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Ice & Aurora - Jökulsárlón

Jökulsárlón, Iceland

I went on a trip to SE Iceland this Easters. Instead of going shooting fire and heat (volcano) I decided to go shoot ice and cold.


I have for long wanted to capture Aurora at Jökulsárlón lagoon. The first night of the trip the Aurora appeared around midnight very active but so did a cloud cover so that night I captured only greenish clouds. I thought I was not getting any Aurora shot over Jökulsárlón this trip. But on the last night of the trip however the Aurora showed up again and this time with no clouds.


Here I used a GND filter to balance the light of the reflected part. I usually do this when shooting normal landscapes. This is the first time I have done so successfully with a night shot.


Tech Question:

One thing that puzzles me is how much higher ISO I need to use shooting the same scene as my old Canon 30D had to. I am using a Canon 5D MK II with the old EF-16-35mm lens. Shooting without GND filter I used:

30 sec exposure @ f3.5 and ISO 1600

My wife shot the same scene using my old Canon 30D with a 10-22mm lens. She used: 20 sec exposure @ f3.5 and ISO 800

and got a very similarly exposed image.

Something is not adding up, is my new camera setup loosing more than half the light compared to my old setup? Is the 16-35mm lens absorbing or reflecting this much light? Or is there something bogus about the ISO setting on the Canon 5D MK II?


If you would like to photograph the Aurora consider joining my Winter Photo Tour

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Taken on April 4, 2010