In March of 2015, my wife and I took our honeymoon to Iceland. With a rough itinerary in mind, we made our way around the country in our little 4x4, staying in AirBnB’s and hotels along the way, seeing the most beautiful and terrifying landscapes in the world.
On our first day, we melted into the Blue Lagoon and watched the solar eclipse, which is actually the blip you see at the opening of the film. We then traveled out past Þingvellir National Park, to our first AirBnb near Geyser and Gullfoss. I managed to get our car stuck in a huge snow bank, and my wife loved me more than she ever had. Needless to say, it was a stressful end to our first day in Iceland.
The next day we drove to the black sand beaches of Vík and Dyrhólaey and made an impromptu visit to the Icelander Hotel in Vík. We ate local lamb and fish stew and watched Rush Hour 2. Pure delight.
We traveled out west to the Snæfellsness Peninsula on our third day. Our AirBnb, the tiny house on a hill, was by far the most incredible place we have ever stayed in. With a perfectly clear view of the massive mountain next to us, and not to mention the Northern Lights, it was the perfect spot to spend 3 days of our journey.
Days 4-6 consisted of surveying the Snæfellsness Peninsula and surrounding areas, finding hot springs, seeing the northern lights, and relaxing in the middle of nowhere.
We spent our final days in the capital city of Reykjavik. We were tourists that day, buying sweaters, having dinner at Kex Hostel, and running around in love.
It was a purely magical experience and we hope that this shows you a little bit of that.
The past year I have been filming the Northern Lights in Iceland during the Solar Maximum -- the peak of solar activity that occurs every 10-11 years.
On March 17th, 2015, I was fortunate enough to be at the right place at the right time when the solar storm of the decade hit Earth. The sky was covered with auroras so strong, they were visible at dusk. This continued all night until dawn. In the film you will see rare red, yellow, white, blue and violet purple auroras.
I was also fortunate to get shots of aurora borealis lighting up the sky while the Bárðarbunga volcano was erupting. The orange/red glow you will see in the distance is from the hot lava spewing from the volcano.
Please enjoy some of the best northern lights we have seen in years!
Ethereal is my first aerial film that was 2 years in the making. It is an experimental film shot in the remote, breathtaking Icelandic Highlands that combines aerial cinematography with timelapse. The accelerated movements is just fast enough to reveal changes in nature not normally noticeable to the naked eye, while not too fast as to be frantic or unrealistic.
Each frame is a raw photo shot with the DJI Inspire 1. The individual photos were processed using LRTimelapse, Lightroom and After Effects. The film was then edited in 4K60 in Premiere Pro.
The light during midnight sun is a surreal and unforgettable experience. Hues of pinks, purples, reds and oranges that you may be lucky to see for a few minutes during a normal sunrise/sunset can explode for hours in an epic display of nature's masterful artistry.
Shot over two weeks from late June through early July in Iceland, finding the best spots to experience these conditions was not easy. We had to navigate Iceland's fickle weather. The southern half of the island was storming most of the time. Knowledge of the island's various micro climates and scenic locations were important in figuring out where to go for any given night. So was staying mobile and keeping all options open. Each day was a new and unexpected adventure.
Over the course of the trip, we covered most of Iceland's varied landscapes, traveling a complete loop on the ring road as well as spending time in the central highlands in the middle of the island.
You'll see scenes from Snaefellsnes peninsula in the west and various mountains and coastal areas in the north, to the fjords in the east and the Vatnajökull glacier region in the south. Perhaps the most unexpected of all was catching the large plumes of clouds being generated by the cooling lava from last year's volcanic eruption in Bárðarbunga.
In the end, the odyssey is about the journey and its experiences rather than about the destination.