Monday, April 23, 2012

Up All Night, Under Northern Lights

Four of us had traveled to a large national park area named Myvatn. After an incredible day of geothermal pools, craters, tectonic plates colliding, and countless other natural wonders, we retired to our little hotel for the night. Always on the look out for northern lights, we periodically checked the windows every hour or so. No luck. I fell asleep with an alarm set at midnight. Anna checked and although she didn't see anything, took the car to get away from the few street lights. A few minutes later, I heard a knocking at the window and looked outside to see Anna beckoning me. I sleepily threw on clothes, grabbed my tripod and camera and stumbled out into the night. A few kilometers outside of town, we stopped the car. As we got out, immediately overhead were incredible white lights. They looked like sticks of light moving about in a stair stepping motion. The disclaimer is, the camera sees much more than your eyes. We could only see some light greens, and the red behind the mountain. However, the sensor of the camera picked up much more. These pictures are definitely not heavily Photoshopped, just some light color correction. The movement of the light was unreal though, unfortunately about impossible to capture in video with my camera. Sorry about the crooked tripod, it was freezing and I was half asleep and also too shocked/absorbed in the light show to really pay attention to the photos. Title: Grum (kind of)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Hrisey Snow

I was hoping to get you guys off the island today. I guess I misunderestimated the number of photos I take. Where that sign is marks the second most powerful spot in Iceland. Across the fjord there is a mountain, Kaldabakur (? I think) that channels its energy of peace and love to this spot. Seriously, that is paraphrasing what that sign says. I haven't developed any super powers yet, but I will say, that spot is incredibly peaceful. Crushed these levels, not sure how I feel about it.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


The fruits of our labor. An epic trip to Akureyri, which is only about 45 minutes away. It involved two boat rides and two times hitching rides with strangers. And of course, celebrating Easter for an entire week is not enough for Iceland, they had to tack on Easter Monday, which was the day we chose to make our trip to the city. Most everything was closed...Iceland!

I'd never been so excited to be in an actual grocery store before. I believe the phrase is "a kid in a candy shop." Installation in the Akureyri art museum which was actually open on Easter Monday. Unfortunately I didn't get the name of the artist. I guess this is an international trend. Oh yeah, so this is where we are staying. Not the best photo but whatever. Took the camera out for some long exposures the night of our first snow. What's that in the top left? A trick of the light or a hidden person flying off to the magic mountain? I think we all know the answer to that.

Title: Not the candy bar, but an incredible short story by George Saunders.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Around Hrisey

When we arrived at the house, nearly every window sill had loads of dead flies on them. I thought it was too cold for flies here but apparently not. This photo illustrates the mortality found in every living being...or something. This view greets us as soon as we step foot outside the house. Pretty breathtaking even after two weeks of daily viewing. More tractors. The coast of Hrisey. More thistles. These things look like large, wooden dandelions and are all over the island. Even for a seagull, this thing looks pretty majestic. Of course, anything in flight looks pretty majestic. Well, maybe not this guy. Not so majestic any more are you Mr. Seagull? Hrisey graveyard. Leave it to me to go to an island in the middle of a fjord and find the only abandoned building. I've explored abandoned buildings in Philly and New York without much trepidation. Maybe it's all the talk of hidden people and magic mountains but this place freaked me out. Well, maybe that in combination that all of the furniture was left, and it almost looks as if the previous occupants tried to barricade the house from something outside. I snapped a few photos and bolted. This stuff is all over Hrisey. It might be called heather. Or maybe not. But it's super springy and soft and would make for a nice bed. The smallest lighthouse I've ever seen.