"A man is a very small thing, and the night is very large and full of wonders." -Lord Dunzany

Long Exposure

Very Early Morning Light

The Midnight Sun is just around the corner. I shot this photo at 3:37 am (+1 DST) last night. The sun briefly dips below the horizon now – before it rises again. Soon it will be shining through the living room windows at midnight.

The Midnight Sun is not far away now

The Midnight Sun is not far away now


Sleepless in Narvik

I suffer from insomnia due to chronic pain. That is most times a disadvantage – but not always. Walking around at night trying to concentrate the pain away mentally sometimes make me grab my camera to find a moment of Photo Zen… A couple of nights ago I captured this photo of Narvik and the newly installed light-show on the new hotel downtown. I posted it in the local Facebook-group Narvik før og nå (Narvik in the past and now, loosely translated). It gained a quite surprising and enormous popularity, so I thought that would be a good cherry picked candidate for my blog. Here it is! Enjoy!

Sleepless in Narvik - The newly installed light show on the new hotel downtown reflects in the harbor basin.

Sleepless in Narvik – The newly installed light show on the new hotel downtown reflects in the harbor basin.


13,000 visitors by the start of 2013!

I rounded 13,000 visitors to this blog – and I celebrate by sharing another photo from New Years Eve. Enjoy!

Very early January 1. 2013

Very early January 1. 2013


Happy New Year!

Well over an hour into the new year 2013, I wish everybody a very prosperous and

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from Narvik!

Happy New Year from Narvik!


Light – but no sun

This is a photo of the darkest day of the year in The Polar Night in Narvik. All though the sun is far from showing itself, we have a few hours in the middle of the day when the light is just Magical. The umber reflections of the sun below the horizon emanates the landscape and creates a special, dreamy warm light despite the cold up here.

All though we have no sun here in The Polar Night - the light is Magical!

All though we have no sun here in The Polar Night – the light is Magical! Narvik on the Winter solstice 2012


One from the archives

I really enjoy looking through older photos, and thought this would actually deserve a posting. It’s taken one the magic night 23. January 1216 pm. The northern light was absolutely stunning that evening…

Northern Lights January 23. 2012 with the Fagernes mt. and parts of the city Narvik in the foreground.

Northern Lights January 23. 2012 with the Fagernes mt. and parts of the city Narvik in the foreground.


Ofoten Fjord lit up by Northern Lights

This old and slow computer really needs changing now. Moore’s Law is very much in effect here. But I enjoy very much sharing my photos with you – and by the looks of it – you enjoy it to! Lesley Carter is one of my most avid readers. Her blog Bucket List Publication – lesleycarter.com is really nice – especially if you’re a viking roaming the seven seas (and the lands in between). So please check it out! And she is – according to her profile page – pregnant as well: so congrats and best wishes all around, Lesley!

This photo was taken from Ankens with view of the Ofoten Fjord and the mountain range Veggen (loosly translates to “The Wall”) in the background on October the 12. Enjoy!

Northern Lights lighting up The Ofoten Fjord with the mountain range Veggen in the background. October 12. 2012

Northern Lights lighting up The Ofoten Fjord with the mountain range Veggen in the background. October 12. 2012


“The Light Machine”

"The Light Machine" - Lighthouse on Ankenes and Northern Lights behind fast moving clouds up above.

The lighthouse on Ankenes and Northern Lights up above behind some fast moving clouds. Taken on October the 13.

"The Light Machine" - Lighthouse on Ankenes and Northern Lights behind fast moving clouds up above.

“The Light Machine” – Lighthouse on Ankenes and Northern Lights behind some fast-moving clouds up above.


And one more

Northern Lights - Ankenes - seen from the breakwater towards the south

This is taken the same evening (October 14. 2012) as the previous photo. Here the Northern Light is somewhat stronger. This view is towards the South and the previous photo is taken towards the North.

Northern Lights - Ankenes - seen from the breakwater towards the south

Northern Lights – Ankenes – seen from the breakwater towards the south


A few picker uppers – Northern Lights shows

Quiet – but it’s there

It’s been very, very quiet on the Northern Lights front. The particle flow is very good. Now, I am not a physicist – but I have a fair share of knowledge in the field, having studied it and been a happy member of the Physics Club at The University of Tromsø (The Northern Lights Capital of Norway – a really fun city with lots of things to explore – I highly recommend it). In my humble opinion when the Solar Wind is at low speeds (right now ~500 km/s) – as it is right now, and the Geomagnetic Field component is neutral and the Dynamic pressure is low – even with a quite strong stream of charged particles from the Sun – all we get here is a “vail” of Northern Lights, but things changes fast. Sudden Solar Prominences can quickly change the conditions for Northern Lights.

2013 – A peak year

The solar activity in terms of Solar Prominences (also known as protuberanses) varies. These are known as Solar Cycles (or Magnetic Activity Cycles). They peak about every 11. year. 2013 is an estimated new peak. In correlations with this heightened activity, solar observatories register a rise in Sun Spots.

The photo below is taken in Ankenes the 15. – which was a pretty good day for shooting, but this faint “vail” captivated me enough to develop.

Faint Vail at 01:55 am above the Fagernes Mt.

Faint Vail at 01:55 am above the Fagernes Mt.


The Flash Bang!

One of the two biggest flashes last night.

To round of a quiet night with practically no northern lights and some editing work on the aging computer – here is one of the big flashes from last night! Glad Wenche came out in time to see this! Better than fireworks – isn’t it!

One of the two biggest flashes last night.

One of the two biggest flashes last night.


Lighthouse – Light from the North and Friends

In relation to the previous two posts…

Lighthouse and friends

Lighthouse and friends


The Quick and The Slow – cranking out Northern Lights

I have a sensational old and slow computer. So cranking out Northern Lights photos is a slow and tedious process in sharp contrast to my camera, which is fast as lightning in comparison when it comes to process photos…

This is one more from yesterday in relation to my last post – see the Home-page.

Another one from the Ofoten Fjord last night.

Another one from the Ofoten Fjord last night.


The Thereminist and The Northern Light

On the third night in a row I went out scouting for the Northern Lights yesterday. I had good company in Danielle and Kent Robin. Liv-Bente had prepared the grounds (if you’d like me to, I’ll explain this in a later post). Just in time for the show, Wenche came along with an exchange student, Ayan from Thailand and an old friend – Rune – and a friend of his – Cathrine – from Narvik Fotoklubb – The local photo club came to scout the skies as well. There were quite a few tripods and camera at one point, but it is always nice to trade tips and tricks in the very skilled and difficult art of taking good northern lights shots.

So what about the title on this post? – you might ask… Well, when there is nobody else out there chatting along, I can actually hear music when I see the northern lights flickering and meandering across the night sky. My good friend – the brilliant singer and thereminist – Amethyste plays along with the light in my mind. She has an angelical voice. I suppose it is simply and purely a question of associations between beautiful things in my life.

Northern Lights flickering above Narvik and Ankenes last night while Améthyste held a concert for my inner ear.

Northern Lights flickering above Narvik and Ankenes last night while Améthyste held a concert for my inner ear.


And one more Northern Lights shot!

I am crancking out Northern Lights Photos as fast as I can manage with this old computer. Here’s another one from last night

Beautiful Northern Lights above the Ofoten Fjord

Beautiful Northern Lights above the Ofoten Fjord


Report from last night – Tonight G1..!

I am crazy busy today – but I just popped by my blog to show my readers an example of last night activity. The Kp-index was steadily around five, which at these latitudes is high (northern lights activity normally starts at Kp 2/3. Tonight there is a geomagnetic storm coming with an estimated strength of G1 (the scale goes from G0 – no activity to G5 where all hell breaks loose and satellites gets their curcuitboards fried and powergrids here on Earth fails).

Unfortunately there were strong winds and quite a bit of rain and partly cloudy yesterday. But still the build up to the storm was quite obvious in between the clouds!

Strong Auroral Activity is seen in between the Clouds last night.

Strong Auroral Activity is seen in between the Clouds last night.


And another one from yesterday!

Aurora borealis above the Ofoten Fjord with the mountain Veggen in the background as seen from Ankenes yesterday.

Aurora borealis above the Ofoten Fjord with the mountain Veggen in the background as seen from Ankenes yesterday.


Fantastic aurora!

Standing there in the darkness – jumping up and down like a little kid at Christmas – and shouting -Yes! and Aaaah!, I probably look quite silly for a grown man, but every occasion like yesterday is exactly like Christmas to me! The Aurora borealis – Northern Light is so awe-inspiring that I wish all the japanese, Korean and Chinese tourist here in Norway could see it! They really are memories for a lifetime. Last night Kp-index was 3 (2 and above means chances to see northern lights at these latitudes). Today the Kp is even higher, at 5 – so I am soooo hoping for equally crisp, clear skies and even bigger lights!

I managed to get great many shots yesterday. And I had company. Danielle came down to the water with her boyfriend and I helped her getting into the fine techniques of shooting Northern Lights photographs.

And another bonus last night was the swarms of beautiful meteorites. I belive it must have been the orionides that should be passing just these days. Although my camera was pointed in the wrong directions, when I got home, I found that actually three of my photos had captured these beautiful sights. My head was obviously pointing in the wrong direction at these points, as I didn’t see them until I started flipping through the shots.

Well, here is a tiny fraction of last night’s phenomenal photo shoot. Enjoy!

Northern Lights stretching all the way form to the North of Narvik and all the way to the South-West above Vestfjorden. To the left Ankenes, and to the right Veggen and Forratangen. In the center Kjeldebotn.

Strong meteor (shooting star) between the lighthouse in Ankenes and aurora.

Strong meteor (shooting star) between the lighthouse in Ankenes and aurora.

Northern Lights above the Narvik peninsula last night

Danielle catching the last of the show

Northern Lights photographer Danielle catching the last of the show


Tonight, tonight, maybe tonight…

The conditions are good! Clear skies and moderate particle stream from the sun, so my camera is set, my wool clothes are all ready. Tripod? Check! Extra battery? Check! Flash light? Check! All systems nominal. Go, no-go for northern lights! WE HAVE A GO FOR AURORA BOREALIS!

In the news today we saw that 45. million readers have seen the Facebook page for Visit Northern Norway – and yet again my friend Øystein Lunde Ingvaldsen lundeimages. com made the frontpage with one of his stunning photos, the very photo I got his permission to show here to the right! It is an absolute beauty of a northern lights shot! The photo is taken in Bø in Vesterålen (Boe in Vesteraalen) – the beautiful group of islands between Lofoten and the main land.

Visit Northern Norway Facebook page – click here

45 million visits to Visit Northern Norway (Norwegian)

Northern lights? -straight up, please!

Northern lights? -straight up, please!


Partly cloudy – but still a few nice in “the bag”

I was hoping for clear, crisp weather and maybe a combined northern lights shots and a meteor from the Draconids – wich is the hot topic in tonight’s sky. I saw three really nice shooting stars, but ales, didn’t capture them. I would probably have caught some more, if it wasn’t for the clouds. I caught a few nice though! It was really the AHHHH!-moment of my Northern Lights watching career – but it was nice anyway.

At one point I managed to do a long exposure of Widerøe’s Flight WF855 (Dash 8-100) from Narvik taking off from Narvik Airport at 1010 pm (GMT+1). Funny how the landing lights and strobes made a nice pattern across the beautiful moonlit scene.

Widerøe's (Wideroe) flight WF855 taking off from Narvik Lufthavn 22:10 local time. Ankenes Lighthouse in the foreground. Narvik City in the background.

Widerøe’s (Wideroe) flight WF855 taking off from Narvik Lufthavn/Airport at 22:10 local time. Ankenes Lighthouse in the foreground. Narvik City in the background.

Tonights Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) reflected in the Ofoten Fjord with a couple of iron ore bulk carriers at anchor waiting for service.

Tonights Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) reflected in the Ofoten Fjord with a couple of iron ore bulk carriers at anchor waiting for service.


Hoping for that spectacular night

One of the great joys of photography, is to flip through old shots and rediscovering details you didn’t see the first time. This shot was taken on the January 23. 2012. Tonight there is a clear and rather crisp sky (although I had been hoping for a little less humidity in the atmosphere) – so – who knows – maybe it is going to be one of those spectacular nights again..?

Northern Lights above Ankenes January 23. 2012

Northern Lights above Ankenes January 23. 2012


Aurora Borealis again – excactly 1 year after

Incidentally exactly one year ago I was also shooting Aurora Borealis – Northern Lights photos. I recall the conditions were somewhat better than today, but still, I am not complaining. I shot a few, but this was – if not the best – the most interesting because of the perspective. The aurora is partly obscured by a cloud.

Aurora borealis is formed some 80 – 3-400 km above Earth Surface by charged particles from the sun that excites atoms in the ionosphere. When the electrons in the excited atoms falls back again to lower states of energy, they release the energy, from the collision with the particle from the sun, in the form of a photon which is the light waves/particles that we observe as light on our retina.

Northern Lights - Aurora Borealis

Northern Lights – Aurora Borealis tonight above Ankenes


Et Voila!

I reported on clear skies and a hope for northern light yesterday. And my dreams came through! Here is the first of the photos. It was a “flash” at the beginning of the show, and the reason why I picked this, is simply because of the really cool reflections in the fjord. This was taken at 20 seconds exposure, which makes it kind of blurry, but still it came out nice with a little adjustments for white balance.

Northern Lights behind clouds reflecting into the Ofoten Fjord. Narvik peninsula to the right.

Northern Lights behind clouds reflecting into the Ofoten Fjord. Narvik peninsula to the right.


Northern Lights Alert

…well it isn’t – Northern Lights Alert, that is.. But as you can see from this image shot and hour ago, the conditions are clear, and even though the statistics for aurora tonight (se graphic to the right) isn’t way up in the red end of the scale – I’m hoping to see and maybe shoot a photo of the first aurora this fall.

Clear skies tonight - hoping for aurora

Clear skies tonight – hoping for aurora