Thomas Heaton is known for his YouTube channel where he shares a weekly video about his travels and landscape photography. Many of his trips he undertakes himself in his Mitsubishi Delica which he has converted into a motorhome himself.
His Mitsubishi Delica has already taken him to several beautiful locations scattered throughout the British Isles and not long ago he used his car to pick up a Hasselblad camera from Sweden.
The next trip is booked and before that trip can begin, the car will first be serviced and given some hefty updates. Essentials like: extra fuel for covering long distances, a snorkel for fording rivers, a new stove and two huge units from Ecoflow for the essential power supply. The various batteries of his laptop, cameras and drone must be able to be recharged along the way. In the front of the car, he mounts a 360 camera on a mount that can capture his entire journey looking all around.
The journey he will undertake will bring quite a few challenges, but also a lot of opportunity for capturing beautiful images. After all the checks on the condition of his car in the garage, some minor repairs to the interior and the installation of all the upgrades on, and in his car, the trip can finally begin.
From my own experience I can say that a trip into the unknown can make you quite insecure, but if everything goes well it can give you a huge boost in self-confidence. But, without proper preparation you won’t get anywhere and even for a short day trip you may just forget something essential, like the camera.
Thomas, however, sets out well prepared and begins his trip with the Delica to Iceland. To do so, he will first travel by ferry from Newcastle upon Tyne to Amsterdam where, upon arrival, he will drive through the northern part of our country over the Afsluitdijk towards Germany and Denmark where he will then sail with the M/S Norröna via the Shetland Islands to Iceland.
The M/S Norröna sails weekly between Denmark and Iceland throughout the year. With this form of travel, passengers can take their own car, motorcycle, caravan, camper or bicycle to Iceland. Meanwhile, everyone gets a chance to rest and use all the facilities the ship offers. The trip takes two to three days, depending on the month you leave.
On the way the boat makes a stop at the Faroe Islands before sailing on to Iceland, there is also a possibility to book a stay on the Faroe Islands with this stopover. The M/S Norröna has room for 800 cars and 1482 passengers who can use the 366 rooms on board the ship.
On board, a cafeteria, buffet and gourmet restaurant, as well as a café and bar, take care of passengers’ culinary needs. Days at sea can be spent in the ship’s cinema, swimming pool, fitness facilities or simply by enjoying the ocean breeze on the ship’s outdoor deck.
The choices and planning for this trip will have taken some time. Traveling all by yourself, with a car full of gear to Iceland is not exactly a small trip and it will all have to be well thought out. Know that there is also a ferry service to Iceland from Rotterdam, for example, by the same company, but it is without a stop at the Faroe Islands.
In the second part of his video series, we witness his trip to Denmark where he receives bad news due to a severe storm. The boat trip is postponed due to the heavy storm. The minicamper is parked near the harbor where Thomas spends the night and uses his time to edit the first video. Then he finally receives the good news that the trip to Iceland can begin.
As you saw in the second part, except for a foggy stop at the Faroe Islands, the trip went well. Thomas finally arrived in Iceland with a considerable delay. That also makes the end of this second video so interesting as he shares his experiences about the trip. He has been on the road for six days after departure and such a journey is not for everyone. Under the best of circumstances, he could have made it to the start of the trip in four days. Of course, he could have chosen to fly and rent a motorhome locally. But his choice to make the trip with his own Delica is what makes it so special. His own car becomes part of his personal travel experiences.
In the third part of this series, we see his arrival in Iceland and that he starts exploring the island. The weather conditions are ideal and he enjoys the surroundings, but the plan to meet some other famous photographers he has to postpone for a while due to the delay of his trip to Iceland.
Along the way, he discovers great places to take pictures and Iceland fortunately does not disappoint. Beautiful images are also captured from the air with his drone, the Mavic Air 3. This drone takes on an increasing role during his journey. The Mavic Air 3 has a dual lens and can take 48 Megapixel RAW photos.
In the third part of the trip, Thomas meets @NickPage, @SeanBagshaw, @NormanMcCloskey, @IcelandicThor and @PeterGordon. All experienced photographers with their own websites or a Youtube channel. Some of them know Iceland very well and take him on a journey across the southern highlands with perhaps the most beautiful photo locations on our planet Earth. Along the way, the Delica is subjected to its first “baptism of fire.
The great enjoyment can begin. The cameras start rolling and the men enjoy the beautiful surroundings where they camp. Youtuber Nick Page, meanwhile, like Thomas, has shared his first videos of this wonderful trip.
After the journey over trip across the southern highlands, the men return to civilization. However, the trip is not over yet, the tanks are refilled with gasoline and Thomas goes on another week’s journey alone across Iceland. Unfortunately, disaster strikes: the exhaust of his Delica suddenly makes a huge noise while driving and so he has to look for a garage that can fix it for him.
With a huge journey ahead of him across Iceland and then back to England, this is an unpleasant turn of events where a lot of time could be lost. In the next part of his video series, unfortunately no travelogue and photography, but an interesting story about his workflow. Nick Page makes up for it with another wonderful video about their trip across the highlands.
Thomas is not discouraged despite all the bad luck with the exhaust and he continues his journey across Iceland again. He drives with the broken exhaust to a campsite with a fantastic view where he takes beautiful shots of the landscape with his drone. Before arriving at the campsite, he stops along the way for the view of a breathtaking stretch of coastline.
The exhaust is fine, it has now been repaired and there are three more episodes to go before the end of this wonderful trip. There will be another episode online next Wednesday night and I will add it to this blogpost.
In this episode, Thomas, for various reasons, switches completely to analog photography, or film. He drives on to a part of Iceland that looks a lot like our moon. With his old Hasselblad 501CM he takes new images of Iceland in 6×6 format. The challenge: no preview on an LCD screen but using a light meter and a filter on the lens to enhance certain accents of the image, in short: knowing what you are doing by experience. All images are captured on Ilford Delta 100 monochrome film.
An real Thomas Heaton exploration episode as he finally gets out of his lazy chair after days of relaxing in Iceland and sets out for the Múlagljúfur Canyon. This takes him to some beautiful and unique places along the south coast of the island. With only 2 miles covered to the farthest point counting from where he parked his car, he had to climb and pass dangerous sections with great depths during his day trip. Fortunately, he made it back to his car safely so he could once again share the story and beautiful images with us.
For those interested in visiting Iceland, this is a very nice “Top 10 introduction video” with beautiful images of Iceland made by Ryan Shirley.
With a loud rattling Delica on the way, and everything on the inside of the car vibrating loose, Thomas begins his journey to Seyðisfjörður before embarking at the port for the trip back home. Arriving in Seyðisfjörður much earlier than planned, he decides to take a short trip above Seyðisfjörður to an area full of geysers where he takes beautiful pictures.
Another night at a campsite in Seyðisfjörður with an evening dinner alone in his car and then a good night’s sleep before catching the boat to Denmark. The trip back is smooth and, like the way out, the boat makes a brief stop on the Faroe Islands.
The Faroe Islands remain partially shrouded in fog, but he gets the opportunity to visit Tórshavn to bring some gifts for his wife. Once he lands in Denmark, the long drive begins via Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands where he hopes to catch the hyper boat to Newcastle upon Tyne.
Just across the border with Germany, fatigue strikes and he must rest before continuing the journey home. At Bremen another stop for the necessary night’s rest after which he drives in the rattling Delica through Germany and the Netherlands where in the port of IJmuiden he manages to catch the hyper boat to England. With the ’time warp pass’ he manages to drastically shorten the last part of his trip.
Planning for this trip will have taken a lot of time. Traveling by boat by car to Iceland takes up a large part of the trip. I found his experiences with the car very instructive. Especially the courage to continue driving with a broken exhaust. But despite that, the car weathered the trip well.
Perhaps he considered it himself. Personally, I might have added a few extra days on the Faroe Islands to explore them. That will add quite a few extra days, the boat first sails back to Denmark for a day and then back to Iceland, and then sails back to Denmark again. You can then book that boat for the rest of the trip back. No idea what the total cost will be, but no doubt less than a trip separately to the Faroe Islands.
I’m curious where it goes from here. Does Thomas share any more experiences from his trip to Iceland and what will he do with the images? Make a book? One thing is for sure: it was an epic trip with wonderful images and experiences. Cheers Thomas!
Website Thomas Heaton – https://thomasheaton.co.uk
YouTube channel Thomas Heaton – https://www.youtube.com/@ThomasHeatonPhoto