LOGIN/SIGN UP function is disabled for upgrade and maintenance. It will resume on 22/01/2022 10.30 AM SGT. Sorry for any inconvenience caused.
Inspirations >> Photos & People

Shooting in Iceland with EF11-24mm f/4L USM lens

Producer/photographer Justin Ong finds opportunities in his work travels to explore and photograph interesting moments that one may overlook at times. From the jungles of Indonesia to the construction mazes in China, Justin never gives up a chance to capture beautiful landscapes through his lenses. On his most recent trip to Iceland, he traversed through the stunning country with the EF11-24mm f/4L USM lens and explored everything from the Aurora Borealis to glaciers on the black sand shores.

EOS 5D Mark III, EF11-24mm f/4L USM lens, f/4.5, 11mm, 30secs, ISO2500

Why did you choose to visit Iceland?

Iceland is one of the most picturesque countries in the world, and we chose the time of the year when tourist traffic was much lower. I recommend to visit the country twice – once in summer for its landscapes bathed in glorious sunshine, and then winter to see the Aurora Borealis.

What are some of the best moments in Iceland?

It was the night at the countryside where I decided to try my hands on shooting the Milky Way, which was not quite a visible sight in Singapore. As I was adjusting the settings and checking the photos, I noticed a green glow on the last one. The glow became more apparent in the photos as I continued to shoot, and before I knew it, the Aurora came to life right above me! I screamed in excitement and woke up a good many hotel guests. We all watch as the Aurora danced and swayed, and stood in awe.

On the last night in Iceland, we drove along a deserted highway after midnight, and again the Aurora filled the entire sky night sky, as if to ‘wave’ us goodbye.

EOS 5D Mark III, EF11-24mm f/4L USM lens, f/4.5, 11mm, 30secs, ISO2500

How much preparation did you do for this trip?

I brought along warm clothes, scarf and beanies to protect my face against the cold wind. For equipment, I brought my trusty wide angle lens, the EF11-24mm f/4L USM – something that delivers in any weather – and a carbon fiber tripod (metal ones are too cold to touch during set up). And not forgetting to read up on camera settings (e.g. long exposure) for shooting the Auroras, but nothing prepares you when the real thing appears while you try to fight the cold.

What do you like most about the EF11-24mm f/4L USM lens?

I love how wide it can get. While most photographers in my group capture about three quarters of the landscape, I managed to pack the entire scene in the frame, just like the shot I took of the waterfall. The lens is sharp at f/4 without the need to step down, enabling less exposure time to reduce motion blur, which was also important when shooting the night sky.

EOS 5D Mark III, EF11-24mm f/4L USM lens, f/5.6, 11mm, 1/50sec, ISO320

How is it different from other wide angle lenses say, the EF16-35mm f/2.8L II USM lens?

The greatest advantage over the EF16-35mm f/2.8L II USM lens is its wider angle, and with such a distinctively wide angle, its distortion (on the EF11-24mm f/4L USM lens) is lower while maintaining sharpness and crisp contrast.

Which is your favourite photo in the collection?

It is the one on the Milky Way with the Aurora Borealis. I could not believe my eyes when the Aurora Borealis started to appear – it was a moment in photography when everything came together and that moment captured.

EOS 5D Mark III, EF11-24mm f/4L USM lens, f/4.0, 11mm, 30secs, ISO1250

Where are the best places to shoot?

The Skogafoss Waterfall is the most magnificent waterfall amongst the many you will come across; Diamond Beach for its broken pieces of glaciers washed up onto the black sand shores, where these pieces lay glistening in the sun like large chunks of diamonds; or anywhere you can safely stop the car, for the landscapes in this country is picture-perfect.

EOS 5D Mark III, EF11-24mm f/4L USM lens, f/8.0, 11mm, 1/2500sec, ISO320

What is the best photography advice somebody has given you?

Besides focusing on the scene in front of you, look around – to the left, right, and behind – there may be a nice photo right there waiting for you to capture.



EF11-24mm f/4L USM

Click here for more details


Receive the latest updates on photography news, tips and tricks by signing up with us!



Photographer Profile

Justin Ong

Justin Ong is a producer and photographer who got his passion in photography from being the unofficial family photographer since young. He became serious in photography in his early thirties when he got his first Canon DSLR, and has since mastered his skills in both landscape and street photography. With the love for travel, he chooses the most random places to photograph, and often takes his wife along on his photography expeditions.