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



Evensong for the Fjord

I am crazy busy!

Therefore I have a question for your readers: Would you rather have me post photos without all the texts and explanations (which takes a lot of time to write), rather than no photo at all?

Here is one from yesterday! Please enjoy! And you make med extremely happy every time you hit the Like-button!

Evensong for The Fjord

Evensong for The Fjord – this is how dark it gets here in the Arctic Region of Narvik right now. Photo taken on May 19. 2013 at 11:34 pm

17 of May – Norwegian Constitution Day

Flag of Norway IMG_3802

The Norwegian Flag is seen everywhere in Norway and even Norwegians abroad wave the flag on the 17 of May

Norwegian Constitution Day is the National Day of Norway and is an official national holiday observed on May 17 each year. Among Norwegians, the day is referred to simply as syttende mai (meaning May Seventeenth), Nasjonaldagen (The National Day) or Grunnlovsdagen (The Constitution Day), although the latter is less frequent.

Historical background

17th of May 1893 by Norwegian painter Christian Krohg

17th of May 1893 by Norwegian painter Christian Krohg (1852–1925). Note that the flag does not have the Union badge of Norway and Sweden, the so-called sildesalaten (Herring salad).

The Constitution of Norway was signed at Eidsvoll on May 17 in the year 1814. The constitution declared Norway to be an independent nation.

The celebration of this day began spontaneously among students and others from early on. However, Norway was at that time under Swedish rule (following the Convention of Moss in August 1814) and for some years the King of Sweden and Norway was reluctant to allow the celebrations. For a couple of years in the 1820s, King Karl Johan actually forbade it, as he thought the celebrations a kind of protest and disregard—even revolt—against Swedish sovereignty. The king’s attitude changed slightly after the Battle of the Square in 1829, an incident which resulted in such a commotion that the king had to allow it. It was, however, not until 1833, that anyone ventured to hold a public address on behalf of the day. That year, official celebration was initiated by the monument of the late politician Christian Krohg, known to have stopped the king from gaining too much personal power. The address was held by Henrik Wergeland, thoroughly witnessed and accounted for by a Swedish spy, sent by the king himself.

After 1864 the day became more established when the first children’s parade was launched in Christiania, at first consisting only of boys. This initiative was taken by Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson, although Wergeland made the first known children’s parade at Eidsvoll around 1820. It was only in 1899 that girls were allowed to join in the parade for the first time.

By historical coincidence, the Second World War ended in Norway nine days before that year’s Constitution Day, on May 8, 1945, when the occupying German forces surrendered. Even if The Liberation Day is an official flag day in Norway, the day is not an official holiday and is not broadly celebrated. Instead a new and broader meaning has been added to the celebration of Norwegian Constitution Day on May 17.

The day focused originally on the Norwegian constitution, but after 1905, the focus has been directed also towards the royal family.

Read more about the 17 of May here: Wikipedia

Preparing for the 17th of May

I’ve met some nice people today. Especially Senior Advisor at Apple in Ireland Samantha and Netflix-supporter Audrey from Denver, Colorado, USA. Such nice people to speak/chat with. They make you feel right at home. Service minded and professionals and really astute at their field of work. It makes me no less than happy to meet people like that, so hello to Samantha and Audrey and a big thank you for all your kind help and great service!

The day today has otherwise stressing. It is the day before our constitution day – May 17. – so, along with a long list with pressing tasks on my to-do-list, we’ve shopped for tomorrow in the absolute frenzy today.

Just popped out to draw some fresh air and shoot a quick shot of the current weather today, but back to the last piece of work that needs wrapping up!


Night-time Sun Rise

The Midnight Sun is almost here in Narvik – a arctic city well above The Arctic Circle. Now the sun barely dips below the horizon now. I shot this photo after a hard night working on the Århus Kræmmermarked® homepage way south, in Denmark, actually. I have to constantly update this page these days, since we are in the middle of the four days of market, working for free and earning a lot of money for our Lions Clubs aid projects. Anyway, time to get to bed. Just wanted to share this photo with you!


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.

Sun Day (official)

Today – February 7. – is the official Sun Day in Narvik. That is the day, the sun is no longer obscured by the mountains and it shines down on the town square. The dark season of 2013 is over officially, although a lot of valleys and villages in the municipality has to wait for days, even weeks for the sun to get high enough in the sky to shine down on them. Time flies – and soon the midnight sun will shine in through windows from the oposite side of the Ofoten Fjord.

The official sun day is celebrated with taking half the day off and of course eating sun buns.

Official Sun Day

The sun is shining downtown today. To the left is the town hall (square building) and the newly built Rica Hotell. Further up the mountain slope Narvik University College is partly lit by the sun beaming down the mountain side.

A Miracle! — Celebrating 31,000 + visitors with Stetind

Stetind - National Mountain of Norway. I share this symbolically with you to celebrate this new record in visitors to my blog.

Stetind – National Mountain of Norway. I share this symbolically with you to celebrate this new record in visitors to my blog.

January 6. there had been more than 13,000 visitors to my blog since September 30. 2010.

In just three weeks the number has expanded two and a half times –  to 31,648 visits as I write this..! Amazing! In just three weeks. I can hardly believe it. Talking about peak in the statistics!

So – symbolically – I decided to share with you a photo I took this summer of The National Mountain of Norway – Stetind (1,392 meters above sea level). This mountain has fascinated Norwegian and foreigners alike for centuries. And it is hard to climb. It was not until July 30. 1910 that Ferdinand Schjelderup, Carl Wilhelm Rubenson, and Alf Bonnevie Bryn finally summit Stetind (for more information, please read this fine Wikipedia article about the mountain).

So, with this photo taken July 30. 2012 I thank all my avid readers and please share this blog with your friends, if you enjoy it!

PS: almost at the bottom of the blog, there is a link called << Older Entries. I recommend you to flick back through the pages. There are lots more photos than what is presented on the first page. My favorite photo subject is Northern Lights and you’ll find several photos of this fantastic phenomenon there, and you can even follow how I progress in mastering this difficult discipline of photography. I hope you will enjoy these many stories back to September 30. 2010.

The waneing sun

The days are rapidly getting shorter. Geographically the sun should disappear on November 22. But because of the mountains, the sun disappears a few days earlier. Geographically the sun reappears the February 6., but again because of the mountains the actual observation of the sun is a few days later.

In between these dates it is dark here. Around Christmas it is just a faint dusky light around noon, the rest of the 22 hours of the day it is dark. Pitch dark – as in the middle of the night. It is the dark season. But this time of year makes it even more cozy with lights, especially candle lights. AND it is the season of Northern Lights! During summer, the midnight sun lights up the sky day and night, thus drowning the faint light from the Northern Light. In the winter-time it is the other way around!

Even now the sun is setting early. This photo of reflections in the snow-covered mountains from sunset was taken 15:58 today.

Reflections from the sunset on snow covered mountains today

Reflections from the sunset on snow-covered mountains today

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 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!

All that is forbidden

Well, in this day and age where being insulted is a popular passtime and freedom of speech is under an equal duress as under Hitler’s Germany – wonder how long this shop – which forms the very entrance to the international area at Oslo Airport, Gardermoen – is allowed to sell alcohol before it is declared and insult to the new master race – or should I say master ideology..?

I observed the gardeners as they planted these beautiful “hanging gardens” with the most amazing plants and flowers earlier this summer. At a later visit I took the opportunity to take a few shots (with my camera, not from the contents of the shelves) of this architectural Pièce de résistance. And all the shelfs are actually made out of solid wood. A rarity in this politically correct IKEA-age. The ceiling of elegant lamps form waves of light resembling northern light, and the shapes of the shelf-modules draws your attention to the steep mountains in Norway.

This is really a masterpiece, and as you venture in through the shop, a small carving into the wood makes you go: -Ahh, but of course – Snøhetta – and their brilliant architects designed this sinful landscape in all it’s glory – and did an absolute excellent job at it! I would say traveling abroad from Norway via Gardermoen, will give you an excellent opportunity to study these lush gardens and ravishingly beautiful designs. In the mean time, feel free to enjoy my photos – and those of you who are insulted by this – go do something useful, like dig a hole in the sand.