Northern Lights

I remember not fully understanding what was happening when I opened the gift bag to find an inkjet printout of the 4 day Northern Lights Trek – Winter Hiking Package. I saw a video of the gift opening later and the look on my face was definitely one of bewilderment. For some time, I have dreamed of going to Iceland and getting a chance to see and perhaps capture a photo of the Northern Lights and now I was staring at a piece of paper that said it was going to happen. It didn’t seem real. I don’t have a bucket list, but if I did, this would have been on it.

To make sure I was able to capture at least one decent photo, I rented a Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM Lens from Adorama in New York. I’m so glad I did. I took over 120 photos of the Northern Lights during the brief breaks in the clouds we were gifted with on two separate nights. Considering each long exposure took up to 30 seconds to save to the memory card, that’s a lot of photos. Perhaps 10 of them are worthy of sharing. This is one of them.

I want to thank Jackie and Christie, from Colorado, for pushing the shutter on this shot for me. I want to thank Sylvia, from Germany, for always alerting us when the lights were visible and for making me think twice about how high I had my ISO set. I want to thank Thor, our fabulous guide, for making sure we got to the cabin alive, despite a ridiculous storm that closed the roads and made us one day late. And I want to thank, one more time, my wife, Rocky, for giving me this priceless gift. I’m in tears as I type this in my hotel room in Reykjavík, Iceland.

Even if no photo existed, this moment would be burned in my memory. That’s a fact. Still… I’m happy there is a photo to remind me anyway. Life is good.


If there are multiple photos in this post, EXIF data is for the featured photo only:

  • Aperture: ƒ/2
  • Camera: ILCE-6000
  • Taken: 6 February, 2016
  • Flash fired: no
  • Focal length: 9.8mm
  • ISO: 4000
  • Shutter speed: 25s

8 Comments

  1. Good on you Jeff. Thrilled that you got to capture what you set out to see!!

  2. It was a mind-blowing experience. I highly recommend it.

  3. I’ve been looking forward to this moment!

    Thank you Rocky!

    And thank you Jeff!

    Ira

  4. That’s beautiful! This trip is on my bucket list.

  5. Mike, you would have been the perfect partner for this trip. I can’t wait for you to see some of the video.

  6. It sounds like you used in-camera noise reduction when you saved. Never have tried that myself

    Looks like it was worth it

  7. Ira, long exposure in=camera noise reduction was turned on, but the real work I did in LightRoom, actually.

  8. Pingback: Haymond Revisited | In The Viewfinder

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