Preamble - Iceland the preparation!
The long awaited day has nearly arrived! With less than a week before I head off on our Iceland Adventure together with my oldest son Leon.
Iceland has been on my bucket list for years and more specifically the opportunity to photograph the amazing landscape and the Aurora Borealis or better known as the Northern Lights.
Serious planning for the adventure commenced early December 2017, on King Island where conversations were had with seasoned travellers to that neck of the globe.
Dr Google provided much information, other people's blogs, travel notes and several of my followers on IG filled in most but not all of the gaps.
A comprehensive packing list was prepared and progressively added to, double, triple and quadruple checked. Yet each day I'm finding something else to add to it 🤔
First item on the list was easy - my camera gear:
My trusty Nikon D850 has been double checked, lenses; 14-24mm, 24-70mm and 70-200mm have been cleaned and more than 200GB of memory on hand with another 64GB card due to arrive any day.
A HyperDrive 500GB SSD Backup Drive (reads direct from the CF or SD card) will provide some additional image security.
A cabled remote control and a wireless remote will help with long exposures. Hopefully with me inside our vehicle (engine running of course and heater on!) and the Nikon on the tripod outside 🙂
And to cap it off, a new superlight Sirui T-1204X Carbon Fibre Tripod with K-10x Ball Head has completed my shooting arsenal.
Well not quite, I stepped over to the "dark side" prior to my 14 day Mt Blanc adventure and purchased a Canon G1X. A very nice camera that fits snugly in the cargo pants pocket. This camera has also accompanied me through the Atlas Mountains, Morocco and through The Sahara.
And one more piece of photographic equipment is a DJI Osmo gimballed video camera. I hope to capture some rock-steady video of the amazing landscape being Iceland.
Macpac snow bunny gear was tried on a day when MLB was sitting at 38C - yes it was bloody hot! I just hope that the minus temperatures in Iceland I'm currently following on my phone will at least rise to 2C or 4C.
Leon is a great travel partner and as a Father and Son combination we have pedalled the length of Vietnam, trekked the Langtang Track Nepal, spent time exploring Mexico, Cuba, Guatemala, South America and South-East Asia.
I am certainly looking forward to seeing what Iceland has in store for us.
"On the ground in Iceland"
Accommodation using Airbnb has been organised, a 4X4 has been booked through Europcar.
We arrive in Reykjavik from LA at the ungodly hour of 4:00, so that leaves us all day to organise day tours during the four days we are in the Reykjavik precinct. At 20:00 hours on our first evening we visit the Blue Lagoon to relax and unwind so we can commence our adventure bright 'n early the next morning.
One week to go before we fly out to LA with Virgin Australia (where Leon is a L.A.M.E.) for an overnight stopover in West Hollywood before we get on WOW Airlines to fly the Great Circle Route direct to Reykjavik.
It now just leaves this weekend to complete my packing.
The weekend before...
My long dining table has for the past week seen more and more gear and clothing progressively piled upon it.
The camera back-pack is at its capacity limit. I don’t think I’ll have enough room for an SD card let alone the CF card now a day overdue. Fingers crossed that Oz Post lifts its game and deliver on Monday before I spread the wings and fly out. UPDATE: Well, Oz Post have redeemed at least several points with me, delivering the 64GB CF Card on Friday afternoon.
And the suitcase appears to have shrunk in the wash! Or is it just an optical illusion sitting next to that fore mentioned pile of packing needing to be shoe-horned into the suitcase?
The Target - Iceland!
The Northern Lights Folklore
When a human being dies, the soul leaves the earth and goes to one or the other of two distinct regions. Some souls go up into heaven and become Uvdlormuit, the People of Day. Their country lies over toward the dawn. Others again go down under the sea, where there is a narrow belt of land with water on either side. These are called Qimiujarmuit, the People of the Narrow Land. But in either place they are happy and at ease, and there is always plenty to eat.
Those who pass to the Land of Day are people who have been drowned, or murdered. It is said that the Land of Day is the land of glad and happy souls. It is a great country, with many caribou, and the people there live only for pleasure. They play ball most of the time, playing at football with the skull of a walrus, and laughing and singing as they play. It is this game of souls playing at ball that we can see in the sky as the Northern Lights...
* The Ice by Laline Paull