05-February-2013

Gone to See Norway – Northern Lights Chase – 2013.

Last night the Hurtigruten M/V Nordkapp went to the narrow entrance of Trollfjord, and shined some lights to show the narrow passage and high walls. In the summer the Hurtigruten ships go into Trollfjord as part of the northbound voyage. In the winter they only go to the entrance due to avalanche danger. After the ship turned the lights off, I thought that I got an image with a glimmer of green from some low northern lights. The ship staff told me that it was just a reflection on a cloud from one of the fish farms. I went out again early in the morning and got an image that does show some faint northern light activity. Later in the evening, I got some more images showing some northern light activity. Several passengers asked why my camera was able to see the northern lights as bright green where they could barely see anything with their eyes, let alone with point and shoot cameras. The tour director on the ship was not yet making a ship wide announcement that northern lights were visible since he didn’t want folks to go away and say “is that all there is?”. Before beginning this trip I debated not taking a DSLR. Now I am glad that I did. These images were taken at ISO 1600, f/1.4, and 4 seconds. I didn’t have the tripod out with me so I held the camera body against my chest. You can see some camera motion in the stars, but it is not as bad as I thought it would be. For white balance, I used 3500 °K as a starting point since that is what I use when photographing star trails.

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Early Morning (04:22 AM) Glimmer of Northern Lights While Sailing North on the Hurtigruten MV Nordkapp. Image taken with a Nikon D800 and 24 mm f/1.4G lens (ISO 1600, 24 mm, f/1.4, 4 sec). (David J Mathre)
Early Morning (04:22 AM) Glimmer of Northern Lights While Sailing North on the Hurtigruten MV Nordkapp. Image taken with a Nikon D800 and 24 mm f/1.4G lens (ISO 1600, 24 mm, f/1.4, 4 sec). (David J Mathre)

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Northern Lights While Sailing North on the Hurtigruten MV Nordkapp. Image taken with a Nikon D800 and 24 mm f/1.4G lens (ISO 1600, 24 mm, f/1.4, 4 sec). (David J Mathre)
Northern Lights While Sailing North on the Hurtigruten MV Nordkapp. Image taken with a Nikon D800 and 24 mm f/1.4G lens (ISO 1600, 24 mm, f/1.4, 4 sec). (David J Mathre)

Author: David Mathre

I am a scientist by training (Eckerd College, BSc; Caltech, Ph.D.). I worked for 27 years as a Chemist in the Pharmaceutical Industry developing processes to manufacture medicines for human and animal health. I now spend my time as a photographer and world traveler. My interests in photography include the natural world, wildlife, landscapes, skyscapes, and seascapes. I have traveled to over 50 countries over the last 10 years, often on Semester at Sea voyages. While at home in New Jersey, I spend time on a home renovation project and expanding my wildflower garden/meadow.

2 thoughts on “05-February-2013”

  1. David, Some fantastic pictures there!
    Thanks for your experience on the MS Nordkapp, i too have some shots of the Nordlys but not of your standard, but it has encouraged me to invest in new kit for next winter!
    Thanks once again.
    Jon & Sharon Ford
    England

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