There are few things more magical than an epic display of aurora borealis. You suddenly feel like you have entered a dream world as the sky comes alive with color and movement. Iceland and Greenland are both known for frequent auroras that people travel near and far to witness.
Joe Capra (also known as Scientifantastic) is a Los Angeles based photographer that specializes in ultra high definition time-lapse photography, as well as cinematography, still photography and editing. Recently, Capra traveled to Iceland and Greenland on the hunt for the famous arctic Aurora.
The aurora borealis operates on an 11-year cycle, and during the eleventh year is when aurora activity is at its peak. Timing his trip just right, Capra arrived ready to take photos in the eleventh year.
The result of the epic displays of aurora borealis he captured over Iceland and Greenland can be seen below in photos and a time-lapse video titled, “Two Lands – Greenland | Iceland.”
Iceland Aurora Dance
A still shot of aurora borealis does not do justice to how the magnificent display of lights glide across the sky. A still image might lead you to believe the sky is simply green, but the phenomenon is so much more amazing than that. For this reason many photographers choose to make time-lapse videos using still photos of aurora borealis.
As Capra writes on Bored Panda, “The aurora is a very dynamic thing, and I feel that still images just don’t do it justice. I decided I wanted to shoot the aurora using timelapse photography to show people how the aurora dances in the sky.”
Iceland Road Aurora
Before Capra arrived in Greenland, he first stopped in Iceland since it is on the way to Greenland from LA, and also because Iceland is known for awesome displays of auroras as well.
Iceland Stream Aurora
Due to the weather in Iceland, Capra was concerned about issues with shooting. Luckily, for the two nights Capra was in Iceland he was blessed with perfectly clear skies and brilliant aurora displays. While in Iceland, Capra rented a car and drove himself around the main road on the search for aurora.
Iceland Aurora Reflection
After enjoying as much of Iceland as possible it was time for Capra to head off to his next destination, Greenland.
Greenland Aurora Overhead
Greenland is located very far north and is incredibly remote; it also sits directly beneath the aurora belt. The gorgeous clear skies common to Greenland help make the magical light shows even more dazzling. For these reasons, Capra decided to shot the majority of his images for the video in Greenland.
Greenland Lake Aurora
Greenland is beautiful, but it’s not easy to travel around. You can’t just hop in a car and cruise wherever you want to go. Instead, one must use a helicopter, dogsled, snowmobile, or plane.
Capra had assistance from two local guides and usually traveled by dogsled throughout the journey–for someone that calls Los Angeles home, this must have been an awesome change of pace!
Dog Sledding Through Greenland
This adorable village dotted in lovely colorful houses served as “base camp” for Capra during half of his time spent in Greenland.
Illulissat Ice Fjord, Greenland
Disko Bay, Greenland
Other time-lapse videos Capra has created include Australia’s gold coast, the midnight sun in Iceland, and Rio. Capra’s amazing work has been featured by National Geographic, Discovery Channel, Panasonic, the Huffington Post, and so many more.
Preparing For Shooting While In Greenland
The camera finally turns on the awesome photographer, hello Joe Capra!
Watch the time-lapse video, “Two Lands – Greenland | Iceland”