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Photographing the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) has been one of the most challenging, yet rewarding, experiences for us.
In February 2013, we spent 3 days in the Finnish part of Lapland chasing the Aurora Borealis. It was our second journey into Scandinavia to attempt capturing this phenomenal natural light display (our first trip to the northernmost part of Norway in 2011 was a near failure, due in most part to cloudy skies and only provided us with a fleeting glimpse of the lights.)
The Aurora is often referred to as the “Tricky Lady” for good reason. It is a true test of patience, will power, endurance and ability to remain calm and problem solve when things go horribly wrong! The winter months in the arctic can be harsh with temperatures as low as -35° Celsius with wind chill. With prolonged exposure, our camera equipment would start to fail in such harsh conditions. And to top it off, our hire car got stuck in knee-deep snow as we drove into a ditch in the middle of nowhere and had to wait for hours to be rescued.
And of course, there is also a huge degree of luck required. One must be prepared to wait for hours with the possibility that she may not make an appearance at all, or that the light show may only last for minutes. Mother Nature needs to be kind, keeping the skies clear and providing strong solar activity. When all these elements align, the experience is magical and words simply cannot describe the feeling.
This is our first attempt at time-lapse photography, with the aim of capturing the beautiful dynamic movements of the Northern Lights – we hope you enjoy the fruits of our labour.
As well as the Aurora, keep your eye out for shooting stars!