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Basic CSS Positioning

CSS Positioning

CSS is hardly an intuitive language, but understanding the basic concepts that define why it works the way it does helps a lot.

One of the hardest concepts for new web designers to master is CSS positioning. This is not because the concept is particularly difficult to understand, but rather that the concepts are implemented in a very unintuitive way.

While HTML is a very straightforward concept – this is a paragraph, that is a header, that is a list – CSS involves many different concepts such as the CSS box model, text flow and different positioning rules that rely on parent/child relationships in between various page elements.

Furthermore, a definitive cut-to-the-chase explanation of the fundamental concepts is usually nowhere to be found when a student hits the unintuitive wall.

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Low tide on the Reykjanes peninsula

Rocks and seaweed at low tide near Grindvik on the Reykjanes peninsula in Iceland. (Eric Girouard)

Rocks and seaweed at low tide near Grindvik on the Reykjanes peninsula in Iceland.

Reproduction licenses and fine art prints available in the online store.

The Reykjanes peninsula is just slightly southwest of Iceland’s capital city Reykjavik. A veritable treasure trove of landscapes, it has nearly everything to arrest a photographer’s interest: the ocean, endless lava fields, fumeroles, cliffs and seabirds.

I shot this image on my first full day exploring Iceland. Even though it was the first of June, the weather was blustery and cold and the sky clung close to the mountain tops. It gave the scene a quintessential stormy North Atlantic feel that captures the day well.

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Snaefellsnes peninsula’s coloured hills

Mineral rich soil exposed on the barren sides of mountains in southwest Iceland's Snaefellsnes peninsula.

Mineral rich soil exposed on the barren sides of mountains in southwest Iceland's Snaefellsnes peninsula.

Reproduction licenses and fine art prints available in the online store.

The landscape is otherworldly in Iceland. For a first-time visiting photographer, the lasting impression of the country is that you could pick a spot – any spot – on the island and have enough quality subjects to photograph to justify the entire trip. The problem, unless you have a lot of time on your hands, is deciding where to go and where not to go. Luckily, the Snaefellsnes peninsula is a wonderfully condensed version of all of Iceland’s geographic wonders. It also happens to be very close to the capital city of Reykjavik (and the Keflavik airport). Starting with the sea stacks at Londrangar and the famous Kirkjufell mountain, Snaefellsnes also offers abundant seabirds, volcanoes, waterfalls, glaciers, the rough North Atlantic waves and fantastically sculpted mountains all in a short drive northwest of Reykjavik.

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Tidal pool and anchor on Heimaey island Iceland

Tidal pool, lava rocks and rusted anchor on Heimaey, Westman Islands, Iceland

Tidal pool, lava rocks and rusted anchor on Heimaey, Westman Islands, Iceland.

Reproduction licenses and fine art prints available in the online store.

During my recent visit to Iceland, last June, I was pleasantly surprised at the rich and diverse landscapes to be discovered on the small (13.4 square kilometres) island of Heimaey (“Home Island”), located just off the south coast of the Icelandic mainland. It is the largest island of the Vestmannaeyjar archipelago and also the largest and most populated island off the Icelandic coast. It is the only populated island of the “Westman” islands with a population of 4500 people.

Heimaey is a ruggedly beautiful mixture of volcanic mountains, lava fields with strange dark lava rock formations, lava tubes, windswept fields and green mosses.

This scene is right by the golf course, on the western edge of town at the water’s edge. Beautiful, green, lush and rugged we loved this scene and for a while we believed that we were in Hawaii.

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Öxarárfoss is a small (20 meters) waterfall in Þingvellir National Park, Iceland. It flows from the river Öxará and falls into the rift in between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates.

Öxarárfoss is a small (20 meters) waterfall in Þingvellir National Park, Iceland. It flows from the river Öxará and falls into the rift in between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates.

Reproduction licenses and fine art prints available in the online store.

Öxarárfoss is a small waterfall in Þingvellir National Park in southwest Iceland.

Þingvellir is a site of historical, cultural, and geological significance. It is one of three sites (Þingvellir, Geysir and Gulfoss) known collectively as the “Golden Circle” which is a tourist route that extends from Reykjavík towards central Iceland and back over a course of about 300km.

Þingvellir is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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