23 Mar 2014

Iceland 2014 - Day 2a: Northern Lights!

After obsessively following both the hour-by-hour weather forecasts and aurora borealis forecasts I finally headed out last night at 12.15am, some clouds still lingering irritatingly in the sky. I drove across the bridge to Fellabaer, back to the spot that I'd watched the snow blow across the road earlier in the day. The foreground didn't actually hold a great deal of interest, but I thought I'd give it a go anyway. The forecast for the lights was pretty poor, but the sky was at least supposed to clear, so I could try some star trail shots.

As I stood out in the cold and took a few test shots on the Zeiss lens I realised that there were indeed some lights in the sky, it's just that they're pretty invisible to the naked eye sometimes. Whack a camera on them for 15 seconds and the sky is streaked with green though! Eventually the clouds cleared even more and for a few moments I could actually see the lights without a long exposure. It wasn't exactly spectacular; the lights weren't dancing across the sky. Here's what I got:

Eventually I headed a little further west, hoping to warm up my toes in the car. I didn't want to stop on the road, so had to find a turn-out that had reasonably interesting foreground. Nothing much inspiring happened along in the dark, so I stopped when I got the chance near a small hill (and a very bright house). The lights of Egilsstaðir in the distance were annoyingly bright for such a tiny town at 2am.

When my toes could take no more I drove back home, and actually worried that I might have frostbite, as my feet were numb and sore. When I got home it took about half an hour for the pain to stop and for the feeling and colour to return. It had been about -8°C, so not surprising that my feet got a little chilly!

After reviewing the night's work, I finally turned the light off at 3am, deciding that the morning's sunset would have to go unnoticed, as I had a 260km drive to H
öfn to do the next day. My plans to revisit Litlanesfoss were also out, as the weather-forecast was deteriorating during the day and I wanted to get to the beautiful mountains of Höfn while there was still a chance of some good light; rain was forecast all day there though :(

Click here for Day 1 blog on Egilsstadir 
Click here for Day 2b - drive to Höfn

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