Photographing Arctic Foxes in Iceland’s Hornstrandir Nature Reserve

As summer wraps up in the Northern Hemisphere, why not take a trip to Iceland to watch Arctic foxes cruise the coastline before winter sets in? Donal Boyd takes Donal Boyd to Hornstrandir Nature Reserve, Iceland in his latest episode of “In the Field With Donal Boyd.”

Boyd followed the Icelandic horse through beautiful snowy landscapes in a previous episode. Boyd, originally from Boston but now a resident in Iceland, is not afraid of the cold. Boyd doesn’t mind the heat, but he is not from Boston. Boyd’s work on the Erindi Private Game Reserve in Namibia, where he photographed cheetahs and other majestic African animals impresses just as much.

Hornstrandir, Iceland’s remotest reserve. Arctic foxes have enjoyed protection here since the 1990s but can still be hunted in other parts of Iceland. The reserve’s foxes don’t shy away from humans, which means that they can be photographed on Hornstrandir (a peninsula at Iceland’s northern tip).

An Arctic fox finds a meal on the beach in Iceland. Photo by donal Boyd.

The large number of foxes at Hornstrandir is also explained by the dense population of nesting seabirds, which are food for foxes. Boyd admits that he cannot resist taking out small lenses to photograph the birds flying. Boyd adds landscape photography to his wildlife photography. The glacier-sculpted mountains and inviting blue waters are a great reason to go when the sky is clear.

Birds in Iceland
Hornstrandir offers all sorts of exquisite sights. Donal Boyd.

Take note of Boyd’s equipment kit, however. Wildlife photography on the professional scale requires massive lenses, multiple camera bodies (and lenses), a beefy tripod and a gigantic backpack to trek all of that gear across rocky, rugged Hornstrandir. In a future episode, Boyd will showcase the exact equipment he used on this trip.

Arctic Fox
Arctic foxes at Hornstrandir aren’t afraid to make eye contact. Photo by Donal Boyd.

Through Donal Boyd Studio, a media production company that brings people, nature and wildlife together with stories of human interactions with natural environments, Boyd reaches a wider audience for his conservation work. Boyd’s most recent Icelandic adventure gained more dimension thanks to Frank Nieuwenhuis, director of photography and filmmaker. They make an impressive creative team.

Boyd offers his conservation photography prints for sale on his website. In 2022, Boyd created The Earth Advocate Fund, to accompany his sales. Through this fund, Boyd donates 10 percent of his proceeds to conservation efforts around the globe. Boyd’s heart is in his work, which is why his photographs captivate so well.

A seal in Iceland

Birds in Iceland

Birds in Iceland

An Arctic fox

Keep an eye open for Boyd’s next episode, and follow in his careful footsteps by supporting conservation efforts locally and globally.

Image credits: Photos by Donal Boyd.