60 Years Since Start of Surtsey Eruption

Surtsey island

Today marks exactly 60 years since the start of the eruption that formed Surtsey island, off Iceland’s south coast. The island, which has been closed to the public since its formation, was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008. The opening of a photographic exhibition to mark the anniversary has been delayed as Iceland awaits a potential eruption on the Reykjanes peninsula, where one town has been evacuated.

The Environment Agency had planned to open a photographic exhibition on Surtsey in the Westman Islands today, November 14, but a notice from the agency says the opening will be delayed. “In light of the serious situation that has emerged, we don’t consider it appropriate to celebrate this milestone at this moment,” the notice reads.

While the exhibit’s opening party has been delayed, the photo exhibition itself remains open to visitors. It features the work of Iceland Review’s principal photographer Golli, who received rare permission to accompany a scientific expedition to Surtsey this past summer. His article and photos from the expedition, Island in the Making, are available to subscribers on the Iceland Review website.

Press Photos of the Year 2020 Revealed

Photographer Yiwei Li 2020 portrait of the year

Iceland Review photographer Golli’s portrait of photographer Li Yiwei was awarded Portrait of the Year at this year’s Press Photo Exhibition hosted by the Icelandic Press Photo Association last Friday. Golli’s portrait, seen above, show’s Li looking up at Iceland’s winter clouds. The jury described the photograph as an “Beautiful, enigmatic, and dreamlike,” adding “The subject lies on the ground looking at the clouds but at the same time, it’s as if she herself is floating on clouds. An unusual and well-executed portrait. Its construction evokes feelings of infinity and calm.”

The Icelandic Press Photos of the Year have been awarded annually since 1979 by the Union of Icelandic Journalists, in seven different categories, in addition to the Press Photo of the year. This year’s Press photo of the Year portrays Ásta kristín Marteinsdóttir, paramedic and legal student who signed up for the healthcare professional reserve corps when the pandemic began. The photo was taken by the National Hospital’s photographer Þorkell Þorkelsson, who also shot the Photo Series of the Year. The judge’s panel called it “ a beautiful moment at the end of a demanding shift at the National Hospital. Beauty in an institutional and sterile environment. There’s calm and peace in the photo but also sadness and fatigue. A symbolic shot for the situation this year, that most people can relate to – handwashing, disinfectant, and fatigue.”

Press photo of the year 2020
Þorkell Þorkelsson. Paramedic and legal student Ásta kristín Marteinsdóttir, who signed up for the medical staff reserve corps when the pandemic began.

Other photographers awarded this year included Kristinn Magnússon (Morgunblaðið) for News photo and Magazine photo of the year, Vilhelm Gunnarsson (Vísir) for Sports and Environment photo of the year, and Valgarður Gíslason for the best photo depicting daily life. The winning photographs are on display at Reykjavík’s Museum of Photography.

This is not Golli’s first distinction from the Press photo Association, as last year, he shot the Press Photo and Photo Series of the year. 

Iceland Review Photographer Wins Press Photo and Photo Series of the Year

Vatnajökull Grímsfjall Grímsvötn Bárðarbunga Kverkfjöll Jöklar Jökull Vísindi

Iceland Review photographer and publisher Kjartan Þorbjörnsson, known as Golli, has won the 2019 Press Photo of the Year and Photo Series of the Year. Golli’s winning photograph, seen above, was taken during an annual research trip on Vatnajökull glacier. The jury described the photograph as an “impactful and symbolic picture of human-driven climate change,” adding “The picture shows how small man is in comparison to nature and [shows] the ever-changing glacier from an interesting angle.”

Golli also won in the category of Best Photo Series for a group of photos from the same glacier trip, which the jury described as “a well-structured series that combines beautiful photos and a holistic narrative that concerns us all.”

Photo: Golli.

The Icelandic Press Photos of the Year have been awarded annually since 1979 by the Union of Icelandic Journalists. Golli’s six winning photos were chosen from 826 submissions from Icelandic photojournalists.

The winning photo was featured on the cover of Iceland Review’s fourth issue of 2019. An excerpt of the accompanying article is available online.

Photo: Berglind Jóhannsdóttir.

The winning photographs will be on display at Reykjavík’s Museum of Photography until May 30, 2020. See more of Golli’s photographs on Iceland Review’s Instagram account and Golli’s own.