The Homeless in Iceland Diet

Diamond Beach Storm - Iceland No. 1

Diamond Beach Storm – Iceland No. 1 © jj raia

Forget about Jenny Craig, Nutri-System, Weight Watchers, South Beach or Low Carb!! After much scientific research and over two weeks of personal participation in the plan, I have discovered a revolutionary, new weight loss program that is absolutely guaranteed to slim you without attending meetings or purchasing any “special” food from those other so-called weight loss plans. This amazing program is simple and exciting. Just book a flight to Iceland during the time of year it has 24 hours of daylight; stay at least 16 days living in your rental vehicle, never sleep more than 3-4 hours at a time, and several times just keep “vacationing” 2-3 consecutive days w/o sleep; eat at least two times per day, but not more than three (breakfast can be a protein bar); hike and walk a lot each day carrying a pack of at least 25 pounds constantly searching for, or scouting locations to photograph during every waking hour, and the weight will just melt away. You won’t even know you’re dieting. From my own experience utilizing this incredible new plan, I lost just under 8-ozs. per day, or a total of 7 pounds during the 16 days of the trip!! The most unbelievable and enjoyable part of the plan was eating four full packages of cookies during the 16 day dieting period.

And since we’re talking numbers, over the course of that time, 4363 kilometers (2711 miles) were driven with several hundred of them on gravel surfaced roads; while the camera shutter was tripped 3020 times. And except for those images where I placed my hand over the lens to indicate either a panorama, HDR or focus stacking took place, every one was a stellar image worthy of publication by any vanity publishing company willing to be coaxed to do so by hard currency and arm twisting.

Getting away from the diet for a moment, going forward, all the photos in this and  upcoming posts were taken with my regular DSLR, with a few exceptions taken with my son’s smaller back-up camera, when conditions warranted, as opposed to all the previous photos from the trip contained in the journal, which were taken with an iPhone.




If I can think of one time during the trip where my spirits went from the deepest doldrums to soaring elation, it had to be the miserable, overnight deluge at Diamond Beach almost a week into the trip. (You can read the details of it here.) Up until then, it had been mostly cloudy with lots of rain and the weather was wearing me down. But a surge of determination, and finally a little let up in the heavy rains, got me out of the car with me wrapped in rubber waders and Gortex, the camera wrapped in a plastic bag, and an umbrella strapped to the tripod… all the armor necessary to do battle with the surf and ice. There was no hope of sunlight from the look of things, just the gloom of the gray clouds. I began searching the beach, eventually ranging far from the car, for some interestingly shaped ice or small groupings that could be isolated from the chaos of ice chunks littering the beach, all the time trying my best to get an interesting flow of surf into the frame with slow shutter speeds and a hard edged split ND filter to bring the tonal value of the clouds closer to the steel green of the ocean. But as I began one particular sequence of photos, I knew after the very first shot that these may be the shots that would make all the adversity pay off. As it turned out, after they were all fully processed, they just may be the favorites of the entire trip. And I have yet to determine which of them I prefer. The variable direction in the flow of the surf, or the juxtaposition of a simple, clean look (four above) versus a chaotic scramble of surf (two below), each has its own pleasing dynamic. And it’s difficult to say which type speaks to me more directly. In total, I took only 22 in the sequence, and with the myriad variables of ocean surf, it is amazing that the percentage of “keepers” was so high. It was obvious to me that someone had taken pity on me and placed me in front of this combination of brightly colored bergs simply to trip the shutter. It was immediately after that sequence, even though by then fatigue and the cold were getting the better of me, I felt more joyful, my spirit uplifted. And it remained that way through the full term of my time on the diet.







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