Friday, June 13, 2014

Gian Luca arrived this morning!! He's an incredible National Geographic photographer. His photos have been on the cover of National Geographic Magazine! He has already taught us many things about photography such as focus and the importance of creating a photo rather than just taking it. I have been really interested in capturing emotions in Reykjavik because of all the fascinating people I have seen. He has also been helping me create great shots with emotion. After breakfast we went into the city and after seeing a pair of awesome platforms in "GK Reykjavik" Peter gave me some time to try them on... they were my first "made in italy" but Icelandic purchase. Chase, Charlotte, Tatum, Peter, and I scouted out for a cool place to eat lunch and Peter found Chuck Norris Cafe. We ate there and it was very satisfying! In the mist of eating and taking photos, we see mime looking people wearing all black and acting out odd movements. It was Icelandic street art. We spent about 30 minutes following them and I've never seem something so bizarre but so artistically genius. Late from the street art sight, we arrive to meet the others at the bike stand. There we rode bikes all over Reykjavik listening to our guide speak about the history. And our guide didn't only enlighten us with his knowledge but boasted about his extreme intelligence. Not sure if he was extremely sarcastic or just narcissistic...hmmm... Straight from riding bikes we took a bus to the Viking Festival and thats when things got very exciting. The Viking Festival took place about 30 minutes away from Reykjavik, and its similar to the Renaissance Festival. The Icelandic's take pride in their history and dressed up in viking costumes and had made beautiful jewelry and other things for everyone to see or buy. The people there were so welcoming and open, and they loved getting their photograph taken. I met this beautiful Icelandic girl who is about 13 years old and we talked awhile. I showed her how to work my camera and we exchanged social media usernames. Her name is Soley which means yellow flower. I gave her some american coins and I have never seen anyone in my life so excited about american coins as she was. I said goodbye to her and she left then came running back to me and put 3 Icelandic Krona's in my hand. It was very fulfilling to give something to someone that you could tell meant a lot to them and in return they gave me a special memory and a beautiful photograph. I walked back to the tent areas to find my teachers watching two adorable little boys playing with obviously plastic swords. I looked around and saw the most precious little girl standing behind a post watching the boys and copying their jousting as if she was playing with them. I went over to her and she was extremely shy, hiding behind the post. She began to giggle and as I tried to get her picture she would hide her face behind the post and start laughing, completely messing with me. I wasn't going to give up yet though... I held out my phone and she started toying around with it then started getting comfortable with me taking her picture. She was amazing. She absolutely loved getting her picture taken and loved the attention. She kept trying to hold the camera so I finally put the strap around her so she could hold it and I began to teach her how to take a photo. I don't know if she just loved the clicking sound when you held down the button or what, but she just started taking pictures like crazy! I tried to gently take back the camera and I hear her say something for the first time, "Nein! Nein!" She was german. That whole scene made my day and when she started screaming nein because she loved taking pictures so much, made it even better. But as time was passing my group was moving on and I had to leave her which was when things became difficult. I told her goodbye, never got her name, I mean she was only about 3 and only spoke german, but I said goodbye to her and this puzzled look appeared on her face. My teacher was telling me it was time to go eat so I put my arms out and she gave me the sweetest hug. I began to walk away and when I looked back the puzzled look was still there. But it got difficult when I saw her cry as I left. I have met so many wonderful people and every time I say goodbye to them I feel sad that I'm leaving them. So far that is the only sad thing for me is leaving the people I have become friends with. As usual I am the last to go to sleep and we leave Reykjavik tomorrow bright and early! We are heading off to the glaciers where I will be getting some amazing landscapes shots but unfortunately no wifi for 3 days... 

Another great memory from today: My taxi driver who was born and raised in Iceland started singing, "All my exes live in Texas..." It was great. 


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