Even if I am in the humid, hot Caribbean, I didn’t forget it’s winter in many other parts of the world including my beloved Iceland! Every day I am reminded of the polar temperatures of this season, and when I log into my Facebook account I keep “liking” every single aurora photo I see…
In the past days the auroral activity was really strong and I can’t help but wish I were somewhere in the north of the world to enjoy the show. Truth is, I miss the Northern Lights. Ever since I saw them for the first time – exactly one year ago – I can’t look at the sky without looking for that green glow… and then I have to remind myself that I am too close to the equator for that. Dang.
So I went back to my photos of the Northern Lights in Iceland and I made a selection – not necessarily of the best photos I took, but my favorite the most meaningful – and I am going to share this with you.
For the ones who have never seen the aurora, I hope this inspires you to go see them. For the ones that saw it instead, I hope you enjoy my photos, and do you know what would be cool? If you shared your own photos of the Northern Lights with me. I can’t get enough!
This was my first aurora. It’s not the best photo I have but I can never forget that moment. I was on the car with some other photographers when one of them exclaimed “aurora!” – at first I couldn’t see it, then I saw it and I felt tears in my eyes. It was not very powerful but it was still my first aurora. Unforgettable…
On my first trip to Iceland, I saw the Northern Lights only in Reykjavik. I always went to the same place, by the lighthouse, every night, but the show was always different. You can imagine I have hundreds of photos from those nights, but I remember exactly the moment I shot this one. I remember there was nothing in the sky, and suddenly I saw a green line, then they were two, three… and in a few seconds these lines turned into a curtain shaped aurora dancing in front of me in the most delicate and impressive way. Just the time to take two photos, and it was gone… An even more precious moment.
As if the Northern Lights alone were not beautiful enough, the reflection in the water doubled the beauty. This is one of my favorite shots. You can see that the whole sky is green. The activity was very strong that night and the sky was full of green curls that kept changing in shape and intensity. How can I forget those moments? I’m happy to have these photos as memories.
It’s technically still Valentine’s Day somewhere in the world so I thought about including this photo. I took it just seconds after the previous one, but I like the human presence – a couple looking at the Northern Lights. Does it get any more romantic than that? I doubt.
As you know, I am a sucker for nocturnal photography and astronomy. Just looking to the left of the lighthouse, this was the incredible sky I could see… Again, beautifully reflected in the sea. Look at that Orion’s Belt!
If you think that I spent my night freezing my head off in the Icelandic winter, waiting for the Northern Lights, you’re wrong! I couldn’t have resisted for all those hours (sometimes even 4 in a row) waiting in the wind and cold. I had a car and that helped me immensely keeping warm. Every time I felt cold I could go back to the car and switch on the heating for a while, then head out again to take more photos. I am immensely grateful to my car! We had a good time together.
This is how an aurora looks when it explodes just above your head… This green vortex was moving incredibly fast above me, and it was so bright I almost burned the photo. This was my first and only really powerful aurora. I remember I felt almost scared, extremely excited and humbled by what I was seeing… and when it was over (just about 10 minutes later) I looked at the sky, smiled and said “Thanks”.
The same aurora that I captured from below, was actually covering the sky from side to side. You can see the mountains in the lower side of the photo, and this should give you some sense of perspective… This was one of my best travel moments, ever. When this aurora started I had been waiting for about 4 hours already and was about to go home. Then, the show began and it only lasted 10 minutes… totally worth it.
On my last trip to Iceland, in October 2013, unfortunately I didn’t get to see any spectacular aurora. Even with clear skies, the auroral activity was never very high. But one night we went out with the car and waited for something to happen… there was no real show, but the sky turned green for a while and I managed to take this photo, with the sky, a truck passing by, and the frozen road in the dark… Again another beautiful memory of a beautiful country. And I know this won’t be the last photo of an aurora I take…
I hope you enjoyed the tour!
If seeing the Northern Lights is on your bucket list, you have to go right now! Don’t wait. But be prepared to miss them afterwards, like I do.
Giulia, wow these photos are all so beautiful. This really make me want to visit Iceland so and think I am adding it to my itinerary if I end up having a stop over in London during my next trip around the world.