jasonjhatfield
jasonjhatfield

Night Fire over Vestrahorn



The Northern Lights flowing over Vestrahorn and the black-sand dunes.

On our second night in #Iceland we were rewarded with another incredible show...
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The Northern Lights flowing over Vestrahorn and the black-sand dunes.

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.
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Awards

Contest Finalist in Mountains And The Night Photo Contest
Featured
Contest Finalist in Contemplating The Aurora Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in Image of the Year Photo Contest by Snapfish
Canon Mark III Camera
Contest Finalist in The Beauty Of Nature Photo Contest
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Peer Award
Absolute Masterpiece
Superb Composition
Top Choice
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Magnificent Capture
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Outstanding Creativity
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Genius
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Love it
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Top ClassTM

Landscapes And Sand Photo ContestTop 10 class
Landscapes And Sand Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
Europe Photo ContestTop 10 class
Europe Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
Our World At Night Photo ContestTop 10 class
The Aurora Photo ContestTop 10 class
The Aurora Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
The Talent AwardsTop 10 class
Iceland The Beautiful Photo ContestTop 10 class
Iceland The Beautiful Photo ContestTop 10 class week 2
Iceland The Beautiful Photo ContestTop 20 class week 1
Mountains And The Night Photo ContestTop 10 class
Mountains And The Night Photo ContestTop 10 class week 2
Mountains And The Night Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
World Photography Day Photo ContestTop 10 class
World Photography Day Photo ContestTop 10 class week 2
World Photography Day Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
Around the World Photo Contest By DiscoveryTop 10 class
Around the World Photo Contest By DiscoveryTop 10 class week 1
Seeking Light In Nature Photo ContestTop 10 class
Seeking Light In Nature Photo ContestTop 10 class week 2
Seeking Light In Nature Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
Celebrating Nature Photo Contest Vol 1Top 10 class
Celebrating Nature Photo Contest Vol 1Top 10 class week 2
Celebrating Nature Photo Contest Vol 1Top 10 class week 1
Nightscapes Photo ContestTop 10 class
Nightscapes Photo ContestTop 30 class week 1
The Battle Of Professionals Photo ContestTop 20 class week 2
The Battle Of Professionals Photo ContestTop 20 class week 1
Compositions 101 Photo ContestTop 20 class
Compositions 101 Photo ContestTop 20 class week 1
Contemplating The Aurora Photo ContestTop 10 class
Contemplating The Aurora Photo ContestTop 20 class week 1
Discover Europe Photo ContestTop 10 class
Discover Europe Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
Playing With Light Photo ContestTop 30 class
Rule Of Thirds Essentials Photo ContestTop 10 class
Playing With Light Photo ContestTop 30 class week 1
Rule Of Thirds Essentials Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
The Four Elements Photo ContestTop 10 class
The Four Elements Photo ContestTop 20 class week 2
Around the World Photo ContestTop 20 class
Around the World Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
The Four Elements Photo ContestTop 20 class week 1
Resource Travel Inspiration Photo Contest vol2Top 20 class
Resource Travel Inspiration Photo Contest vol2Top 20 class week 1
Alluring Landscapes Photo ContestTop 10 class
Image of the Year Photo Contest by SnapfishTop 10 class
Image of the Year Photo Contest by SnapfishTop 10 class week 3
Image of the Year Photo Contest by SnapfishTop 10 class week 2
Image of the Year Photo Contest by SnapfishTop 10 class week 1
Inspiring Places Photo ContestTop 10 class
Inspiring Places Photo ContestTop 30 class week 1
The Beauty Of Nature Photo ContestTop 10 class
The Beauty Of Nature Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1

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25 Comments | Report
p_eileenbaltz PRO
 
p_eileenbaltz October 01, 2015
Spectacular capture! Congratulations on your 'Beauty Of Nature' contest win.:)
jasonjhatfield
jasonjhatfield October 01, 2015
Thank you!
KatieMcKinneyPhotography PRO+
 
KatieMcKinneyPhotography October 01, 2015
WOW this is incredible!!! Congrats on the big win!!!! Well deserved :)
jasonjhatfield
jasonjhatfield October 01, 2015
Many thanks, you have beautiful work as well!
henrychao PRO+
 
henrychao October 01, 2015
Spectacular view and nice composition.
jasonjhatfield
jasonjhatfield October 01, 2015
Thanks!
suzannesingleton
 
suzannesingleton October 01, 2015
You deserved to win with that photo, this is magnificent. Big congratulations to you :-)
jasonjhatfield
jasonjhatfield October 01, 2015
That's amazing of you to say, thanks so much!
felicebellini PRO
 
felicebellini October 01, 2015
compliments x the nice prize
jasonjhatfield
jasonjhatfield October 03, 2015
Thanks!
bigblockcarl
 
bigblockcarl October 02, 2015
Absolutely beautiful shot. Congratulations!
jasonjhatfield
jasonjhatfield October 03, 2015
Thank you!
Atomck1
 
Atomck1 October 02, 2015
Absolutely amazing work! Congrats on a well deserved win!
jasonjhatfield
jasonjhatfield October 03, 2015
Much appreciated!
RoyNorthumbrian
 
RoyNorthumbrian October 02, 2015
Congratulations stunning photo, well deserved win!
jasonjhatfield
jasonjhatfield October 03, 2015
????
PeterFo
 
PeterFo October 02, 2015
Awesome shot, congrats!!!
jasonjhatfield
jasonjhatfield October 03, 2015
Thanks!
FlorendoStudioArts
 
FlorendoStudioArts October 03, 2015
Superb! Very deserving of winning. Also great body of work in your gallery- I was hoping to win the camera but don't feel bad when photos like this take the prize.
jasonjhatfield
jasonjhatfield October 04, 2015
Thanks!
brunok1
 
brunok1 October 04, 2015
wonderful phototure, that was worth to wait! Congratulations.
jasonjhatfield
jasonjhatfield October 04, 2015
Thanks!
matejpaluh
 
matejpaluh October 04, 2015
Congratulations! Amazing work! :) :)
jasonjhatfield
jasonjhatfield October 04, 2015
Thanks!
Ozdude PRO+
 
Ozdude October 05, 2015
Well done mate. Amazing capture.
jasonjhatfield
jasonjhatfield October 05, 2015
Thanks!
KCraine
 
KCraine October 14, 2015
Stunning!
francescorusso
 
francescorusso October 22, 2015
Awesome
wolfgangkorazija
 
wolfgangkorazija October 23, 2015
Sensational
LauraEm
 
LauraEm November 12, 2015
Your photography blows me away!
jasonjhatfield
jasonjhatfield November 13, 2015
Thanks!
reazahmedmonzu
 
reazahmedmonzu December 11, 2015
Wounderful photo / Superb compositions
sintijakipa
 
sintijakipa January 23, 2016
Wow. Amazing photo.
jimfbauty PRO+
 
jimfbauty May 20, 2016
Planning to get there next year. I'e added this spot and your photo to my wish list. Great work.
jasonjhatfield
jasonjhatfield May 27, 2016
Thank you!
BatCam
 
BatCam June 16, 2016
amazing shot!
Cookieman
 
Cookieman July 22, 2016
Is there a road from Hofn to Vestrahorn or you have to go on foot?
jasonjhatfield
jasonjhatfield July 22, 2016
There's a road
MRueffer
 
MRueffer March 13, 2017
This is beautiful and your gallery is gorgeous!!
catherinethompson PRO
 
catherinethompson August 04, 2018
Stunning capture. Love it.
isilvaphoto
 
isilvaphoto October 11, 2018
Amazing

Behind The Lens

Location
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.
Time
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.
Lighting
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.
Equipment
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.
Inspiration
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.
Editing
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!
Feedback
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.

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