The Traveler: Shari Brandli of Mason City, Iowa.

The scene: Sheep eyed the photographer, a native of Warroad, Minn., near Iceland’s 830-mile Ring Road. “I love the combination of the landscape’s desolate beauty and the whimsical curiosity of the sheep, especially the fact that two of them are staring directly at me,” Brandli wrote in an e-mail.

The trip: Brandli spent five days driving around the island nation on the road. “I really enjoyed the freedom to explore whatever I felt like seeing each day,” she wrote. “I had purchased a guide book (Lonely Planet) and made notes about interesting sites and sights between each day’s starting and ending points, so I had a rough idea of what I wanted to visit, but I had a lot of flexibility as well.”

on Iceland: “There were a couple of days where I lost count of the number of waterfalls I had seen — at least two dozen. The Icelandic landscape is otherworldly: glaciers, ice caps, bright green moss, brown lunar wastelands, black volcanic beaches, crystal clear rivers, tidy towns clinging to the edges of fjords. I’ve been to 30 countries, and Iceland is easily in the top five. It’s closer than people realize, too,” she wrote.

The equipment: “I took this photo using nothing more than my Samsung Galaxy 5 smartphone camera — and apparently my ability to ‘baa’ in Icelandic!”


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