Interview with photographer Tony Gomm
Discover the World client Tony Gomm is an amateur photographer and one of the most prolific visitors to Iceland we know. Having travelled there on more than 15 occasions, we asked Tony what it is that keeps drawing him and his wife to the ‘land of fire and ice’ as part of our Iceland digital magazine.
What is the recurring appeal of Iceland for you?
There are two main reasons. The land and the people. The land has a diverse, unspoilt beauty. Some areas have a ‘prettiness’, while others have a stark, magnificent, majestic beauty, and others are quite ‘strange’ to foreign eyes. The people are friendly and welcoming. They seem proud of their country and are pleased to have visitors who also love it.
Does photography influence your decision-making about holiday destinations?
More likely that I am drawn to photogenic places – we also travel to Switzerland regularly – but we have never travelled to a place simply for the photo opportunities. And there are many of those in Iceland, both in the landscape, and the unusual and interesting architecture, both in the cities and rural areas.
Do you have a favourite region and why?
My favourite region is the West Fjords – almost Iceland in miniature – with waterfalls; cliffs; sandy beaches; an abundance of bird-life especially Puffins; interesting museums, and people who have, over the years, become good friends. But I also love Jökulsárlón on the south coast – quite amazing and incredible.
What is your preferred time of year to visit?
In May and June, when places and the roads are less busy, and at New Year for the fireworks and New Year celebrations, and the totally different look of the landscape. But we would be glad to go any time of year!
How has Iceland changed since you first visited 15 years ago?
There are many more tourist visitors now, especially from Asia and the Far East. Fifteen years ago the tourist in Reykjavík was in the minority, now it’s quite the opposite. The tourist season is now virtually 12-months long. The roads have improved too, and the ring road 1 is now a complete tarmac surface for 1250-kms.
Quick Fire Questions
- Northern lights or midnight sun?
Northern lights, but don’t complain if you don’t see any!
- Self-drive or small group tour?
Self-drive, but it’s worth doing an escorted tour for your first trip.
- Icelandic lamb or Arctic char?
I’m on a non-seafood diet so it’s lamb for me, but Mrs. G says the char is excellent.
- Blue Lagoon or Nature Baths?
Neither I’m afraid. If I wanted to go swimming I wouldn’t waste a day in Iceland to do it.