Archive for December, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! I took this photo this afternoon on the beach… (click for a large version)

Christmas Eve, 14:30...

And for my meteorology friends: there was a beautiful halo around the moon tonight! This photo is taken from the roof at work, and from there I also have a view over the graveyard, filled with hundreds and hundreds of candles and Christmas decorations. I walked around there for a while before going home, it was magical. All real candles, and nicely smelling Christmas tree branches, a very special atmosphere.

Nice halo around the moon!

Hope you all have a very merry Christmas!

Winter Solstice

I had my birthday on the 20th of December, which this year meant I was turning 20+12 on the 20.12.2012 :D I thought that was a good reason to celebrate, so I threw a party. On the way home from buying drinks and snacks, I noticed the sky and raced home to grab my camera and tripod. Look at this… I got pretty spoilt on my birthday with presents and a great party, but I think my favourite and most memorable gift was the colour of the sky that day…

What better birthday gift than this magical light?? A long exposure of the jetty at Telegrafbukta A Tromsø palm against the colourful sky

The next day was Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year – from now on we will be gaining light. Twilight at first, but in a month, the sun will be back too. Paul was flying home for Christmas that day (I still have a few days left at work), so I took him to the airport and afterwards I went to the Maritime school to get some photos of the view over Tromsø. The light was fantastic again! I’ve never seen anything like it, the camera couldn’t quite cope with it either. Earlier in the day the sky had been a deep red – a fitting colour for the day the world was supposed to end ;)

Tromsdalstinden glowing pink on the shortest day of the year Tromsø city centre and a pink & purple sky

There was a half moon, Tromsdalstinden was glowing pink, and it was just magical…

The view from the Maritime school is famous - I met quite a few photographers here :) no wonder!

The next day I went on a trip to Kjølen with Hannah. We hiked – there’s very little snow at the moment. At times it was tough though, as we kept going through the crust on top of the snow layer. On top of Kjølen, there is a small cabin with floor heating (it gets electricity from the flight radar), which was very welcome on that cold and windy day. Unfortunately we chose the only cloudy day in weeks, but we still got a golden lining underneath the clouds to the west… so pretty!

Lunch break in the cabin on top of Kjølen - photo by Hannah Vickers Hannah looking at the flickering city lights of Tromsø far below This cloudy day had a golden lining too... beautiful! View on the way down

I’m not sure what’s causing this magical light, the colours aren’t always this intense in the dark time. Perhaps there’s been a volcano eruption somewhere?? Either way, it makes the dark time a lot more enjoyable :)

Starry Starry Night

The days are very very short now, and when you have to work during the day, night photography is the way to go ;) Last Thursday I went out with my photography workshop group, hoping for northern lights and the Geminid meteor shower. The evening started very promising, with northern lights dancing above Vengsøya…

Northern lights over Vengsøya, seen from Grøtfjord

We saw a few shooting stars, and decided to move to a different place to get a better view. But then the clouds rolled in… At first you could still see the stars through the thin clouds, but soon there was nothing left. Only to the west, some aurora was visible underneath the clouds… Oh well!

Hmm, and then the clouds rolled in and obscured the stars and northern lights In the other direction, a bit of northern lights was still visible underneath the clouds

Last night, it was very clear and the aurora was active. We went to Skulsfjord, where we found some very dark skies and LOTS of stars. Even the Milky Way was visible :) I didn’t see any meteors, though Paul did see one. I did hear whales though, breathing out nearby. Magic!

Northern lights over Skulsfjord, with LOTS of stars - even the Milky Way was visible Imagine watching this on a dark beach, while hearing whales breathing out nearby... magic!

We caught the end of the show, as it soon calmed down and all that was left was a green band that didn’t move very much.

View towards Vengsøya Paul taking photos - but by this time, only this weaker green band was left

It was windy and cold, so after a while we gave up and drove home to warm up :)

Ice & Rime

I came back from the Netherlands late last night, and was lucky enough to have an extra day off before returning to work. The weather is still clear and cold here, and Paul told me that the trees near Breivikeidet were covered in rime. So I went on a little trip to Winter Wonderland :)

I drove almost all the way to Sjursnes, and took some photos of the partly frozen Lavangselva. I finally bought myself a good pair of Arctic boots – not the most elegant, but REALLY warm and completely waterproof – I was able to wade into the cold river for these pictures :)

The partly frozen Lavangselva. The spiky peak in the background is Hamperokken. As light as it gets these days With my new boots, I was able to wade into the river for better pictures :)

On the way back I stopped several time to take pictures of the rime-covered forest near Breivikeidet, and the huge ice crystals on the Breivikelva. The days are very short now, so it’s a challenge to make the most of the available light – but it’s really pretty.

A rime-covered forest Breivikelva, all frozen with big crystals on top A close-up of the ice flowers

Paul took pictures of very active northern lights in the same area last night – I hope I can convince him to share some on this blog :)