-08 20:10
I don't know how I let this one get by me, what a fantastic shot! Stepping away from the traditional areas of photography subjects has suited you extremely well on this trip. Not to say that everything in your gallery is any less impressive, that couldn't be any further from the truth, but these recent shots have taken a new direction of interest. This has "death by time" written all over it, and I'm loving the character it's taken on. The light here is amazing, you definitely chose the perfect direction to shoot in order capture the emotion and detail this old plane still has to show. Really great image!
ourania (34433) 2013-04-10 11:19
this is an utterly captivating picture with a fascinating subject and an irresistible 3D effect. The sense of depth and perspective is amazing, it makes the composition very dynamic and allows us to enjoy every millimetre of metallic texture and of black sand. Sharpness is excellent. I like very much the light and the shadows, the colours are most authentic and attractive. Wonderful work, congratulations and thank you!
All the best, have a great day,
Rafer (15511) 2013-04-14 7:12
Very interesting excellent and perfectly realized image ... very good. Greetings Craig
Robert1969 (7160) 2013-04-18 0:49
Picture isn't only exciting and beautyful,
it also exudes history. When I'm not
wrong it's a Dougles C-47 (in WWII also
famous as the DC-3).
- Copyright: craig macintosh (macjake) (58862)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2013-03-16
- Categories: Transportation
- Camera: Pentax K7, SIGMA 8-16mm
- Exposure: f/7.1, 1/250 seconds
- Details: Tripod: Yes
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
- Date Submitted: 2013-03-24 6:23
- Favorites: 1 [view]