Iceland Mag

13 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag


One sunset at Jökulsárlón beach is a sight that should not be missed for anything in this world

By Jón Kaldal

  • From Vík í Mýrdal village The small church is located on the outskirts of the southeast coastal village. Photo/Carlos Resende

Carlos Resende is a passionate Portuguese amateur photographer who visited Iceland in the autumn of 2013. He captured one of the most beautiful photos of the northern lights we have ever seen. We spotted his photo on the fantastic photography website and tracked him down for a short Q&A.


IM: First a little background. How long have you been taking photos, and what is your day job? Hard to believe that photography is not your profession.
CR: But you should, because photography just came into my life a few years ago to replace another passion that was archery. Professionally, I work in the IT area of an insurance company.

IM: Where do you live?
CR: I live in Lisbon, Portugal. The land of sunshine and warm beaches.

IM: What kind of equipment do you use?
CR: Currently I’m using a Nikon D800, various lenses of the same brand, and plenty of neutral density filters from Lee and/or Formatt/Hitech.

IM: Have you traveled the world to take pictures?
CR: With purely photographic purposes, Iceland was my first trip. With my family or work-related, I have visited other European and African countries, but photography was always conditioned and sacrificed for the sake of the primary objective of the trip.

IM: What's your favorite subject?
CR: Natural and humanized landscapes/seascapes.

IM: Was this your first trip to Iceland?
CR: Yes, it was my first visit but I hope to repeat it very soon.

IM: What brought you here?
CR: The beauty, the tranquility and mysticism of your landscape and country.

IM: Have you shot the northern lights before?
CR: No, it was my baptism.

IM: How did you feel when you captured this fantastic picture of the lights, the mountains, and the small white country church?
CR: Truly blessed! It was my first night under open sky in Iceland and to witness a show of light and color of this size, I can only say that I was a lucky guy.

IM: How long was the exposure?
CR: The photograph is a blend of two exposures. The Aurora was captured with f 2.8, ISO 6400, at 2.5 seconds of exposure. For the background, I reduced the ISO to 1600 and increased the exposure time to 90 seconds.

IM: Where did you go while on the island?
CR: The number of days of the visit was short so the option was the Southwest/Golden Circle.

IM: Any favorite part of the country?
CR: I’m a bit limited to choose a favorite part because I could only visit the South region and Iceland is full of natural beauty. But, I would say that one rainbow over Skógafoss waterfall or one sunset in Jökulsárlón beach are shows that should not be missed for anything in this world.

IM: Will you return?
CR: YES, YES, YES!!!!!!

IM: Where to next?
CR: Explore Reykjavík , the North and the East.

You can see more of Carlos’ work at





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