Author Topic: Aurora, Storms, and Snowpants: An Icelandic Saga by Something Fishy, whYME, and ChAiM'l  (Read 45223 times)

Offline chucksterace

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Is that pic from a go pro inside the car?

But yay, I was right.
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Offline benjie1305

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Oh boy. This will be epic. (it better be epic)
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Offline Moishebatchy

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I am more excited about this than any movie trailer I've seen all summer.

+1,000

Online whYME

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Offline Moshe123

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This is going to be good...

Offline ari9

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this is turning into one of those threads where every time it pops up in unread posts, I get excited that something good has been added

Offline grodnoking

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this is turning into one of those threads where every time it pops up in unread posts, I get excited that something good has been added
Your not getting the cause you know. (And this isn't either )
I'm not who you think I am.

Online Something Fishy

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This TR will be written by all three of us, so we'll keep it color-coded for easy following.

The pictures will be from all of us as well, and each one will say who took that particular one.

Being that this was a PhotoDO and not a typical vacation, there will be many photography tips interspersed throughout as well.
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Online Something Fishy

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[Something Fishy] The germ for a trip like this was planted years ago.

Seeing the Aurora Borealis had been a dream of mine for as long as I could remember. Many trips were planned and subsequently abandoned for one reason or another; each time this happened I just wanted to go more and more.

Truthfully there are many places to see the aurora; Alaska, Norway, and parts of Canada come to mind. But none of these compare to the absolute wealth of photographic opportunities and incredible variety of Iceland. There are many other advantages to Iceland over these other locations - Alaska is twice as far (from NY), Norway has polar bear issues (an armed guard is required at all times), etc. etc.

Ultimately it was two main things which made me choose Iceland over anywhere else: the weather and the variety.

Even though Iceland is notorious for having terrible weather, due to its relatively small size and varied topography it may be possible to simply drive to better weather. OTOH, Alaska for example, if it's cloudy where you are, driving somewhere else will generally not help you. Since seeing the aurora is dependent on clear skies, this was a tremendous advantage for us.

The other element is Iceland's fantastic variety. This was our insurance policy; even if the auroras don't make an appearance (as is far too often the case), we will still have mountains, beaches, waterfalls, tundra, icebergs, glaciers, and a million other things. Even in nasty weather, these will still be beautiful.

The ball started rolling when whYME commented on a video I had put up on the Funny/Strange/Interesting Video thread.


[whYME] I too have had seeing the Aurora high on my bucket list since I was a child, ever since I read about it in R' Refoel (Folle) Kahan's memoir of his exile to Siberia.

Although I was dying to see the Aurora, Iceland was not on my radar at all; I always assumed I would end up seeing the Aurora in Alaska. That all changed when I caught a ride with Something Fishy to a PhotoDO at Hudson highlands state park and we had a discussion of our top bucket list items. Suffice it to say that after a few short minutes my "Why would anyone want to go to Iceland in the winter" was quickly supplanted with "Dang it, I really need to get to Iceland one of these winters."


[Something Fishy] And then came the video:



Absolutely amazing. Makes me want to go to Iceland ;)
This video really needs to be watched full screen. The first time I watched it i kind of skimmed through it in "regular" size, big mistake.

Then a couple of months later:

Another one:


The downside of watching these videos is that it's going to be disappointing once I do make it to Iceland and if I'm lucky my pictures will be half this good...

Maybe we should make a PhotoDO ;)

lol
I was gonna add before, that if anyone thinks I'm dreaming by thinking I can get pictures even half that good, it's because whenever I do make it there I'm going to have to kidnap you and take you along so at least I have a fighting chance ;)

Duly kidnapped, a couple of frenzied days of planning followed. We had preliminary dates and a rough plan, and we decided to see if anyone else is batty enough to head to Iceland in the dead of winter:

Iceland photography trip:

JFK-KEF 2/22 (rev. flight)
KEF-BOS-LGA 2/25 (rev. flight + 4.5k Avios)

3 days, 2 nights. Intense, non-stop photography. Napping in a camper van. Chasing the light, chasing the aurora.

Would be more of a photography trip than a teaching trip, so this is only if you're very comfortable with a camera and have (or could rent/borrow) some relatively "serious" gear.

This will only be for photography, not to see or do any tourist stuff. No Blue Lagoon on this trip... More like hours standing out in the cold in the middle of the night hunched over a camera.

So who's crazy enough to join? whYME and I are in so far. 4 people max.

[Chaim'l] I, unfortunately, did not share SF and whYME's dream of seeing the Northern Lights since my childhood. I had however seen an ad at the beginning of the winter for a kosher tour of Lapland, with one of the highlights being the Aurora. I was strongly considering it, however my better half didn't share my enthusiasm for the cold weather (especially as I would be busy with my camera a lot of the time) and so we eventually nixed the idea.

Fast-forward to January and a post pops up in the Photo DO thread (yeah, I follow that more closely than the Interesting Video thread) inviting people to an Iceland Aurora DO. I had been to one DO with SF and whYME before that and really enjoyed the learning experience. Couple that with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the Aurora the way they were meant to be seen, I jumped on it and confirmed my attendance.


[Something Fishy] Off we went to book.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2015, 10:05:21 PM by Something Fishy »
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Offline Moshe123

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Offline E-MAN

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Can't wait for the pics!

Offline Yaalili

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Nice start.

Offline benjie1305

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Oh boy. Just please tell me you'll be faster then AJK and Dan.
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Offline etech0

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Can't wait for the pics!
+1

The second vimeo link doesn't seem to be working, btw
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Offline benjie1305

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+1

The second vimeo link doesn't seem to be working, btw

Its private and requires a password it seems.
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