Clearly we were seeking more than relaxation and expensive wine. The whole point of our little adventure was to witness the Aurora first hand. As I said previously Hurtigruten are so confident you will see the Aurora – they offer a weeks free holiday if you fail to see it. The weather in the early part of the trip was cloudy and frustrating, I was closely monitoring the weather and had convinced myself we were going to miss our chance. Then as we approached Havoysund Port on a clear starry night I got my first indication that tonight was going to be different. The temp was around Ms 8 minus windchill. As we sat in port bang the sky went mad, out came the tripod, ISO was set for 3200 and a 15 sec exposure at F4. After my first couple of shots I realised the only chance of capturing the aurora effectively was to be on land as the long exposure not only caught the wonderful colours but drew seagulls with stars from the ship movement (no matter how calm the sea). The first shot you see is what we saw in Havoysund, it was snatch shot as the Captain decide to depart port just as I was getting the hang of it (something to do with a schedule to keep). The challenges were obvious, loads of ambient light and movement, but I know you get the idea. I have not tweaked the colours at all in fact I had to reduce the highlights & clone out the wobbly stars.
We took lots more shots that night but from the deck of a moving ship – disappointment – that said we had both been told it’s not about capturing just absorb and value the chance to see the lights this freely. We had 3 straight nights of Aurora lasting about 2 hours each. We had learnt a huge amount about what settings to use; so I was ready when at midnight the following evening we sailed in to Tromso. I knew we would have 3 hours in port on a steady-ish platform. We had a view of the Arctic Cathedral which was going to be an excellent subject for some night photography. Anyway we docked up I hit the office and the light show begun – the next shots were my best auroras of the trip.
One final Aurora was taken using the relative steadiness of the lifeboat (moving in unison lol) – anyway I will return to Norway with this experience under my belt fly and drive next time so I ensure a steady shooting platform but either way it was a wonderful experience for Mandy and I.
My Norway blogging is not complete – so keep watching :-)