Day 1 – The Unexpected

Following are events that put us off schedule which lead to frustration.

We left our room in Reykjavik at 9:00am and headed to collect our camping equipment from the store which is only a 10 minute drive away. But what we didn’t expect is a road closure for a cycle race. We tried every nook and corner to get to the store but they were all rerouted. We finally found ourselves on the highway using which we made it to the store. This delayed us by an hour or so.

Þingvellir National ParkWe left for our first destination on the Golden Circle, the Þingvellir National Park. It was a very scenic drive to that place. But it wasn’t so much of an photo op for us. We then drove to Bruarfoss. This waterfall is so blue and beautiful but reaching there is a task. We had to reach a spot closer to the waterfall about 1km off the Golden Circle. Once there we had to hike down a wet, muddy, slippery path. We went in with clean shoes and pants and came out muddy. On our way back Niaz had a nice fall (will have to look at the footage to see if we got the fall). But it was all worth it.

Oh and it was overcast and raining all day. And this is something a photographer does not want.

It was already 3:30 pm before we left Bruarfoss and headed to the Geysers. We were already behind schedule. According schedule we had to be done visiting the Þingvellir National Park, Bruarfoss, Geysers, Gulfoss, Kerid Crater and reach Bonus to stock up on supplies before 6pm and then camp at Seljalandsfoss and camp there. After our visit to the geysers the sky started clearing up. We then left for the Kerid Crater and while on our way remembered we forgot to carry on from Geysir to Gulfoss. So we did go back. On reaching the location we decided we do not want to shoot this waterfall anymore (I have no idea why). So we left for Seljalandsfoss. On our way the sky turned into amazing colours. We couldn’t resist and didn’t want to miss this especially when our day hasn’t been going well. So we decided to visit the Kerid Crater which is on the way. The sky was amazing all the way to the crater. We get there, purchase our ticket and had to go around the crater so we could get the crater as a foreground of the beautiful sunset. To add to our messed up day, we took the long way around the crater. By then the sun has gone and we lost the light.

It was these small things that led to what happened today. Guess it wasn’t our day after all. The night ended at the campsite of Seljalandsfoss at 11:00 pm. That waterfall looks really scary at night.

But it wasn’t over yet. Aurora predictions were 33% at 12:00 am. We rested for that short window we had. At 12:00 am I step out and there were few patches of light in the sky. I wasn’t sure if it was the Northern Lights. I someone else at the campsite and she said it is the Aurora. I woke up Niaz and Seby and we started shooting. Initially the strength was low but it picked up quickly. We spent about 3 hours shooting the aurora.

Northern Lights

It was our first night shooting in Iceland and we came across the Northern Lights. That made up for everything that didn’t go as planned.

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Lesson learnt: Do not stick to rigid plans. Do not expect locations to be as what they look like on Google. Stick to one equipment. And most importantly, go with the flow.

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Anique Ahmed

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