What's Steven done this time?
I hear my friends say this from time to time. It's because I find myself in strange situations often enough that it's become a thing.
Like a cat who's enthusiasm has led him too high up a tree and then can't get down, I am that cat. When I'm traveling and getting my photos I sometimes need to take risks. Going that extra mile to find a beautiful scene to photograph sometimes leaves me in... well.. need of assistance. I've been locked in the basement of churches, attics of castles, closed off areas of museums and schools, I've been stranded on islands, rocks, rowboats and cliffs, just to name a few. It usually requires me shouting for help, setting off alarms or taking off my clothes and swimming for it. My recent trip to Iceland wasn't quite as eventful as some of my other trips but it did have it's own kind of oddness.
Iceland is known for having a great view of the aura borealis, so much so, they have forecasts that you can look up. I happened to be driving back through some mountains around 1 in the morning on the northern part of the island when I looked up to see the most amazing light show. I quickly assessed where a great vantage point would be to get some photos of it. I pulled off the road when I could see the northern lights reflected in the calm waters of the bay down below. It was perfect. The night was still, completely quiet and not a soul around, just this magnificent dancing of light that filled the sky. I got a few shots and decided to try another location. As I was pulling out, another car appeared and pulled in to the exact spot I had just been. Odd, I thought. After a while I realized that there were a dozen other photographers out doing the same thing. There we were, like fireflies buzzing around the landscape in the middle of the night. Not knowing how long the lights would last, we all sped frantically from one spot to the next but had these wonderful moments of awe and stillness in between. We all shared in this event together, elated. By 3:30 in the morning, with frozen fingers, everyone had headed home. It was a memorable night, one I hope to capture in a painting sometime. Most of my paintings have some kind of story behind them, and I'll start adding little snippets to my website soon so you can find out more about my work.
For now though, you can see some of my other Iceland inspired paintings at Bau-Xi Gallery in Vancouver. It's an exciting show for me as I explored some new materials and techniques. If you live in Vancouver or nearby, check it out if you can. Last day of the show is this Saturday, May 20th.
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