Chasing the Aurora Borealis / by Ed Shanahan

On one of our last nights in Iceland we photographed an iconic mountain and waterfall located on a peninsula a few hours north of the capital.  With sunset at 10PM and sun rise at 3:30AM and it never getting fully dark, we debated whether we would stay out yet another night and shoot something at dawn.  Then we got to thinking. 

The aurora was unseasonably active in that period and the forecast was that it might actually reach down over Iceland that night.  On top of that, the weather forecast was unusual in that it called for clear skies across western Iceland, where we were, through dawn.  Together this was a no brainer.  We just needed to find somewhere where we could shoot facing north with a point of interest in the foreground.  We came across a ship graveyard and wandered through it taking photos of vessels in various states of decay.  Then we found this replica of Viking ship that someone was building.  The aurora never showed but I was able to capture this long exposure of the Viking ship in the middle of the night.  The sky, which appeared close to black to the eye, appeared blue to the camera at the long exposure.  You can see a few stars in the background too.

Iceland 2016 v-653.jpg