Creative vacatons

Creative vacatons

Sunday, 30 December 2012

What Else Do You Have in Northern Norway Besides the Northern Lights?

We often get the question of what else to do, or what can we do during the day.
We hear so many stories about the Northern Lights. Here's A Different Story:

Friday, 21 December 2012

The chase is on

When I check the sky to see if there is Aurora activity or not I set the ISO to 5000, f/1.8 and 2 to 4 seconds exposure time, and take a handheld photo. That way I can often see Aurora with the camera, that I cannot see with my eyes. Here are some photos from the last days.

Saturday was fantastic, and Sunday was chasing, chasing and more chasing. We saw some activity in the beginning of the night and went on further inland to find some clear skies. We didn't.
This photo is taken between Nordkjosbotn and Storsteinnes. The good news was the little green dot. The bad news were the clouds. 

After seeing nothing all night we finally saw this at 3 am in the morning, in Sørbotn in Ramfjord:
Both of these are handheld "check the sky" type of images.

I got a mail from a client who had been with us earlier in the week expressing what one feels on night like this: "Did you get good sighting on Sunday night? We went out with another tour and chased the lights for many hours due to cloudy skies. Wonder if you got to the right place to see anything."
Are the other groups getting anything?
Is there a better place to be?
This is a mind game I think we all play when we are chasing. It's a part of it all. 
I think if we could see it every night it wouldn't be special or magical.
Of course it's too bad for the people who don't get to see it. It makes it all more important to chase more than one night. I also think it's a good idea to come with Creative Vacations on the first night to learn all about how to use the camera. 

On Tuesday we had a large group of Indians with us. According to the weather forecast it should clear up at night in the coastal areas. It didn't, or maybe it did. Our group had a tight program the next day so they didn't want to wait. Rumors has it that it cleared up around 2 am. I shall never know for sure. Still we managed to see a little bit, we could see that there was a lot of Aurora activity behind the clouds:

Wednesday came and I was very optimistic. The forecast looked good. 
Again it turned out wrong. The clouds were not very thick, but thick enough. We saw some at the beginning of the night:

And that was it. What to do if there is no Aurora to see? 
Be creative of course! Keep up the spirit and keep chasing!


Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Arrive in style to meet the diva

Everything happens at once. Just as the season was about to dick off I had a bike accident. I was mountain biking here on Håkøya. I had almost finished my tour and had gotten off my bike when I slid and managed to break a bone in my left foot. Needless to say I was in a lot of pain, but thankfully Silvia was at home and she gave me a ride to the doctor who sent me to the hospital. I spent the night in hospital, and five days recovering. I still cannot walk, but I can talk. So we managed to keep up the Aurora tours without more than  two cancellations.

One of the things we did was to hire a bus. Although we just needed a small bus with ten seats, the only thing we could get was a 16 seats bus. To cover the extra costs we then decided to fill it up. The interest this last week end was so large that we had more than 16 who wanted to come.
Talking to the driver about the situation and our need for a 17 seat bus he had another suggestion:
"Why don't you take the limo?" he said.
"Too expensive" I said, "but, it would have been cool."
At the end we agreed to use the limo in exchange for photos.

It was a huge success for our guests who got to arrive at their date with Aurora in style. I think Aurora also liked it. She is a diva after all. Aurora replied with giving us the best performance this season. It lasted several hours.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Lots and lots and lots the last days

There is lots of everything these days. Lots of Aurora and lots of visitors in Tromsø. There is also lots of things happening here at Creative Vacations, more of that later. I just wanted to show you a few photos from the last few days.

Lissia proves once again to be an excellent photographer!
This photo was taken from our garden. 

Ersfjordbotn has become a place to take iconic photographs.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Aurora Borealis welcoming me back after covering my home team losing the finals

I spent the week end in Oslo covering the finals in football for Nordlys (regional newspaper). TIL, the Tromsø team was huge favorites. They play in another division than Hødd, the other team. Yet TIL lost. Credits goes to Hødd's keeper Ørjan Håskjold Nyland. He did an amazing job.
I'm not going to go into lengths about the match if you are interested go here:
Unlikely team wins

Silvia picked me and the gear up at the airport. I had not only my own personal gear, but also the set up for doing live web TV, which I had the technical responsibility for. Just as I got out of the car there was a huge Aurora dancing over the sky. It was moving fast, and we could see both green and red. I was too tired to take any photos, and by the time Silvia decided to shoot it was mostly gone.

Here are some of her shots:

It was almost full moon, and I think these shots shows clearly that you can still see the northern lights in full moon.

As a tribute to Hødd's keeper Ørjan Håskjold Nyland I also want to post some photos of him in action.
The images are best seen large. Please click on them for a larger view.

But TIL did manage to score:

And then  Ørjan  (which is a Scandinavian version of the name George by the way) saved one too many penalty shots

And we were sad

To see the Aurora when I got back home made me feel better.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012


Aurora really made a spectacular show yesterday!!
I'm speechless.

James and Lorika enjoying Aurora in Ersfjordbotn

Hélène et Marc

There was even some red in the Aurora this night. 
Thank you Aurora!

Monday, 19 November 2012

Serene and Kelvin wait patiently and get rewarded.

The clouds were hanging thick over Tromso, and the wind was from the south west. We decided that the best thing would be to drive to north east. We drove to Skibotn in Storfjord and found a beach. When we arrived there was another bus there. Thus we were careful with our headlamps and went to the other side of the beach, a few hundred meters away from the other group. This way we didn't ruin any of the photos they were taking, and we didn't ruin their night vision.

(Kelvin and Serene with their headlamps are off)

The northern lights were at her full beauty and Kelvin was shooting away, making tons of nice pictures when a third group decided to crash the party. To find the beach they lit up their lights in full power and directed them straight on us. To make sure they blinded us completely, and to ruin as many of Kelvin's photos as possible, they came down one by one, instead of together. Since the beach is very long we found it best to move further away because they seemed to enjoy their headlights more than the northern lights. 

After a while the northern lights got dimmer and eventually vanished. The two other groups left, but we decided to wait a while. After some soup, coffee, tea and chocolate cookies, Aurora rewarded our patience and danced for us again. 

Kelvin was kind enough to lend me his 85mm f/1.2. I think this image shows how a long lens is very good for  northern light photography. I still think wide angle lenses are the most useful, but don't leave your long lens at home!

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Honeymoon under the northern lights

Sophie and Richard started their honeymoon in Tromso. They were in luck as the lady Aurora danced her honeymoon over their heads on the wintry beach.

Richard is the photographer among them, but Sophie got the chance to learn a few new things and bring home a few photos of her own.

 We wish you all the best an hope that you will see lots more northern lights on the rest of your trip.