Creative vacatons

Creative vacatons

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Happy New Year! Happy Clear Skies!

Happy accident. A car lighting up the foreground and making flare in the lens.
Luck and chance is and has always been a part of photography.

2013 has been a remarkable year for us at Creative Vacations. We have seen a lot of Aurora, been fighting to find a clear sky, we have increased the number of tours and the number of clients. Vidar has recovered from his broken leg, Silvia is doing more art and she is now preparing two exhibitions.

Aurora dancing for us on the last tour of the year.

I don't want to bore you about stories about bad weather and the search for clear skies. I know you all want to see the Northern Lights not a clear sky. But here's the thing: If we find a clear sky; there's a 80-90% chance to find the Northern Lights. So I and the other Aurora guides drive around searching the clear sky. The Northern Lights take place 180 km to 500 km up in the atmosphere. So if we drive one hour to the west or one hour to the east, doesn't matter for the Northern Lights, but it makes an enormous difference for the weather. Sometimes driving just ten minutes makes all the difference.

Tough weather!

How do we find the clear sky then. For me it's a combination of forecast and local knowledge. I'm from a family of fishermen. My family has lived here for generations. We have a profound interest in the weather. Even more than the average Norwegian.

Do I always find clear skies? No.
Do I often find clear skies? Yes.
Do I find clear skies when the others don't? Sometimes.
Do others find clear skies when I don't? Sometimes.
Is local knowledge important to find clear skies? Yes.
Is luck  important to find clear skies? Sometimes.
Can you trust the forecast? No.
Can you trust the forecast more than local knowledge? No.
Do I find a clear sky when the forecast tells there is none? Often.

December 27th.

December 29th.

December 30th.

Since we came back from spending the Christmas in London we have been out four nights. On those four nights the forecast has predicted overcast. Still we have had clear skies and Aurora on three out of four nights. On the night of the 29th, the forecast predicted a window in the clouds around midnight, it started raining instead. The day after on the 30th, it looked so bad in the afternoon that I offered the clients to cancel. None of them did, and it turned out to be super clear and super good Aurora. That was the best way for me to end 2013. Not let us all make 2014 the best year ever!

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Going the extra mile - or not...

 I'm all in favor of going (or shall I say driving?) the extra mile. But sometimes it's best to stay home.

Last nights we had some guests with extra needs, so the arrangement was a little different. We were extremely lucky with the weather, and with madame Aurora. Aurora showed up at the time when I would normally pick up the clients, but yesterday was special in that way too.

Statistically there is most Northern Light activities from 10 to 11 pm. That's statistic. Yesterday there were most activities from 6 to 10 pm. A week ago there was an explosion at 2 am. To check it out for yourself, please go to Click on real time to see what is happening now, or what happened an hour ago. Click on Prev. day to see how it has been. If the graph stays flat, there is no activity, if it goes up or down, something is happening. Be aware that even if the graph is flat we can often still see the northern lights.

This photo was taken on 25.11.2013 at 23:34
Here are the activities:

Back on our not so usual day on Håkøya. Here are Silvia's photos taken a few hundred meters from our house.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013


Sometimes Aurora is shy. Very shy. The two last days she has been very shy. But she has been there. The moon is hiding too so the stars are out at their full strength. On December the 1st we found clear skies at the border between Norway and Finland.

This was the strongest view we got.

In this picture Aurora is looking at us, just where the Milky Way ends. 

December the 2nd it was misty on the border. But we could see the stars. We waited and waited.
Then suddenly we saw something on the camera. Those of us who get our right doses of cod liver oil and thus a good night vision could also see it with our eyes.