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UPDATE (07/02/2023): Want to learn more about the story behind these photographs? Check out my ‘Behind the Shot’ blog about these beautiful clouds.

A few days ago, we got treated to something very special by the weather gods. Above Reykjavík, the most colourful of clouds appeared: polar stratospheric clouds (nacreous clouds) or glitský as it’s called in Icelandic.

These iridescent clouds are very rarely seen and only appear under very specific circumstances. They are hanging in the stratosphere, between 15 and 25 kilometres above the Earth’s surface, where clouds are rarely formed. The colours are created by the rising sun’s light diffracting in ice crystals within these clouds. Because of their height, the sunlight that illuminates them is coming from below the horizon.

This article was also posted on my Behance profile.

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Jeroen Van Nieuwenhove

Jeroen is an award-winning Belgian photographer based in Iceland. The past years, he dedicated his photography to the Central Highlands & volcanic eruptions. Most recently, he received international attention for his work at the Fagradalsfjall volcano.


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