Night Fire over Vestrahorn Framed
Night Fire over Vestrahorn Framed
34x48 Alumapress Print stacked and framed with Espresso Belmont wood finish, wire hanger. 1/50
Framed aluminum prints give the artwork a vibrant and modern appearance. The print features a dye-sublimation ink transfer to a white surface finish. This is a remarkable presentation playing up the unique, boldness of metal with a super gloss finish.
Due to the large size of this piece, only pickup/drop-off in the Metro Denver area is included with the price. Delivery elsewhere in Colorado is available for a reasonable cost and shipping out-of-state is available and calculated based on request.
I took this photo while on a week long trip hunting the Northern Lights with friend David Kingham in Iceland. The backdrop to this incredible display of nature is Vestrahorn Mountain and the volcanic sand-dunes on the Southeast tip of the island.
I photographed this image on cold March morning at 4am. On this part of the trip we had to combat clouds on and off but it was much better than the following 4 days of high winds and blasts of snow with grapple. When traveling to Iceland in the winter it's always best to plan extra down days to enjoy the local culture while waiting out storms; we enjoyed some relaxing hot springs and delicious meals while basking in the afterglow of a successful trip.
The light in this scene is all natural and a combination between the partial setting moon and the Northern Lights. To capture the shape of the aurora I used and ISO of 2500 at f/2.8 for 5 seconds. Those settings were enough to allow the moon to light the foreground while not creating a simulation of daylight.
I shot this with a Sony a7R and Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 lens. I've actually been shooting with Sony since 2010 using an a900 and finished my switch to a completely mirrorless setup before the trip. I've been using a Feisol carbon fiber tripod for the past 4 years and despite needing the occasional cleaning it's handled all the freezing conditions, salt water, and miles of backpacking fairly well.
On our second night in Iceland we were rewarded with another incredible show of #aurora while on the road near Höfn. After looking at the forecast we decided to try our luck at Vestrahorn. When we arrived the sky was completely cloudy over the mountain and the clear areas we could see didn't have any aurora. After an hour or so of waiting the clouds cleared and the light show kicked off again; we were beyond thrilled with our luck! Soon the sun started to rise and the lights faded, but we had another amazing night in books.
The majority of my editing for this was done in Lightroom but I did have to take it into Photoshop to remove the taillights of another camper van and a couple of my own footprints. I've been working with Lightroom since it was released and each new edition allows me to get more done with it. As soon as they add the ability to make more precise content aware selections my Photoshop work will be limited to the occasional manual blend.
In my camera bag
Right now I everything in a first gen F-Stop Loka pack or my Osprey Exos 58 backpacking pack. Since switching to mirrorless I've been able to get most of my gear in a small ICU while my camera sits in a chest pouch for easy access. In my bag I currently have the following camera gear: a7R II, a7R as backup, Sony's FE lenses: 16-35mm f/4, 24-70mm f/4, and 70-200mm f/4, a Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 for night work, Rode shotgun mic for video, Neewer L-Plate, Hoya HD3 and Firecrest Polarizers, about 7 batteries and large external batteries (better to have too many I guess), Feisol CT-3442 tripod with Photoclam Gold ballhead, and a Lee Big Stopper filter. Depending on how far I'm hiking I'll remove certain items to make my load lighter. For non-camera equipment I usually have rain gear, puffy jacket and pants, and a Steripen to filter water while hiking. My favorite piece of gear is probably my Western Mountaineering puffy flight pants, never underestimate the value of warm legs while photographing at night!
To capture the Northern Lights the biggest hurdle is trying to get your trip lined up with high aurora activity, the more flexibility you have or extra time the better your chances. Camera settings are highly variable based on the intensity of the aurora and other sources of light; if you want to really capture the shapes of fast moving aurora then aim for using high ISOs, low f-stops, and exposures under 5 seconds.