Because here in SoCal it is 95 degrees outside, everything is brown and wilting and everyone is either hitting the beach or sticking inside for the air conditioning, we needed a little visual break to view the spectacular land of fire and ice, known as Iceland. In the winter months, the famed Northern Lights can be seen lighting up the night sky with its masterpiece in hues of green, yellows and pinks. The breathtaking display is on many of bucket lists and was recently crossed off of cinematographer, Shannon Avery, owner of Hoo Films based in Los Angeles. Shannon’s work with Hoo films is focused on weddings, but her work as a filmmaker has led her around the world to exotic countries and far off lands. For this recent trip, she was commissioned to go to Iceland to get footage of the spectacular Aurora Borealis.
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The challenges of working with nature are in the hands of mother nature, as you landscape photographers know full well. And in the case of Mother Nature’s most brilliant light show, the conditions must be right and it is all about timing. The best conditions to see the Northern Lights is when the sky is clear and cloudless. While they were there the sky was overcast and people told them there was “no chance” of seeing the Northern Lights while they were there.
Shannon says, “The Auroras ended up going off while we were eating dinner…we rushed outside and shot all the timelapses that night in South Iceland. We pulled an all nighter that night from shooting everything we could until sunrise. The next two nights we were told there would be high chances of Northern Lights by multiple resources, drove to the wilderness, waited in the dark, cold eeriness and…..nothing. We slept in the car these nights as we were hours from hotel with no new footage by each sunrise. We were lucky to get that footage that first night in the middle of dinner! All that rugged travel though is completely worth the raw beauty all around. Neither photography or timelapse does Iceland’s natural beauty justice. It is a gorgeous, unique place, and I can’t wait to go back!“
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So, sit back, take a brain break this afternoon and allow this timelapse into nature’s playground known as Iceland take you into another world. Hopefully, a much colder, less Santa Ana windy world…
To see more of Shannon Avery’s work, visit her website, Hoo Films.
Images are screenshots from timelapse via Vimeo.