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Iceland experience 'otherworldly'

This photo of Artic Thyme was taken by Ryan Tischer while on a trip to Iceland. Photo by Ryan Tischer1 / 3
Local landscape photographer Ryan Tischer captured this shot of Seljelandsfooss in May. The sun suddenly made a short appearance out of a rainy day while Tischer was in Iceland. Photo by Ryan Tischer2 / 3
Ryan Tischer captured this image of clearing skies over Vestrahorn in Iceland while on a recent visit. Photo by Ryan Tischer3 / 3

Landscape photography is not as easy as it looks. It is more than finding a pretty place and pushing a button on a camera.

Ryan Tischer, a 2004 Carlton alumnus, has traveled many years creating works of art by painting with light. Many mornings, Tischer is setting up and waiting for sunrise. He has photographed several national and state parks in the last few years as well as the Lake Superior area.

His latest adventure took him out of the country.

Tischer and his wife, Aimee, who is six months pregnant with their first child, recently returned from Iceland.

Tischer had a moment of doubt when they first stepped off of the plane into 40 mph wind gusts and sideways rain. Once the couple left the desolate area around the airport in Keflavik, just outside Reykjavik, Tischer felt reassured he made the right decision.

"Iceland is one of the most uniquely beautiful places in the world," Tischer said. He explained that the small country, which is about the size of Iowa, offers a diverse terrain with a wide variety of subjects to photograph in a small area.

There are active volcanoes and large glaciers on the temperate island. For this reason, Iceland is known as the land of fire and ice. The popular HBO series, "Game of Thrones," has filmed on the north side of the island.

Tischer said many of the glaciers are melting off of the tall cliffs in the highlands, which creates awe-inspiring waterfalls.

The couple rented a high-top campervan when they arrived in Iceland.

Tischer noted that everyone he met spoke English — some more fluently than others.

At one of the campgrounds, they met two men in their early 20s visiting from California. They told him they originally planned to tour the ring road around the island on bikes. After attempting to ride on the narrow roads in gusting winds, the men turned around and took the bus instead.

A French-Canadian man Tischer met said he believed it would be an adventure to hitch-hike the country and camp in a tent. Once the reality of the strong winds and sideways rain set in, the young man was less enthusiastic.

"I am 20 years old and very stupid," the man told Tischer.

In spite of the driving challenge, the Tischers found many amazing locations to visit.

He also saw wildlife while visiting, including birds, seals, Icelandic horses and lots of sheep.

While it rained part of every day, most days, a little sunshine peeked through.

"There was incredible light," Tischer said. "The light beams really took your breath away."

The Tischers are culminating their adventure with a grand image release celebration from 5-7 p.m. Friday, June 29, at Tischer Photographic Gallery, 5 W. Superior St., Duluth.

Tischer said one of the panoramic photographs will be up to 8 feet wide, and others 4-5 feet wide.

"My goal is when someone stands in front of a photo that they experience it as I did," Tischer said.

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