Just to get your mind off the bugs for a bit… 😉
It was one of those evenings again…
I just can’t seem to escape them here… 😉
… of the adventure.
Day one was mostly spent sleeping and recovering from the 30+-hour traveling.
Day two was also still that. I was surprisingly tired. I don’t usually take naps during the day, but I simply had to. Lot of impressions, lots to read, lot of information t process and then two dives.
Two dives, which went totally fine, but -of course- filled with excersize and no camera. Gritting teeth… Several times…
But I will get my pictures!
For now you’ll just have to do with the last remainder of the sunset. I missed it, because I was out cold for two hours.
It’s still pretty, I think. Last night I watched it completely, and it was stunning, but I was too tired to pull out the camera and the tripod. But I’ll be here for about 4 weeks, so I’m sure you’ll see a few sunsets (and/or sunrises) come by.
I can write loooong pieces of text about the landscapes.
They’re gorgeous. And they’re many. And they look different every day, especially when you have a sunny day one day and snow the next, and sun again the day after that.
Have a look:
Our trip to Norway to shoot the Northern Lights was quickly on its way to turn into a big, expensive disaster. We had one more chance, one more night.
And it was a clear night. A beautiful night. A cold night. So nothing could go wrong, right?
Or so we thought…
We arrived at our destination, Ersfjordbotn, well in time. Just before sunset. We set up, and I shot some pictures of the setting sun.
And then the waiting started… In the end you of course never know. 80% is a good chance, but there’s still 20% chance to nothing. Slowly, with frustration, cold and a tickling bladder (not yet tRickling) creeping up on us it looked like we hit the jackpot with 20% of zilch. The arm and leg we paid for the trip to this country where everything seems to costs nothing short of fluid gold, was going to fly by with nothing to show for. At least not that what we set out for…
We shot a few pictures in the hours that passed (and hours they were, and stubborn WE were).
We got company from a few other photographers and it didn’t help our mood when one of them told us that the previous night had been spectacular over Tromsø. We had been sitting out in the cold for about seven hours waiting for the Lights to come, because it was supposed to have been overcast over Tromsø and clear where we are, and we went home empty-handed only to find out that we should’ve best stayed in Tromsø and we would’ve had a great show. But no…
In the end it doesn’t matter how stubborn you are, how eager you are, how patient you are… After sitting in the cold for another six or so hours we accepted our losses and packed up our gear and headed back home. Our newly acquired photographer-friend hitched a ride with us back towards town. And I’ll be damned… we were just over the hills when he shouts “Look there! It’s starting! Pull over!”
Sure as I’m sitting here writing this… the sky turned all green on us and it was dancing like there was no tomorrow.
Sure, you see it on pictures. And it’s beautiful on pictures. But when you see it for real, when you see it with your own eyes… It’s nothing short of breath-taking. Here’s a piece of nature phenomena which struck me silent on the spot. The first five-ten minutes we just stood there gaping at with mouths open. If it would’ve lasted for only that time, we still wouldn’t have had any pictures of it. But we at least saw it in its full beauty. I’m sure you’ve seen pictures. And I have pictures coming up. But I couldn’t possibly explain how it is to look at this in real life.
The only thing… Pictures are brighter. It doesn’t happen often that the pictures are more beautiful in terms of color, saturation and vibrance (unless of course you bump the sliders in post-processing), but the actual Northern Lights aren’t all that bright. They are very clear, and very visible, that’s not it, but the colors in the pictures, even in the unedited raw files, are so much deeper and saturated than what I saw with my own eyes…
Not that it takes away any of the awe that it gave me…
I’m planning another trip. I realize we pushed it in terms of time left before the climate changed too much for the chances to see the Northern Lights. Next year it’ll be early/mid February instead of end March.
(So yeah, the last one’s photoshopped, but that was because I was so frustrated and I so badly wanted to have a picture with the Northern Lights coming into that point where the mountains meet… I’ll get a real one of those next year 😉 )
… then you just wait until the ball’s gone and all that’s left is the smoldering sky…
Or then… If you don’t want to do anything from a different angle and you’re just looking for a plain sunset, you wait for awhile still until the fire’s spread from the ball to the rest of the sky.
The way you usually want to see it, but not always (or always not) when you’re a photographer, unless you have something from a different angle in mind. Big bright ball of fire up in the sky, screwing up your exposures and your contrast.
There are going pictures around on the net all the time where photographers are creative with what nature offers them. I found my own little thing the other day when I was out and about with the camera at hand.
Since here in Finland things don’t really get dark anymore around this time, at least not during the times that one is supposed to consciously live it, the street lights don’t go on anymore.
But with a little bit of help from that big ball up in the sky you can make any light switch on 🙂
Quickly in between…
So… As you’ve all noticed it’s winter here. I don’t mind so much, it’s actually a perfect opportunity to shoot some pictures. For (or against) the cold you can dress. The only thing it’s not so good for is cars and batteries. So guess what. Early shift this morning, meaning I had to be at work at 6am. Starting to drive at 5.40am the latest. Temperature outside is -29 degrees Celcius. And the car won’t start. Not a cough. Battery totally dead. It appeared that the electricity pole in which I plug in my engine heater is broken, so the past couple of days that I haven’t used the car it’s been just freezing to death, literally.
So everything happens for a reason, right? I took a cab to work, got a ride home from a colleague who drove me along a few stores where eventually I found a new battery (for a FRIGGIN 117€!! ARGH!!). Installed the thing, and brooom! 🙂
But I had to drive around a bit for the battery to warm up and charge fully. Threw in the camera bag for good measure, and rode off into the Sininen Hetki, the Civil Twilight.
Actually the Finnish “Sininen Hetki”, translated “The Blue Moment”, is a lot more descriptive than Civil Twilight. And well… Need I show why?
Only in winter, on the clearest, coldest of days, do you get to witness this kind of beauty 🙂
It’s been a funny winter. Mostly gray days and overcast evenings and nights. But every now and then a clear day slips through.
I don’t mind winter, but it’s nice to have a few of these days every now and then.
No color editing in this picture, just lightened up the lower part with the street. So it was really this red and blue.