The Northern Lights
It was a clear night in the Þingvellir district of Iceland, not a cloud could be seen. The sun was now becoming tired and was drifting out of sight to rest. Meanwhile the moon was rising and preparing for the nightshift and the conditions where perfect to search for the Northern Lights (or Aurora Borealis). The temperature had dropped and slowly the sense of feeling was reducing in my hands and feet. I could see my breath float up gently in front of me, while I waited patiently for any signs that one of the most spectacular shows on Earth may make a surprise unannounced performance? It did.
A slight wisp started to appear above the silhouetted Icelandic mountains, like the first steam that spirals up from a freshly ground black coffee. Then from behind, another delicate wisp gradually appeared, pointing to the moon as if it was the source of everything which is important. The patterns continued to materialise and intertwine moving restfully into the dark skies.
A short drive towards a higher viewpoint was encouraging lit up by the aurora. Stopping the car suddenly, the Aurora lights broke out into a scene even more magnificent than Disney’s Fantasia. Words cannot fully describe the spectacular lighting show that followed, not even the images I took truly encompass the cosmic atmosphere. I am very grateful for this experience.
Ideal conditions to see the Northern Light
- Clear dark sky away from distracting any city light pollution
- The ideal time is late September until early April
- Take a tripod
- Set your camera up in advance with a remote release. Exposures could range from 30 to 60 seconds
- Wrap up warm with many layers!