Aurora Borealis, North Iceland

Fujifilm x-t1, ISO 3200, FL 18 mm, f/2.8 @ 10 sec

Fujifilm x-t1, ISO 3200, FL 18 mm, f/2.8 @ 10 sec

I have seen some amazing things in Iceland but the aurora last night is certainly one of the top three.  I was really wishing I had my full-frame Canon because the lights were the most spectacular I have ever seen and I would have loved to have had a 14 mm, full frame view. But, I am thankful that my brain camera was able to witness an event that I had never seen before.  Although I had curtains of light shimmering all around me, I looked straight up and for a few moments there was a bright ring of light then, kaboom! sheets of green, purple, magenta shot down around me and I was bathed in a circumferential light display.  The event I had just witnessed was called a corona – a type of auroral display where the lights are straight above you and the rays seem to fall around you from the zenith of the sky.  Truly, I felt that I was at the epicenter of the universe!  The display only lasted a few moments and I couldn’t get my camera oriented quick enough to catch the center of the display but WOW!!! – what a moment!

Fujifilm X-T1, ISO 2500, FL 18 mm, F/2.8 @ 15 sec

Fujifilm X-T1, ISO 2500, FL 18 mm, F/2.8 @ 15 sec

This image has a bit of foreground so you can see how huge the light display is.  The lights make the ice-covered mountains in the background look small!

I can certainly understand why the Inuit tribes of the north considered the light display sacred. Some believed the aurora were the spirits lighting torches to guide the footsteps of new arrivals.  Some believed the lights were the dancing spirits of the sky-dwellers.  I have read all the science of the northern lights but there is an abundance of folklore associated with the auroral lights.  After witnessing the events last night, I’m skirting the edge between the science and the mythology 🙂



About Diana Davidson

Physician, traveler, photographer, tennis player, reader, teacher, student


  1. Outstanding captures Diana. Looks looks you are having an excellent trip

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