Jokulsarlon Lagoon, Iceland by Erika Valkovicova

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I have tried to see the Northern Lights for three years in a row with no luck. First in Norway, when a winter storm got in our way and later in Iceland when there was no geomagnetic activity. I decided to follow the forecast data almost daily for a year until the Big Day finally came! Early November 2016, I looked at the promising prediction, and a week later, I found myself sitting on a plane heading to Iceland. I didn't know what to expect and if I could detect the lights with naked eyes. I asked the driver, our Icelandic friend, to stop the van whenever I sensed a suspicious "cloud" arching in the sky. My friends could not take me seriously after a few failed attempts, although the alerts kept beeping on my phone.

When we arrived at the glacier lagoon early evening for location scouting, somebody shouted at us: turn off the lights, the aurora is out! My persistence paid off - Lady Aurora was dancing for us at one of the most beautiful places on Earth - the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon. I grabbed my camera with the tripod and ran to the edge of the water. I panicked and even left my gloves behind! I had no experience with shooting the aurora back then as I was a total novice in night photography. It was challenging to find an interesting composition in the dark; the ice in the lagoon created a catchy foreground.

I would probably use different settings now, but I was thrilled with the outcome considering the circumstances. We even missed the dinner that night at our hotel, but there was not a single complaint! I have photographed this beautiful phenomenon many times since then, but with no doubt, this was the most spectacular aurora dance I have seen in my life!

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