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Northern lights in Iceland

Aurora Mountain

Northern lights surprise

This was the first night of our October workshop last week. The forecast was for heavy rain in the evening and we had been treated to better-than-forecast weather on the South coast earlier that day. We had dinner at Hali Country Hotel and couldn’t believe it when we stepped outside expecting rain and found clear skies with an active aurora. We decided to head out to a local spot away from any hotel lights.

Night photography

We set up our cameras at the edge of the pond, our starting exposure was 20 seconds at iso 800 and f/2.8, but for this shot, I boosted the iso to 1000. I used a magic cloth to cover the sky after about 15 seconds and gave the reflection the full 20 seconds. This was a very subtle effect, but I didn’t want the reflected lights to burn out. The reason for trying to expose the night sky for less than 20 seconds was to avoid star trails. To calculate an exposure to avoid star trails, we use the 600 rule (actually 500 is easier for mental arithmetic). Divide 600 by your focal length (how wide your lens is in mm). For example 600 / 24mm = 25. This mean that stars will noticeably trail if the exposure is over 25 seconds. If I was shooting with a 17mm focal length, the stars would noticeably trail in exposure over 35 seconds. This northern lights photograph was taken with my 24mm prime.

Winter conditions – Iceland travel news

Summary

issued 13th March 2019
Snow fall in the South and East of Iceland are creating Winter driving conditions on the roads. Light-weight crampons are recommended for most tourist spots as the paths are icy.

5 day South Iceland (scheduled)

Five days to photograph the best of South Iceland. Many top photo locations each day with overnight stays in great places for Northern lights photography.

3 day South Iceland (Scheduled)

Three days to capture the best of Iceland’s South Coast and Glacier lagoons with opportunities for ice caves and Vestrahorn mountain.

5 day South Iceland (scheduled)

5 day South Iceland (scheduled)

Five days to photograph the best of South Iceland. Many top photo locations each day with overnight stays in great places for Northern lights photography.

3 day South Iceland (Scheduled)

3 day South Iceland (Scheduled)

Three days to capture the best of Iceland’s South Coast and Glacier lagoons with opportunities for ice caves and Vestrahorn mountain.

Scheduled Photo Tours

Scheduled Photo Tours

Regular 3, 4 & 5 day scheduled tours during Aurora season. These scheduled tours include transport to all the top photo locations in South Iceland, with accommodation near famous Northern light zones.

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