Photograph the Northern Lights at Jökulsárlón

Iceland Jökulsárlón

Added by Jason Hatfield

Incredible black sand beach and glacial lagoon full of fantastically shaped icebergs. When the northern lights come out it only gets better!

Jökulsárlón is a night photographer's paradise with "fresh" iceberg subjects washed up on the beaches daily, providing unique images every time. The glacial lagoon is full of much larger icebergs that can be harder to photograph due to the changing tides, but it's well worth the effort. When photographing the aurora a fast lens and high ISO are key, and a partial moon can provide light for the foreground.

The hardest part of this excursion can be getting to Jökulsárlón during Iceland's brutal winter storms. If you've made it there and the skies are clear, most of the hard work is done! Sites like can provide a good indication if the aurora will be visible, but sometimes the intensity can surge way beyond or fall short of the forecast. When photographing on the beach always watch the ocean for rouge waves and floating ice, many cameras have been lost from photographers turning their backs to the sea.

Winter is the best time for capturing the aurora here but fall and early spring can work as well. It's best to arrive when it's light out to scout the beaches and develop a plan for when the light show starts; aurora can move very rapidly making it all the more challenging.

Pack List

  • Camera + Wide Angle Fast Lens + Tripod
  • Lots of extra batteries
  • Lots of warm layers
  • Waders or Muck Boots (optional)
  • Headlamp
  • Caffeine & Food to stay awake
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8 months ago

Great View

Definitely a must in the day time and as well during the night. There arent any mountains or hills to obstruct your view of the sky here so you can get a great show of the Aurora. There are also endless options for foreground in terms of photography potencial. DO IT!

8 months ago

Added by Jason Hatfield

Adventure and travel photographer based out of Denver, Colorado. I teach photography workshops and offer private guiding around the west. More at

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