The season to see the selfish lady is coming to an end in Tromsø: in two weeks, nights will become too bright and we will have to wait until late August before we can see her again. As always, when we see that the season is almost finished, we start thinking of all the photos we wanted to take, all the places we wanted to explore, and all the people we would have liked to have on board during our chases.

This is one of those photos I have always thought would be nice: a close-up of the boat, with the northern light emerging from the cabin. BUT... how to balance the elements? How to illuminate the boat? Will the light appear in the right angle? 

This is when we all need to have friends onboard: someone that is willing to be with you while you try to get that photo you are looking for (maybe they are too!). 

For this photo, I wanted to have a full moon illuminating the boat, so the lighting would be constant. I could have given light with a headlamp, or add some flashes here and there, but the light is never as even as the beautiful moonlight. So, instead of about 6 months of darkness for this photo, I only had about 6 weeks (the previous and posterior days to the full moon). In addition, this boat is easily accessible only when the tide is low: high tide makes it very difficult to get as close as I wanted to be: this left me with about 3 weeks of time. Finally, we always need to have clear skies, or we will not be able to see the northern light: one week was cloudy, so I only had about two weeks left from the whole season.

In addition, you need to be in the right place, at the right time. I was lucky this time, and all the elements came in together. However, when we look at a beautiful photo on the net, we tend to forget how much planning is involved, and how may failures are needed for a success. 

If you are starting in photography, remember that your best photo is yet to be taken! And also, that patience always pays off.

Do you have doubts? Drop me a line on my e-mail or on my facebook page!

ISO 500, f=3.2, 5 seconds exposure


Over the hills

run to the hills, says the famous Iron Maiden song. Indeed, when Lady Aurora goes out dancing, we run to the hills, find a vantage point and shoot! 

This photo was taken in a small frozen valley in the Varanger peninsula, northern Norway. I spend most of my summers in that region, with an amazing landscape and brilliant nature: but I was lucky enough to go up there this year, riding a snowscooter (how cool!) and with great company.

During our stay in a tiny cabin, we enjoyed all sorts of weather: first, just cold; one day later, full arctic blizzard; and finally, beautiful clear skies, and fantastic darkness without light pollution. 

Despite the cold and the wind, being out there and seeing her dance is always rewarding. 

Have you had such experiences? Have you felt cold (or warm), tired, but yet fantastic for having done something? Let me know!

ISO 1000, f=2.5, 8 second exposure time


"My World"

The last weeks have been full of weather changes, lots of snow, and days that are become gradually longer. Did you know that days get 10 minutes longer every day in Tromsø during spring? That is a big difference!

In between these difficult days, I managed to get some nice time with friends and northern lights.
So yes, this is my world: snow, darkness, and the selfish lady. A good thermos full of coffee, and life is good!
Panorama composed of 28 photos, processed in Lightroom and merged to a panorama in Photoshop


Cartoon green

This is a frame from my upcoming video, which I hope to have up on the net very soon... Are you excited? What do you want to see? Drop me a line, share this with your friends!
Do you like the cartoon effect?


The land of the northern lights

Norway, the land of the northern lights, where all the magic happens! Yes, yes, it also happens all over the polar arctic circle, but a bit of pride on the land I live in does not harm!

This photo is from almost a month ago, at the finnish border. That was my last night I hunted for northern lights: weather has been quite tricky, and the few nights that have been good enough, my day job has kept me away from spending the night outside... I am hoping to get more opportunities next week! I have kept the photo in a dark setting, since that night the sky was pitch black, sucking away the light from us... until SHE came to us!

I want to ask you something: do you want to know something about the magic of the northern lights? Or about photographing them? Drop me a line and let me know!

ISO 3200, f=3.2, 5 seconds exposure time


The cairn

After a long time under bad weather conditions, and short periods of clear skies, it seems like now we will start having some nice weather to come out and see the selfish lady.
This photo was taken last week close to the Finnish border (in Kilpisjärvi, for the curious ones!).

Right before crossing the border you can find this small stone cairn, on the side of the road: a popular place to stop when you are a tourist, since you can take a photo of yourself with the landmarks of Finland and Norway, one to each side of the parking spot.

This location fulfills several requirements we may have when hunting for the selfish lady: first, there is no light pollution at all, so clouds are white (and not orange!), darkness during new moon is total, and the surroundings offer several photography options. There is only one caveat to this location: the road is very close to the landmarks, and that poses a high risk both to you, and to anyone around you.

We always think that this is obvious (roads are dangerous, who does not know that?), but when we are in awe, looking up into the sky, we tend to forget where are we and what should we do to keep ourselves safe. What can we do to be safer out in the dark?

First, bring a reflective vest! That will make you visible from a long distance, and any car approaching you will quickly realize that there is a person there

Second, avoid being in the middle of the road: photos of endless roads (specially when they are iced) are fantastic, but have to be done in a safe way: control your surroundings, and always be on the lookout for cars and trucks that can (and almost sure, will) come at some point

And third, bring someone with you. Accidents happen, you may encounter a reindeer, a moose, a hare... the arctic is full of wildlife! And you can be lucky to see a shy fox on the side of the road, or nearly under your car. In any case, if something happens, it is better to have someone with you who can help in any circumstance.

Have you had any dangerous situation you want to share? Write a comment and help everyone be safer while hunting the lights!

ISO 3200, f2.8, 6 seconds exposure time


Fighting with the moon... and dawn

Here our lady of dawn is actually fighting with the rising moon, which is fighting with the dawn. This is the struggle we always get when we go out to see the selfish lady: we have to find clear skies, darkness, a foreground… and then just a cup of coffee and wait. If you wait long enough,  she comes to you and dances.
This is not the greenest northern light, nor the strongest. But there is something we have to remember: the selfish lady does not always come and dance with her best dress, she can be tired sometimes and just come to say a shy ”hello” before going back to bed...

If you are patient enough, you can see her. Seeing the northern lights is not for the light-hearted! Be ready, and be waiting!

Do you have more questions? Drop me a line on northernlightchannel@gmail.com or on my facebook page!
ISO 160, f=1.4, 2 seconds exposure time. Panorama merged from 5 vertical photos