Christmas Aurora - Friday Photo #364

Friday Photo #364 – Christmas Aurora

Photo: Christmas northern lights, Flakstadøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway. December 25, 2019. 23:09

364 ÷ 52 = 7 years of Friday photo posts – you can go checkout my first post from January 11, 2012 – Friday Photo #1. Some weeks I’m not quite sure how I continue, what more can I write about that hasn’t already been said?

When possible, I try to post as current of content as possible, or maybe some special conditions or something. That way I can at least keep it as a bit of a news feed. I’ve even thought of starting some sort of online news-ish report that maybe would come out once a month or so, as there is a lot of tourism related stuff which is discussed in the local news papers and such, but only in Norwegian – even though it is actually visitors who should know about it.

In the times coming up, when I’ll be away on photo workshops for extended periods of time and have to write multiple posts in advance I find myself running out of words more frequently. Though this is also do to ebook updates, which also remove my motivation for writing – my head only has so many words in it!

The posts will keep coming – but if anyone has any topics they’d like to hear about suggestions are appreciated!

I guess none of the above actually had anything to do with today’s photo – A small little aurora late on Christmas evening. Overall, it has been a pretty poor season for northern lights so far, with many quiet or low activity nights, even with clear skies. Though I am also a little pickier than I used to be, and if I only see a faint glow low on the horizon, I often don’t even find the motivation to walk down to my beach only a few minutes away. And truth be told for this photo, if It hadn’t been Christmas, I probably wouldn’t have gone out and stuck with Netflix for the evening instead.

I have made some updates to the northern lights page. There is more to come, but I want to get the information out to people who have bough the Seasons on Lofoten – Winter ebook first – with the 4th edition coming out in late January hopefully.

I want to try and provide a little more clarity about photographing the aurora and different levels of brightness, etc. Or that is to say, photographically, a 30 second exposure with a kp2 can make the sky look just as green and ‘full’ as a 1 second exposure with a kp5 – but this is just for the camera and the viewer of the finished photo – which for some people might be all that matters. For the person standing there, these will be wildly different experiences – perhaps even a bit anticlimactic and ‘ehh’ on the kp2 side, to shouting with joy at the sky dancing in a full solar storm as coronas swirl overhead of kp5.

I sometimes get a little annoyed reading online content and reporting about northern lights. First when some travel blogger spent a night in Tromsø and saw some crappy dull aurora and then writes half a book about the aurora not being that great or like in the photos. No! they just experienced a low activity aurora in a short period of time – the sky does not dance every night! If it did, then it wouldn’t be special anymore…

And there is the reverse of this is with the same experience, low level aurora, but making it seem like they had fantastic aurora’s night after night to fulfil some expectations that their trip was productive, or to impress followers or sell products or something. This story often comes from the ‘aurora chasers.’ Bragging about sleepless nights driving hundreds of kilometres through winter storms. Ya, thanks guys for making it look cool to drive sleep deprived on dark icy roads. I guess it’s not your family or friends who might meet one of you head on after you’ve drifted to the wrong side of the road.

But maybe the above is one of the reasons I keep writing these articles – And perhaps that is the root of this website – to describe Lofoten how it is. No marketing BS from tourism agencies looking to fill hotel rooms. No ’OMG! 10 BEST SECRETS!’ lists to get referral link sales from Youtubers who spent 2.5 days here flying their drone over Reine before darting off to the next destination for the next ‘OMG! 10 BEST!’ list. And no steepened and dramatised mountains with photoshopped auroras from Instagram influencers looking grow their followings just as they have done to the mountains to sell their Lightroom presets. Just plain Lofoten – the good and the bad…

Happy new year folks, see you in 2020!

Camera Info:
Nikon D850
Sigma 14mm f/1.8
ISO 2500
f 1.8
8 seconds
WB Daylight

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