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.
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