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aurora borealis - iceland


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#1 jakov.nl

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 02:03

Hi,

There have been many pictures of Aurora Borealis posted here on Nikongear, and I have always been envious to all those who have shot them and experienced it. This winter I decided to visit Iceland together with my beautiful friend Aleksandra who some may know.
Last night we have seen something amazing. The entire sky was green. Even the tour guides were astonished that Aurora Borealis showed up before the sun set properly. I didn't know where to look, or what to shoot. I planned on using the 85/1.4, but since the sky was entirely green I had to use the lens I rarely use, the 16 mm f/3.5 fish-eye.
We were so overwhelmed with the northern lights that I felt like a child in a candy store. Tears of joy were running out of my eyes. I never expected to see such a spectacle. What a lucky person I have been tonight.

I simply had to show the entire sky...

I hope you like them.

Thanks, Jakov

Attached Images

  • aurora-borealis.jpg
  • DSC_4619w.jpg
  • DSC_4631w.jpg
  • DSC_4614w.jpg

Edited by jakov.nl, 18 March 2013 - 02:06 .

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Free your mind and your ass will follow. George Clinton

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#2 otoien

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 03:06

Hi Jacov, very happy you had full success of hitting it. There was a major CME that reached earth last night. The auroras were pretty spectacular in Fairbanks too; best I have seen in a long time - corona with very nice colors and lasting a long time. Reports on Spaceweather.com, where I also posted one quick image edit in the real time aurora gallery, indicate that it reached all the way down to the lower 48 in the US, even reports from New York State. It looks like it will be worth watching tonight too judged from the aurora map.

The tricky part with the auroras is to be in a place with an interesting foreground when it hits. It is often a good idea to play a bit with the white balance when editing, the same white balance does not always work best on all shots. I wonder if you could get more reds out of #3 by playing down on the blue channel a little? Nice getting light on the grass in the foreground in #1, did you paint it?
Øivind

#3 armando_m

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 03:44

Congratulations ! and thanks for sharing them

As mentioned by otoien, a bit more post processing would make this even better !!

Regards,
Armando 
 


#4 Tersn

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 06:19

Lucky you. I had hoped for some aurora even down here at 60 degrees, but it was overcast last night.

tersn
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#5 Erik Lund

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 08:16

That second image is so nice! Congratulations on your success :)
Say hallo to Aleksandra for me :)

Edited by Erik Lund, 18 March 2013 - 12:17 .


#6 nfoto

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 08:23

I'd pick the first one, but all tell an unusual and memorable story.

Greetings to Ms A from me as well.
Bjørn

#7 Petteram

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 08:32

Great series Jakov. Love the first one.
say hello to Alexandra from me too:-)


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#8 jakov.nl

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 09:08

Alexandra sends her greetings back :)
Thank you all for your comments!
Yes, Øivind I painted the grass with my flashlight. Thank you for the report on the Northern Lights, we had a great guide yesterday in the bus giving us the full history of Aurora and how extraordinary is the fact that it never appeared in Icelandic literature and their famous saga stories full of elves and trolls. It's as if the Icelanders take it for granted.
When four buses arrive at one spot with more than 200 people it is not that easy to find a spot that you were exactly hoping to find. I was so annoyed with the electricity pole I ended up shooting it in the end, and that is my favorite one, because it illustrates how you can be irritated to the extremes by something/someone and then by giving it/him/her a chance you might get to start liking it or perhaps even falling in love :) The main goal was reached, we enjoyed a dancing sky display (coupled with some Serbian grown spirits).
I dearly envy all those living above 60º north or south on having these unique light-show displays.
I refuse to go out tonight to shoot stars, in fact I refuse to see anything else in Iceland. I had my share of cold for the months to come. All we'll do today is walk to the nearest swimming pool or spa and enjoy the hot springs with the locals, who are by the way wonderful people!
Thanks, Jakov

Free your mind and your ass will follow. George Clinton

Before I jump like monkey give me banana. Fela Kuti


#9 Jan Anne

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 10:02

Awesome work Jakov, congrats to you both on this amazing experience.

Please say hi to the sexy red head from me as well :D
Only the mediocre are always at their best....

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#10 jakov.nl

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 11:09

Aleksandra sends her regards straight back to you, JA.
Thanks for the words!
It was one of the most fruitful nights I had ever enjoyed...

Attached Images

  • DSC_4610w.jpg
  • DSC_4630w.jpg

Free your mind and your ass will follow. George Clinton

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#11 Erik Lund

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 12:19

Those green/blue strikes are very well captured, great you had such good timing!

#12 jakov.nl

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 14:52

Thank you Erik.
As I said the lights were everywhere. They were even too much present and polluted the sky in a way. I was literally rotating the tripod to all sides of the horizon, including the sky right above. They say (Japanese scientists in Finland) that you can hear the northern lights, but they need to be above your head, I haven't had the pleasure of hearing them last night. Apparently some of the plasma from the sun, apart from hitting the magnetic field and causing the lights, may break through and hit the ground around us causing static electricity that may make the cracking sound.

Free your mind and your ass will follow. George Clinton

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#13 otoien

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 22:10

Those green/blue strikes are very well captured, great you had such good timing!

+1
Øivind

#14 James Fitzgerald

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 00:47

What a treat Jakov.

I like the touches of human elements in these, even the power poles.
First and second I like in particular also the last.

#15 willl

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 03:13

Great photos Jakov!

The second one shows something from another world/ghostly :)

#16 jakov.nl

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 18:21

Thank you Øivind, James, and Willl.
I truly appreciate your comments, it means a lot to me.
Of course I tried my best in making great photos but the priority was to enjoy the spectacular evening and the magical display in (for me) freezing conditions. Luckily the spirits were high as well as the amount of Serbian home made spirits in my blood stream :)
I'm not sure whether or when I will meet up with Aurora again, but she will always have a special place in my heart <3

Attached Images

  • DSC_4266.jpg

Free your mind and your ass will follow. George Clinton

Before I jump like monkey give me banana. Fela Kuti


#17 otoien

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 01:37

Nice use of star trails using aurora as background. You must have stopped down quite a bit to achieve the long exposure time?
Øivind

#18 jakov.nl

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 12:15

For the last picture I posted (which was one of the first ones I made two nights before the original post) I used the 70-200mm f/2.8 mounted on D700.
As far as I can recall this was @ 135 mm, f/4, 4 minutes, and ISO 200.

Thanks, Jakov

Free your mind and your ass will follow. George Clinton

Before I jump like monkey give me banana. Fela Kuti





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