Odyssey: A Midnight Sun Timelapse of Iceland

Iceland is one of the most mystical places for landscape photography, full of cascading waterfalls, stunning fjords, and floating icebergs. It just also happens to be one of the few places on earth where you can photograph in the light of the midnight sun, a truly unforgettable experience. But if you weren’t one of the lucky ones to make it to Iceland this summer, this stunning timelapse filmed by Henry Jun Wah Lee will give you a taste of what you’re missing:

Henry Jun Wah Lee is a Los Angeles-based physician of Chinese Medicine who just happens to be an award-winning photographer, as well. His love of photography has taken him all over the world, with his most recent destination being Iceland this last summer. To film this timelapse, he first had to become intimate with all of Iceland’s scenic locations and micro-climates, as the weather is quite fickle; the weather can change on the turn of a dime and he and his crew had to be ready to move just as quickly.

Timelapse of Iceland

The trip itself covered all of Iceland’s varied landscapes, from the Snaefellsnes Peninsula in the west through the mountains and coastal areas and to the Vatnajökull glacier in the south. The trick to getting a successful timelapse when half of the island is storming and the weather is volatile? A true knowledge of the landscape and in Lee’s own words, “staying mobile and keeping all options open.”

still shot of iceland midnight sun

For Lee, the best thing about timelapse photography is that it allows us “to perceive changes and movements in nature that we normally cannot see…to see patterns and transformations the human eye normally cannot detect.”

But for those of us who didn’t make it to Iceland this year, Lee’s work gives us more than an over-arching view of the patterns of nature; it reveals to us the incredible and surreal beauty of a landscape many of us only dream of seeing (and photographing) ourselves someday.

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