The last day of 2011…

We spent Christmas in London this year, at Paul’s parents. It was wonderful, but my 6 days off flew by way too fast. Before I knew it, I was on my way back to Heathrow the day after Christmas. Back to work… but also back to beautiful Tromsø, and nights filled with northern lights :D

It finally cleared up after days of cloudy, snowy weather, and the webcam showed beautiful northern lights. Just before midnight, I drove to the same place where I took the sunset photos in the last post. It’s very close to the airport (with all its lights) but you can walk far enough onto the beach to get away from the lights. I was standing in puddles trying to get photos of the reflections in the water :D My shoes are waterproof, but this is still a guaranteed method to get very cold feet!

Northern lights on the last day of 2011, reflected in the fjord I got very cold feet taking these photos, but it was worth it! Northern lights seen from the beach

I was very happy with the photos I got, and when the lights became weaker I decided to head home. When I was almost back at the car, I noticed this beautiful old hut near the beach. I just had to get a photo, even though the northern lights were very weak at that point. The lights from the road were lighting the foreground nicely, and while I was taking a few photos I suddenly noticed some very bright northern lights appearing. Soon the sky was full of them…

A beautiful old hut, near the airport. The foreground is lit by the lights from the nearby road Suddenly aurora filled the whole sky

They were getting brighter, and I had to adjust the exposure times with every photo I took. At some point they were the brightest lights I have ever seen! I just sat down in the snow next to my tripod and looked up at the sky, and couldn’t believe my eyes. And my luck, since I would have driven home if I didn’t find that hut at the very last moment!

Incredibly bright northern lights A curtain of northern lights above the hut

What a way to end 2011!! I still have to watch the fireworks tonight, but I know they won’t compare to this light show :)

And with this last post of the year, I would like to wish everybody a very happy 2012!!

And thank you for reading my blog, and for all the kind comments and emails :)

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17 Responses to “The last day of 2011…”

  1. Ben says:

    Too beautiful for words! I’m glad you had a nice break, but I’m sure you’re glad to get back to Norway. I know I would be. I have a question. Do you ever submit your photos in competitions, or to be published in books, magazines or websites? I’ve noticed that nrk.no frequently publish weather-related photos. The quality of your work easily matches that of the best aurora photographers I’ve seen.

    I alle fall ha et godt nytt år og jeg gleder meg til å se flere bilder som du får ta i verdens vakreste sted. :-)

    • Hanneke says:

      Wow, thanks for the compliment Ben! On nrk.no you can sometimes see my photos, I do send them in every now and then. Every time they write about northern lights, they have this little box with “facts about the aurora” or something, and they use my photo :)

      I really should send my photos in to competitions more often. I did it once, and came 7th, so I guess I should try more often!

      Godt nyttår til deg også! Kommer du på besøk i Norge i 2012?

      • Ben says:

        You should definitely send in more photos. Give the other entrants a run for their money!

        Jeg håper å besøke sør-Norge i sommeren med få venner. Vi skal kanskje besøke nord-Norge om vinteren. :-)

  2. Susan says:

    Beautiful, Hanneke!

    We have had some cloudy skies here so no good aurora. And cold. BRRRR! New Years Day and we saw -44F in some places. Too cold to go anywhere. I’d love to come to Norway for a visit. Love your photos!

    Happy 2012!

    • Hanneke says:

      Thanks, Susan!
      It was cold here too, but here we call it “cold” when it’s 20F haha… though when it’s really windy it does feel much colder. -44F though, that’s another story!!
      I’m sure you’d LOVE Norway :) But I can also imagine you’d like to spend you holidays somewhere warmer and sunnier! ;) Happy 2012 to you and Steve too!

  3. Maaike says:

    WOW…wat een foto’s!! Prachtig!!
    Gelukkig nieuwjaar!

    Groetjes van Maaike (uit Tromsø)

    • Hanneke says:

      Dankje Maaike! Was ook echt een supermooie show :) Zijn jullie alweer terug in Tromsø? Hoop dat jullie het leuk hebben gehad in Nederland! Groetjes!

  4. Nuno says:

    Amazing photos of northern lights!
    I love very much reading your blog and your photos are just beautiful.
    One of my wishes is to see the northern lights.

    Have a nice new year!

  5. Hanneke says:

    Hi Nuno,
    Thanks a lot! I hope you will see them this year, 2012 is promising to be a great year to see the Northern lights. If you have the chance, come visit Northern Norway (or Finland or Sweden) this year!
    Happy 2012 to you too!

  6. Martha says:

    Thank you for all the wonderful pics of 2011. I am looking forward to be even more amazed through all 2010 as your photos get better all the time with your camera control and your good eye for awesome pics. Wishing you the best of all your goals and dreams for 2012. Will write more later on. Still trying to catch up.

    • Hanneke says:

      Thank you Martha! I wish you all the best for 2012 too, and above all good health! I’ve also been slack at catching up, it’s been a busy time with lots of things happening. Will write you more later, but I sent you a card today :) Hope it will reach you soon!

  7. Qin says:

    Hi, happy new year. I did not know you already came back. Your pictures are so beautiful, I love them.

    • Hanneke says:

      Hi Qin! I came back just before New Year, but I spent most of my time at work and also in Oslo for a course. Now things are calming down, let’s meet soon :) Can’t wait to see you son, he must have grown a lot!

  8. kaya says:

    He Hannie
    Dank je wel voor je geweldige kaart! Wat een prachtige foto’s zijn dat toch, en nu hebben we lekker onze eigen afdruk ervan!
    Fijn dat je pakketje zo bevallen is. Nee de nisse zijn wel andere hoor, zou een beetje raar zijn anders hahahahah…
    Goede keuze om nog niet naar nl te komen, want die kleine laat nog even op zich wachten. Leuk dat je in Februari komt zeg! Want voor je het weet zijn ze alweer groot, kijk maar naar Mare….
    Ben je er ook alvast voor haar verjaardag geweest, zal ze ook leuk vinden :)
    liefs van kaya (en de rest van de clan)

  9. GBL says:

    I enjoy reading your blog

    • Hanneke says:

      Wow, thanks for letting me know! I saw someone else complain about the same guy, stealing lots of northern lights photos – and I did have a quick look but couldn’t see any of my images. I reported the photo and will post a complaint, but it seems Facebook just lets this guy continue with his stolen images :(