The Dragon's Backbone - Mark Iandolo

The last light of the sun bathes this Icelandic scene in a soft yet still fiery warmth.

When I was photographing Vestrahorn, I sought a unique composition and found this scene. The four rocks were in perfect alignment, looking like the backbone of a dragon. I was drawn to the spot like a moth to flame. For some reason, though, my mind became shrouded with doubt. “No, this isn’t a good composition,” I thought. So I took just one shot from the vantage point and wandered onwards.

“A person who doubts himself is like a man who would enlist in the ranks of his enemies and bear arms against himself. He makes his failure certain by himself being the first person to be convinced of it,” Alexandre Dumas, a famous author I admire, once wrote.

Are you ever overcome with doubt? I know I am. And I was then, while photographing Vestrahorn. Luckily, I took the one shot and it was of good enough quality to post-process. Because this is now one of my favorite photos from my trip to the Land of Fire and Ice.

Dumas also said, “Happiness is like those palaces in fairy tales whose gates are guarded by dragons: we must fight in order to conquer it.”

The dragons represent the doubt. And slaying your inner dragons is often a lifelong fight. But to find passion, to chase your dreams, to achieve your goals as a creator – you need to battle the dragons, and do so with a strong backbone of your own.

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