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Today, we’re featuring a beautiful series from Fabian Reu of his trip to Iceland to capture the northern lights on film. Here is more from Fabian about photographing the northern lights…
Since I started shooting film, I’ve always wanted to see the northern lights. So one day, I packed my Canon A-1 and my Pentax 645N and went to Abisko in Swedish Lapland. Sadly, I didn’t see any northern lights, and it was only freezing cold. So cold that my Pentax batteries died after about eights shots. I was so frustrated.
Two months later in March 2022, I decided to make a trip around Iceland. My focus was to finally catch the northern lights. On the fifth day in Iceland, I was in a very, very small village called Hof. In the middle of the night, someone from the hotel screamed, “NORTHERN LIGHTS.” I packed my tripod, two rolls of Fuji Pro 400H (I love the Fuji greens), and my Pentax 645N, went outside, and saw a shiny, green little cloud. On my iPhone, it looked awesome, but I knew that film couldn’t handle that small amount of light. I went inside. Again frustrated…
Ten minutes later: NORTHERN LIGHTS was screamed at the hotel floor again… I looked outside and, WOW, dancing lights in green, purple, and grey.
I tried all shutter speeds from two seconds at f2.8 to one minutes at f11. After two rolls, my batteries died. I had two reserve, but that was not enough. With my backup camera, an Olympus Mju-II, I thought I had no chance.
After eight days in Iceland, I was happy to come back to Germany. The negatives turned out great! I was very happy with my results.