My name is Snorri and I was born and raised in Iceland. I consider myself extremely blessed to have grown up on this magical little island and even more fortunate to be able to work here all year round as a photographer and filmmaker.

I started photography around 25 years ago, when I was 16 years old. That was when my father lent me an old Olympus OM1 film camera.

Aerial view of Iceland - Photo by Snorri Thor TryggvasonAerial View of Iceland. Photo by: 'Snorri Þór Tryggvason'.

For the first 5 years of my photography I only shot in black and white. I even processed the film and printed the images myself in a darkroom I put up in my parents basement. I feel very thankful to have learned photography in that way, because it taught me to be patient and to wait for the right moments.


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The world from above Aerial view of Iceland - Photo by Snorri Thor TryggvasonThe World from Above. Photo by: 'Snorri Þór Tryggvason'.

I still always take a good time to compose my photos and videos, waiting for magical moments and good light instead of rushing between places to capture as much as I can.

Moreover, I still shoot as I did when shooting on film, by taking my time to get the perfect shot in-camera instead of spending hours post processing in front of the computer. I never do blended exposures and I don't use any filters.

If my shot isn't good enough, I just wait for the perfect lighting or revisit the location again. One of the things that always amazes me about photography is the fact the two people never take the same photo, even if they're standing in the same place at the same time, and I love the fact that people look at the world in such different ways.

Although my background education was in philosophy, architecture and analysing culture, I had been working as a photographer during my spare time for a number of years. I’ve only been able to focus more on my photography in recent years.

A few years ago, I made a short film about the Northern Lights called “Iceland Aurora” and it was during that time that I fell completely in love with photography and filmmaking.

The biggest influence on my work is my love for Iceland and the incredible nature that surrounds me every day. It only takes me 30 minutes to drive from my home to visit some incredible nature locations where I sometimes feel like I’m on the moon!

I feel like it is almost my destiny or role in life to capture the the atmosphere of these places with my camera so that others can enjoy and experience them to some degree. In recent years, more and more people have contacted me by email or even stopped me in the street just to thank me for the photos and videos I take and to tell me that my work has inspired them to travel more.

I feel very honoured and grateful every time this occurs, because it shows me that I’m actually inspiring and affecting other people's lives with something as simple as a photo.

Ice cave in Iceland Aerial view of Iceland - Photo by Snorri Thor TryggvasonIce Cave in Iceland. Photo by: 'Snorri Þór Tryggvason'.

Iceland is such a magical place to live and I'm always finding new and interesting locations that inspire me in many ways. My favourite thing about Iceland is how the light is constantly changing throughout the seasons, so I sometimes feel like I'm living in 4 countries at once.

In the summer months the sun never goes below the horizon, which gives me a chance to hike and tend to my other hobbies (rock climbing and downhill mountain biking) all day and all night, as it never gets dark during that time.

I am fortunate to have many friends that do all sorts of extreme sports and I often include them in my landscape photographs, to provide an interesting subject in the frame and to lend scale to the landscape.

Over the Horizon. Video by: 'Snorri Þór Tryggvason'.


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My favourite season in Iceland is autumn, when the colours of the flora change so much and the air becomes more fresh and clearer somehow. During the winter months, the atmosphere transforms a lot, mostly because of the light.

In December, the sun only comes up for a few hours before it rises again, but instead the Aurora Borealis comes out and lightens up the dark sky with glorious colours and shapes that I always look forward to seeing.

Moonbow at Skogafoss Aerial view of Iceland - Photo by Snorri Thor TryggvasonMoonbow at Skogafoss in Iceland. Photo by: 'Snorri Þór Tryggvason'.

One of the most amazing things I’ve ever witnessed in Iceland was a volcanic eruption in 2015. I contacted a pilot and asked her to fly me to the location so I could take aerial photos of the eruption.

We flew for almost 2 hours until we reached the location in the middle of the Highlands and flew over the area for a whole hour, until the sun started setting. During the sunset, I caught one of my favourite photos.

I never could have imagined what a powerful experience that would be and it changed how I view nature a lot. I developed a much bigger respect for the power of nature after that experience.

Highlands of Iceland Aerial view of Iceland - Photo by Snorri Thor TryggvasonThe Highlands of Iceland. Photo by: 'Snorri Þór Tryggvason'.

There are so many different elements of nature to see in Iceland. In most countries that I've visited, you usually have to travel for quite some time to see a change in the landscape, but in Iceland it seems to be constantly changing!

The country can be roughly divided into 8 different parts (south coast, east fjords, north coast, west coast, the Westfjords, the central Highlands, Snæfellsnes peninsula and the Reykjanes peninsula), and they all have their own unique look, colours and textures.

The Ice Cave. Video by: 'Snorri Þór Tryggvason'.

Some of my favourite places in Iceland are the waterfalls and glacial lagoons. There are actually more than 11,000 waterfalls in Iceland that are over 2 metres tall, so it's rather easy to find them, but the south coast of Iceland is a great area to see many breathtaking waterfalls in one day.


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The glacial lagoons are also always awe-inspiring places to behold. One of the glacier lagoons (Jökulsárlón) has become very well known in recent years and a lot of tourists drive for a whole day from Reykjavík just to visit that place.

But most people don't realise that there are actually many different glacier lagoons in various other parts of the country.

On the way to Jökulsárlón, there are actually around 5 glacier lagoons that are easily approachable and I highly recommend visiting a few of them, mostly because they all have a very unique atmosphere.

In some of them, the ice is very clear, but in others the ice is more grey and even black sometimes, because of volcanic eruptions that throw both lava and ash into the air before they fall onto the glacier and are eventually blended with ice.

Photographing the Northern Lights in Iceland Aerial view of Iceland - Photo by Snorri Thor TryggvasonPhotographing the Northern Lights in Iceland. Photo by: 'Snorri Þór Tryggvason'.

Needless to say, I have very strong memories connected to most of the photographs that I take. It’s probably the biggest reason that I take photos – to create memories for myself.

The fact that others enjoy them is just a great bonus, though I would keep on doing this even if no one would see my photos.

What I love about the process is that it helps me remember so many aspects of my experience, not just what I saw, but looking at a photograph makes me remember how the weather was, how it smelled, the temperature on the day, etc. I can easily relive those moments and bring back great memories by simply looking at a photo I've shot.

Cycling beneath the Northern Lights Aerial view of Iceland - Photo by Snorri Thor TryggvasonCyclist Beneath the Northern Lights in Iceland. Photo by: 'Snorri Þór Tryggvason'.

In December 2016, I started travelling all around Iceland to work on a new project – to shoot 360 degree panoramas of hundreds of famous locations all over the country. My aim was to make a new kind of digital map and mobile app of Iceland.

his project takes up most of my time these days. I’ve already taken photos for this goal in approximately 200 places during the last year and I’ve recently launched a new website at where it's possible to view these photos in high resolution.

The beauty of this site is that it gives you a preview of the many stunning locations in Iceland before you even visit. I will also be adding 360 videos to the website in the next months. I go out every week to a new location and subsequently, I add a new 360 panorama to the website every week.

At present, I am working on connecting all of the images together to create virtual reality tours, which will help people to decide which areas of Iceland they want to visit during their journey. Version 2.0 of the website with virtual tours and VR options is scheduled to launch in May 2018.


To see Iceland in panoramic virtual reality, visit Iceland 360 VR. Are you ready to see Iceland in real life? Join one of our Summer Photography Workshops in Iceland!