James Rushforth’s Top Ten Images (and some Iceland Hard Backs available)


James Rushforth is one of the most adventurous authors we work with.

He climbs, sails and skis, and when he is not at home in the Lake District he’s to be found in Iceland, Greenland, the Dolomites and other beautiful areas either working on his books for Rockfax, Cicerone Press and fotoVUE, or guiding clients in remote areas.

For fotoVUE he is author of Photographing The Dolomites and more recently Photographing Iceland: his two-volume and map opus has won four prestigious publishing awards during 2022 – Travel winner at the Best Indie Book Awards, Guidebook of the Year at both the British Guild of Travel Writers and Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild annual awards, and Travel Guidebook of the Year at the Foreword INDIES awards. It is the most comprehensive and beautiful guidebook to Iceland with over 100 five star reviews such as this from J R King:

“This book gives you Iceland on a plate! The author has covered absolutely everything you need to find the most beautiful places on this enchanting island. Of course his photographs are breathtaking (and I would expect that in a photography book) but what captivated me was his writing about the various places he describes. He is a poet as well as a photographer. Oh and he’s practical as well: because he gives you references and directions for how to get everywhere he describes. This is so much more than a coffee table book. For anyone interested in photography he gives you all the settings for each photograph he took; for anyone simply travelling he takes you to places that most ‘ordinary’ guide books don’t and ABOVE all he gives you a taste and a feeling for Iceland and his love of and respect for the island shines through. Don’t hesitate: you won’t regret this purchase!!”


We have just found 50 hard backs of both Iceland Volume 1 and 2 at our distributor and these are now for sale at £80 for both volumes and the Iceland map. These are rare and only 100 were printed. They would make the perfect gift. You can buy them here


We all, I’m sure, take lots of photographs but we know when one stands out above the rest, here are ten of James’ favourite images that he has taken over the last ten years.

Via Myriam, Dolomites – Nikon D610, 16-35mm at 16mm, ISO 100, 1/200s at f/7.1. September.
This shot of Lynne making the traverse on the 3rd pitch of ‘Via Myriam’ was my first really successful image. Used by many climbing magazines, women’s motivational groups and several newspapers, it would become the front cover for my first guidebook – ‘The Dolomites Rock Climbs and Via Ferrata.

Vatnajökull Ice Cave – Nikon D850, 24–70mm at 24mm, ISO 100, various at f/14, tripod. February.
Exploring one of the many temporary ice caves created as the vast expanse of the Vatnajökull ice cap recedes. These subglacial meltwater channels create spectacular exits as they leave the glacier and can be explored during the winter, when the cold temperatures make the caves safe to enter. The upper hole seen here is known as a relict portal, created by a previous, higher meltwater channel. A relatively narrow aperture was used to create a deep depth of field, whilst some exposure bracketing was required due to the large dynamic range.

Sassolungo on the Gardena Pass, Dolomites – Nikon Z7II, 24–120mm at 40mm, ISO 100, 1/80s at f/5.6. October.
Taken handheld (because I was running around looking after a workshop group at the time) during autumn in the Italian Dolomites the sun can be setting to the right of Sassolungo on the Gardena Pass. Typically you would use a very narrow aperture to create a sun star, though in this case, f/5.6 worked just fine.

Scoresby Sund, Greenland – Nikon D850, 70–200mm at 80mm, ISO 200, 1/100s at f/4. September.
While sailing around Scoresby Sund in eastern Greenland, we discovered this beautiful iceberg formation as we made the return trip to Constable Point. We circled the iceberg with the vessel’s sister ship, Opal, a traditional two-masted oak schooner built in Germany in 1951. Travelling together allowed us to photograph each other through the central arch each time we completed a circuit; the key was timing.

Lake District mill, Borrowdale – Nikon D850, 14–24mm at 14mm, ISO 64, 1s at f/13. October.
This panorama of a Lake District mill is comprised of 16 wide-angle images to create a massive 180-degree field of view. The traditional mill, vibrant vegetation and leading line of the river create a lovely scene.

Southern ring road, Iceland – Nikon D850, 70–200mm at 200mm, ISO 250, 1/640s at f/7.1. March.
I do like a bit of minimalism and Iceland during winter is the perfect place for it. Here a Dacia Duster can be seen driving along the southern ring road after fresh snowfall. You can see the many stacked horizontal lines really make this image.

Stonehenge and NEOWISE – Nikon D850, 70–200mm at 100mm, ISO 5000, 4s at f/2.8, tripod. July.
This single-exposure image of comet NEOWISE passing over Stonehenge in the United Kingdom was my favourite image of 2020 and also the one that brought me the most solace. There is something inherently comforting about looking up at the stars and watching this frozen ball of ice and rock continuing on its epic journey, unaware of our trials and tribulations. When this comet last passed our planet, this historic monument did not exist. It’s fascinating to wonder whether the stones will still be there when it next passes in 6,800 years.

Hildur, Greenland – Nikon D850, 20mm, ISO 100, 1/200s at f/7.1. June.
This top-down perspective of Hildur negotiating sea ice in East Greenland was taken the old-fashioned way – by climbing up the crow’s nest with a wide angle. I don’t normally suffer from sea sickness but it’s amazing just how much every movement of the ship gets exaggerated when you’re at the mast top! National Geographic very kindly selected this image in their ‘favourites out of 10 million’ curation.

James is a member of the British Guild of Travel Writers, a Breakthrough Photography, Wilkinson Cameras & f-stop ambassador, is part of the Norrøna Pro Team and is kindly supported by Hilleberg.

You can find out more about James, buy his prints or book to go on one of his photographic tours at www.jamesrushforth.com.



Mick Ryan

Director of fotoVUE and Co-author of Photographing The Peak District
Mick Ryan is the founder and the director of fotoVUE. He is based in Calderdale having spent the last seven years in the Peak District. He also spends part of the year in Saratoga Springs, upstate New York. He is the founder of Rockfax guidebooks and introduced well-designed large-format photo-topo...

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