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Frosty Aurora - Vík, Iceland

Yet another image from a brilliant tour around Iceland in early January.


We wanted to shoot the famous pinnacles of Vík from a close distance. The best way of doing so is from the east hiking a few hundred meters on a sandy beach. Something has been going on, the beach was mostly gone and waves splashing against cliffs where to big of an obsticle to pass. We tried the tredorous hike from the west (along the cliffs seen here). After 200m in 30 minutes of frozen mud scrambling we gave up.


I never thought I would shoot Aurora with those pinnacles. The pinnacles are towards the south and Aurora is rarely in that direction here in Iceland. Finally the luck was with us, faint Aurora was in the southern part of the sky. It was much fainter that seen in the image. The high ISO, large apperture long exposure really enhances it so it becomes much clearer than seen with bare eye.


This interesting foreground also surprised us. Not from a photographic point of view but in the -12°C and 60km/h wind we could hear and see the pond freeze in front of us. At first I did not understand where this cracking sound was coming from but as after shooting a few frames I could see the ice expand about 20-30cm between them and realized the sound was coming from ice crystals forming and cracking.


I thought of doing a timelaps of this rapid freezing but in the freaking cold I decided standing there for 1-2 hours required would be to much suffering.

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Taken on January 7, 2011