The Aurora Borealis can make or break a trip anywhere near the Arctic Circle in winter.
Luckily, this was a priority, but not the only thing to do in Iceland this time of year.
Hot springs, glacier hiking, ice climbing, waterfalls and many other sights to be seen have been filling up my week in Iceland.
After a failed attempt to see the Northern Lights on my first night in Reykjavik, I decided to not stress about it and look into getting a guide.
So after a long day on the glacier, I went for a stroll around town with just a D800 and a 50mm f/1.4. No tripod, no other gear, just my “exploring a new city kit.”
I found a local pub, Stofan Cafe, to have a beer and then went for a walk along the bay.
It was not a good night for the lights, cloudy and the Geophysical Institute report was a one out of nine.
As I was near the water, talking to a few folks from England, they pointed out a brighter spot in the sky that looked like a cloud - sure enough it was the Aurora Borealis.
For the next 30 minutes, I scrambled to find solid ground to point my camera at the sky and made only a few frames.
With the help of my new friends, I borrowed a point-and-shoot tripod and made the best of it.
Jokingly, before we saw the lights I said, “I only brought one camera and one lens so I wouldn’t jinx seeing the lights.”
I guess that was true.
The lights are like a needle in a haystack, and the haystack is the size of Iceland.
So many factors go into seeing them and I just happened to stumble upon them on my walk home.
A very special thanks to my new friends, Victoria and Sarah from the U.K. for their guidance and their mini tripod.
Let’s hope I can shoot the lights in the countryside this week.