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Iceland: The Land of Fire & Ice

After visiting Swedish Lapland in 2013 and seeing all winter beauties and magnificent Northern Lights, I simply couldn’t stop myself from booking another destination to see them again. My main purpose was to see the Northern Lights once again and after I looked for Iceland photos on the web, they just amazed me. The lights can be seen from almost everywhere in Iceland and best thing is that you don’t experience extreme cold like I did in Lapland last year.

There is no direct flight from Turkey to Iceland so I had to choose a connection and that was Copenhagen, Denmark. After 3 hours flight with Icelandair, by the way it’s a very cool airline, I arrived to Reykjavik, the Capital of Iceland. Iceland population is over 330k people and 200k are living in Reykjavik and rest of them are living in rest of the country and it’s not a small island (World’s 108th ranked in total area size). They speak Icelandic language and that language is the same language of Vikings. Other Scandinavian languages are interfered with German and English, so they told me. Most of them can speak and understand English very well.

Wooden crafts is a tradition in Iceland.

On the way from Keflavik Airport to Reykjavik City Centre I’ve seen some road signs and it’s written as “Welcome to the land of Elves, Vikings”. It really makes you feel great that you are actually in the land that has been a stage for many great movies and TV shows apart from many great historical events and sagas. You can check the list by clicking here.

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How to Use Your DSLR in Cold Weather & Shooting the Northern Lights

I’ve been in Sweden in February 2013 for watching Northern Lights and other beauties of Winter. For that I crossed the line of North Pole and went to northernmost Sweden. It’s been really cold. Polar weather is very dry but at some point you realize that everything is freezing including yourself. It’s been a challenge for me also for my Photography equipment. Before I go to Sweden I red many articles about using DSLR in extreme cold conditions and how to capture Northern Lights in that condition. This article will be another guide you’re going to read before you use your DSLR in extreme cold conditions. I have few lessons learned, suggestions and tricks to share with you. I hope they will be useful to you.

My Photography Gear

I have two Pentax DSLR cameras. Pentax K-X and Pentax K30. Pentax K-X is 3 years old and has 10k shutter count. K30 is brand new. K-X doesn’t have a Weatherproof body. K30 is equipped with Weatherproof body and 18-55 mm kit lens. K-X runs with 4x AA size battery. K30 has Li-ion battery. My other lenses are Sigma 70-300 mm AF and SMC Pentax 50 mm MF. Max aperture of 50 mm lens is f/1.8 and 18-55 & 70-300 are f/3.5. Max aperture is very important for photographing Northern Lights but we’ll get that later. Don’t forget a dust blower, cleaning cloths, separate batteries and a good bag to keep your gear warm and safe. Here is the full list of my gear that I used in Sweden.

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Yesterday’s Confession

I’ve been very active into the Electronic Music back in the days. I was an amateur DJ between 2006 and 2007. It was a short career but It made me happy a lot. I did warm-up and close-up to famous Trance DJ around the World; Yahel, The Thrillseekers and Gareth Emery. Now I only listen to Global DJ Broadcast Weekly Sets by Markus Schulz for tracking the latest tunes.

Here is a set of my live mixed set that I recorded in 2007. I hope you enjoy it and please leave your feedbacks.

Tracklist

  • Paolo Mojo – 1983 (Eric Prydz Remix)
  • Niklas Harding & Funabashi – Addictive (Original Mix)
  • Tocadisco – Music Load
  • Shiloh – Sentrino
  • Cara Dillon Vs 2 Devine – Black Is The Colour (Coco Green Remix)
  • G-Spott – Sadness
  • Club Scene Investigatores – Direct Dizko (Sander Van Doorn Remix)
  • David Forbes – Global