Four-Years Ago (11-February-2013) — Norway

Wintertime walkabout in Tromsø, Norway. Part 2: Ships and boats. With its long coastline, Norway is a nautical seafaring nation. I arrived in Tromsø on the M/S Nordkapp, a Hurtigruten line ship three days earlier and would leave on a different Hurtigruten ship. On this day there were fishing trawlers, combination passenger ferry/Ro-Ro (roll on, roll off) cargo ships, and a fire/rescue boat named the Wanny Woldstad. Later in the day, the Hurtigruten M/S Kong Harald stopped in Tromsø. I had been on that ship the winter of 2007. On the way back to the hotel, we watched a combination passenger ferry/Ro-Ro cargo ship be winched out of the water to into a dry dock ship yard.

Haugagut H-50-AV fishing trawler docked in Tromsø, Norway. Image taken with a Leica X2 camera (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/5.6, 1/250 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro (including conversion to B&W). (David J Mathre)
Haugagut H-50-AV fishing trawler docked in Tromsø, Norway. Image taken with a Leica X2 camera (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/5.6, 1/250 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro (including conversion to B&W). (David J Mathre)
Kamaro fishing trawler docked in Tromsø, Norway. Image taken with a Leica X2 camera (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/5.6, 1/200 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro (including conversion to B&W). (David J Mathre)
Kamaro fishing trawler docked in Tromsø, Norway. Image taken with a Leica X2 camera (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/5.6, 1/200 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro (including conversion to B&W). (David J Mathre)
Vensøy -- passenger/Ro-Ro cargo ship docked in Tromsø, Norway. Image taken with a Leica X2 camera (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/5.6, 1/250 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro (including conversion to B&W). (David J Mathre)
Vensøy — passenger/Ro-Ro cargo ship docked in Tromsø, Norway. Image taken with a Leica X2 camera (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/5.6, 1/250 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro (including conversion to B&W). (David J Mathre)
Lenvik fishing trawler docked in Tromsø, Norway. Image taken with a Leica X2 camera (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/5.6, 1/250 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro (including conversion to B&W). (David J Mathre)
Lenvik fishing trawler docked in Tromsø, Norway. Image taken with a Leica X2 camera (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/5.6, 1/250 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro (including conversion to B&W). (David J Mathre)
Wanny Woldstad -- Tromsø fire and rescue boat. Image taken with a Leica X2 camera (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/5.6, 1/80 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro (including conversion to B&W). (David J Mathre)
Wanny Woldstad — Tromsø fire and rescue boat. Image taken with a Leica X2 camera (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/5.6, 1/80 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro (including conversion to B&W). (David J Mathre)
Hurtigruten line MS Kong Harald docked in Tromsø, Norway. Image taken with a Leica X2 camera (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/5.6, 1/25 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro (including conversion to B&W and one color). (David J Mathre)
Hurtigruten line MS Kong Harald docked in Tromsø, Norway. Image taken with a Leica X2 camera (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/5.6, 1/25 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro (including conversion to B&W and one color). (David J Mathre)
Stallovarre -- passenger/Ro-Ro cargo ship being winched into a dry dock in Tromsø, Norway. Image taken with a Leica X2 camera (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/5.6, 1/50 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro (including conversion to B&W). (David J Mathre)
Stallovarre — passenger/Ro-Ro cargo ship being winched into a dry dock in Tromsø, Norway. Image taken with a Leica X2 camera (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/5.6, 1/50 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro (including conversion to B&W). (David J Mathre)
Aft rudder and screw on the Stallovarre. A passenger/Ro-Ro cargo ship being winched into a dry dock in Tromsø, Norway. Image taken with a Leica X2 camera (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/5.6, 1/50 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro (including conversion to B&W). (David J Mathre)
Aft rudder and screw on the Stallovarre. A passenger/Ro-Ro cargo ship being winched into a dry dock in Tromsø, Norway. Image taken with a Leica X2 camera (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/5.6, 1/50 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro (including conversion to B&W). (David J Mathre)

Four-Years Ago (11-February-2013) — Norway

Wintertime walkabout in Tromsø, Norway. Part 1: Random sights and graffiti in B&W. Images taken with a Leica X2 camera.

Roald Amundsen statue in Tromsø, Norway. Image taken with a Leica X2 camera (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/5, 1/250 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro (including conversion to B&W). (David J Mathre)
Roald Amundsen statue in Tromsø, Norway. Image taken with a Leica X2 camera (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/5, 1/250 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro (including conversion to B&W). (David J Mathre)
Lonely snow covered bench in Tromsø, Norway. Image taken with a Leica X2 camera (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/5, 1/320 sec). (David J Mathre)
Lonely snow covered bench in Tromsø, Norway. Image taken with a Leica X2 camera (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/5, 1/320 sec). (David J Mathre)
Graffitti in Tromsø, Norway. Image taken with a Leica X2 camera (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/5.6, 1/80 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro (including conversion to B&W). (David J Mathre)
Graffitti in Tromsø, Norway. Image taken with a Leica X2 camera (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/5.6, 1/80 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro (including conversion to B&W). (David J Mathre)
Shadow photographer capturing graffitti in Tromsø, Norway. Image taken with a Leica X2 camera (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/5.6, 1/400 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro (including conversion to B&W). (David J Mathre)
Shadow photographer capturing graffitti in Tromsø, Norway. Image taken with a Leica X2 camera (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/5.6, 1/400 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro (including conversion to B&W). (David J Mathre)
Shadow photographer fishing in Tromsø, Norway. Image taken with a Leica X2 camera (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/5.6, 1/500 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro (including conversion to B&W). (David J Mathre)
Shadow photographer fishing in Tromsø, Norway. Image taken with a Leica X2 camera (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/5.6, 1/500 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro (including conversion to B&W). (David J Mathre)
Shadow photographer fishing in Tromsø, Norway. Image taken with a Leica X2 camera (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/5.6, 1/400 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro (including conversion to B&W). (David J Mathre)
Shadow photographer fishing in Tromsø, Norway. Image taken with a Leica X2 camera (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/5.6, 1/400 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro (including conversion to B&W). (David J Mathre)
Fish graffitti in Tromsø, Norway. Image taken with a Leica X2 camera (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/5.6, 1/100 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro (including conversion to B&W). (David J Mathre)
Fish graffitti in Tromsø, Norway. Image taken with a Leica X2 camera (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/5.6, 1/100 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro (including conversion to B&W). (David J Mathre)

Four-Years Ago (11-February-2013) — Norway

Wintertime walkabout in Tromsø, Norway. Part 3: A wide Panorama, the Tromsø bridge, “Life is Beautiful”, and the winter sun close to the horizon at 1:20 PM (13:20). We were looking forward to it getting dark so we could go out to see if the the Northern Lights would show up again.

Winter Panorama of Tromsø. Composite of thirteen images taken with a Leica X2 camera (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/8, 1/250 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and the composite panorama generated using Auto Pano Giga Pro. (David J Mathre)
Winter Panorama of Tromsø. Composite of thirteen images taken with a Leica X2 camera (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/8, 1/250 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and the composite panorama generated using Auto Pano Giga Pro. I have printed this as a 65″ wide x 10″ high panorama. (David J Mathre)
"Life is Beautiful" painted in pink on a wall in Tromsø, Norway. Image taken with a Leica X2 camera (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/5, 1/50 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro (David J Mathre)
"Life is Beautiful" painted in pink on a wall in Tromsø, Norway. Image taken with a Leica X2 camera (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/5, 1/50 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro (David J Mathre)
Tromsø, Norway bridge and reflection. Image taken with a Leica X2 camera (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/5.6, 1/100 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro (including conversion to B&W). (David J Mathre)
Tromsø, Norway bridge and reflection. Image taken with a Leica X2 camera (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/5.6, 1/100 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro (including conversion to B&W). (David J Mathre)
The sun doesn't rise very high above the horizon in Tromsø, Norway during the winter. This picture was taken at 1:20 PM (13:20). Image taken with a Leica X2 camera (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/16, 1/1000 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro, Photoshop CC, and Google/NIK Colorefex Pro. (David J Mathre)
The sun doesn't rise very high above the horizon in Tromsø, Norway during the winter. This picture was taken at 1:20 PM (13:20). Image taken with a Leica X2 camera (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/16, 1/1000 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro, Photoshop CC, and Google/NIK Colorefex Pro. (David J Mathre)

Four-Years Ago (10-February-2013) — Norway

Winter walkabout in Tromsø, Norway. A random selection of images taken during the day. After dinner we did see a glimmer of Northern Lights peek through the bright city lights.

"Respect" Stencil on a billboard recently cleared of posts. Winter walkabout in Tromsø, Norway. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V2 camera and 18.5 mm f/1.8 lens (ISO 200, 18.5 mm, f/2.5, 1/400 sec). (David J Mathre)
"Respect" Stencil on a billboard recently cleared of posts. Winter walkabout in Tromsø, Norway. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V2 camera and 18.5 mm f/1.8 lens (ISO 200, 18.5 mm, f/2.5, 1/400 sec). (David J Mathre)
"Hot Pants" Sunday outdoor market/festival . Winter walkabout in Tromsø, Norway. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V2 camera and 18.5 mm f/1.8 lens (ISO 180, 18.5 mm, f/2.8, 1/500 sec). (David J Mathre)
"Hot Pants" Sunday outdoor market/festival . Winter walkabout in Tromsø Norway. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V2 camera and 18.5 mm f/1.8 lens (ISO 180, 18.5 mm, f/2.8, 1/500 sec). (David J Mathre)
"Locked Out". Winter walkabout in Tromsø, Norway. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V2 camera and 18.5 mm f/1.8 lens (ISO 400, 18.5 mm, f/1.8, 1/160 sec). (David J Mathre)
"Locked Out". Winter walkabout in Tromsø, Norway. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V2 camera and 18.5 mm f/1.8 lens (ISO 400, 18.5 mm, f/1.8, 1/160 sec). (David J Mathre)
Graffiti on a wall. Winter walkabout in Tromsø, Norway. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V2 camera and 18.5 mm f/1.8 lens (ISO 200, 18.5 mm, f/2.5, 1/400 sec). (David J Mathre)
Graffiti on a wall. Winter walkabout in Tromsø, Norway. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V2 camera and 18.5 mm f/1.8 lens (ISO 200, 18.5 mm, f/2.5, 1/400 sec). (David J Mathre)
Locked winter door. Winter walkabout in Tromsø, Norway. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V2 camera and 18.5 mm f/1.8 lens (ISO 180, 18.5 mm, f/2.8, 1/500 sec). (David J Mathre)
Locked winter door. Winter walkabout in Tromsø, Norway. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V2 camera and 18.5 mm f/1.8 lens (ISO 180, 18.5 mm, f/2.8, 1/500 sec). (David J Mathre)
Dead grass and rock along the harbor walkway. Winter walkabout in Tromsø, Norway. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V2 camera and 18.5 mm f/1.8 lens (ISO 180, 18.5 mm, f/2.8, 1/500 sec). (David J Mathre)
Dead grass and rock along the harbor walkway. Winter walkabout in Tromsø, Norway. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V2 camera and 18.5 mm f/1.8 lens (ISO 180, 18.5 mm, f/2.8, 1/500 sec). (David J Mathre)
Billboard. My Norwegian is rusty. As best I can translate -- "Momma has been too long at the conference, with dad and too much popcorn and ice cream". Initially, I thought the kid was upset about his haircut... Winter walkabout in Tromsø, Norway. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V2 camera and 18.5 mm f/1.8 lens (ISO 220, 18.5 mm, f/2, 1/250 sec). (David J Mathre)
Billboard. My Norwegian is rusty. As best I can translate — "Momma has been too long at the conference, with dad and too much popcorn and ice cream". Initially, I thought the kid was upset about his haircut… Winter walkabout in Tromsø, Norway. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V2 camera and 18.5 mm f/1.8 lens (ISO 220, 18.5 mm, f/2, 1/250 sec). (David J Mathre)
Toy store??? Winter walkabout in Tromsø, Norway. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V2 camera and 18.5 mm f/1.8 lens (ISO 320, 18.5 mm, f/2, 1/250 sec). (David J Mathre)
Toy store??? Winter walkabout in Tromsø, Norway. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V2 camera and 18.5 mm f/1.8 lens (ISO 320, 18.5 mm, f/2, 1/250 sec). (David J Mathre)
Using a very long hockey stick to clear the icicles above a storefront. Winter walkabout in Tromsø, Norway. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V2 camera and 18.5 mm f/1.8 lens (ISO 180, 18.5 mm, f/2.8, 1/500 sec). (David J Mathre)
Using a very long hockey stick to clear the icicles above a storefront. Winter walkabout in Tromsø, Norway. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V2 camera and 18.5 mm f/1.8 lens (ISO 180, 18.5 mm, f/2.8, 1/500 sec). (David J Mathre)
Glimmer of Northern Lights peeking past the night lights in Tromsø, Norway. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V2 camera and 10 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 800, 10 mm, f/2.8, 1 sec). (David J Mathre)
Glimmer of Northern Lights peeking past the night lights in Tromsø, Norway. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V2 camera and 10 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 800, 10 mm, f/2.8, 1 sec). (David J Mathre)

01-January-2014

<em><strong>Happy New Year Everyone.</strong><em>

Image of me in Colorado taken by Jason Odell with an IR converted Nikon 1 V1 camera
Image of me in Colorado taken by Jason Odell with an IR converted Nikon 1 V1 camera

 

Let’s see if I can get back to posting something new to my “Image of the Day Photoblog” each and everyday. Last year I traveled a bit (or should I say a lot), and as a result fell back to just having my Google+ posts reposted on the Photoblog. I began the year in January with a quick road trip to Florida to visit family and then some time at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. At the end of January, I flew to Bergen, Norway and then embarked on a voyage on the Hurtigruten M/V Nordkapp from Bergen to Kirkenes and then back to Bergen. On the return voyage I stopped in Tromsø for a week to meet up with some friends to experience and photograph the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights). In April, I went back to Florida to join my parents for an extended Semester at Sea Spring Enrichment Voyage on the M/V Explorer. We flew from Tampa to Barcelona (via Gatwick in England). Over the next 52 days we visited 19 countries (Spain, Monaco, Italy, Spain, Gibraltar, Morocco, Portugal, Belgium, Netherlands, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Ireland, England, Norway, Latvia, Russia, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany). I must have been getting board, so at the end of July into August decided to spend 10 days in Iceland to attend a Nikonians Photo Safari with Mike Hagen and Tim Vollmer. In September, I started my annual “Gone to See America” 27 day road trip. This year I started on a northern route (New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan). I spent some time in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, then continued west (Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Colorado). While in Colorado, I spent in and around Buena Vista for a Colorado Photo Safari with Jason Odell. We were supposed to have spent the time in Rocky Mountain National Park, but had to change the location due to the severe flooding along the Front Range in Colorado. I then continued west and south (Utah and Arizona) to join up for a week with the Nikonians ANPAT-13 (Annual Nikonians Photo Adventure Trip) in Arizona. Due to the Government shutdown, we were not able to visit many of the planned locations in the National Parks or National Forests. On the day I departed the Nikonians group, I was fortunate to travel through Grand Canyon National Park. The park was re-opened that day after the Governor of Arizona agreed to pay for basic operations until the Government shutdown was resolved. I then spent a couple of days in New Mexico, but unfortunately White Sands and Carlsbad Caverns National Parks were still closed. Guadalupe Mountain and Big Bend National Parks in Texas were also closed, so decided to hightail it back home (Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey). Since returning home, I have been spending a lot of time going through my images, and upgrading the computer server and storage space for the images. In early December, I spent four days in Philadelphia attending workshops with Steve Simon (Nikon D4, D800, and the Passionate Photographer). In all I took nearly 300K images during the year, which is double the number I took in 2012. New photography equipment for 2013 included a Nikon Df camera body, a 58 mm f/1.4G lens, a 70-200 mm f/4 VR lens and two lenses for the Nikon 1 bodies – a 18.5 mm f/1.8 and 32 mm f/1.2 lens.

I really wanted to sign up for the Semester at Sea Spring 2014 round the world voyage but the stars were not aligned and I didn’t get my act together in time. The round the world Semester at Sea voyage will have to wait until 2016, since I have already committed to another trip to Patagonia with Thom Hogan in the spring of 2015. Other trips for 2014 include a Birding Photo Safari in Texas with Jason Odell and the Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque with Winston Hall. I’ve not decided yet on either the Semester at Sea Spring 2014 Enrichment voyage (includes Iceland) and/or the Semester at Sea Summer 2014 voyage (Europe).

28-May-2013

Olso. Semester at Sea Spring 2013 Enrichment Voyage Day 32.

It had been misting and raining for several hours before sailing into Oslo Harbor. The rain was heavy enough at one point for there to be standing water on the decks. It gets light very early this far north, but it was overcast so I didn’t see the sun rise at 04:13 AM. The mist and fog prevented us from seeing much of the channel and islands as we got close to Oslo. We left the ship as soon as the Norwegian Customs and Immigration officials cleared the ship. Our first goal was getting an Oslo Pass (good for museums, bus, tram, train, and ferry). The nearest tourist office at the port terminal was closed. We were told that it would open at 11:00 AM as soon as a larger 4000 passenger ship arrived — I guess that the M/V Explorer with 750 passengers isn’t a large enough ship to rate. The next tourist office was a 15 minute walk, just behind City Hall. This one was open, and we were lucky we arrived early. After taking a number you wait for the lighted sign to indicate your turn to see a tourist representative. In addition to getting the Oslo pass, we got a booklet, maps, and directions. They also exchange currency (but don’t have an ATM) and will make reservations hotels and trips. By the time we left, the tourist office was filled with 40+ folks waiting to see a tourist representative.

Next we walked to the ferry terminal to take Ferry 92 to Bygøoynes. The first stop on the Ferry is within walking distance to the Norwegian Folk Museum (Norsk Folkemuseum) and the Viking Ship Museum. After visiting the Viking Ship Museum we walked to the cluster of the Kon-Tiki, Polar Ship Fram, and Norwegian Maritime Museums. This was a longer walk than expected, and after figured out that we could have taken the ferry to the 2nd stop, or take Bus 30 to get these Museums. The Oslo Pass quickly paid for itself by providing free admission to the Museums. An interesting note about the Fram Museum is that the primary language for all of the displays are in English.

The next goal was Vigeland Sculpture Park. To get there we took Bus 30 to Olav Kyrres plass, and transferred to Bus 20. Two stops latter we arrived at the Park. The morning rain ended and the sky started to clear. There were six Tourist and School buses in the parking lot at the entrance, but not too many people for a 73 acre park. The trees were green with fresh spring leaves, and tulips were in bloom. A large part of the gardens had newly planted rose plants (not yet in bloom). In addition to tourists visiting the park, there were lots of locals including several groups of school children out to enjoy the sun. For this segment of the trip, I am focusing on taking pictures with prime lenses. With the sun shining through, I was able to get some sunburst images with the sculptures. A great future project will be to photograph the sculptures in all seasons and weather conditions. Yes, I want to return.

To get back to the ship we went to the bus stop. An electronic sign at the bus stop indicated it would be a 25-30 minute wait for Bus 12. Across the street was a stop for Tram 12 with trams running every 5-10 minutes. As soon as we got across the street, the tram arrived. A short time later we were back at the City Hall. All in all, a great day in Oslo.
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Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo, Norway. Semester at Sea, Spring 2013 Enrichment Voyage Day 32. Image taken with a Nikon D4 and 24 mm f/1.8 lens (ISO 400, 28 mm, f/5.6, 1/500 sec). (David J Mathre)
Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo, Norway. Semester at Sea, Spring 2013 Enrichment Voyage Day 32. Image taken with a Nikon D4 and 24 mm f/1.8 lens (ISO 400, 28 mm, f/5.6, 1/500 sec). (David J Mathre)

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Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo, Norway. Semester at Sea, Spring 2013 Enrichment Voyage Day 32. Image taken with a Leica X2 camera (ISO 200, 24 mm, f/16, 1/1600 sec) (David J Mathre)
Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo, Norway. Semester at Sea, Spring 2013 Enrichment Voyage Day 32. Image taken with a Leica X2 camera (ISO 200, 24 mm, f/16, 1/1600 sec) (David J Mathre)

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Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo, Norway. Semester at Sea, Spring 2013 Enrichment Voyage Day 32. Image taken with a Leica X2 camera (ISO 200, 24 mm, f/16, 1/2000 sec) (David J Mathre)
Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo, Norway. Semester at Sea, Spring 2013 Enrichment Voyage Day 32. Image taken with a Leica X2 camera (ISO 200, 24 mm, f/16, 1/2000 sec) (David J Mathre)

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Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo, Norway. Semester at Sea, Spring 2013 Enrichment Voyage Day 32. Image taken with a Leica X2 camera (ISO 200, 24 mm, f/16, 1/1250 sec) (David J Mathre)
Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo, Norway. Semester at Sea, Spring 2013 Enrichment Voyage Day 32. Image taken with a Leica X2 camera (ISO 200, 24 mm, f/16, 1/1250 sec) (David J Mathre)

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Running the Steps at Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo, Norway. Semester at Sea, Spring 2013 Enrichment Voyage Day 32. Image taken with a Leica X2 camera (ISO 200, 24 mm, f/16, 1/1000 sec) (David J Mathre)
Running the Steps at Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo, Norway. Semester at Sea, Spring 2013 Enrichment Voyage Day 32. Image taken with a Leica X2 camera (ISO 200, 24 mm, f/16, 1/1000 sec) (David J Mathre)

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Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo, Norway. Semester at Sea, Spring 2013 Enrichment Voyage Day 32. Image taken with a Leica X2 camera (ISO 200, 24 mm, f/8, 1/800 sec) (David J Mathre)
Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo, Norway. Semester at Sea, Spring 2013 Enrichment Voyage Day 32. Image taken with a Leica X2 camera (ISO 200, 24 mm, f/8, 1/800 sec) (David J Mathre)

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Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo, Norway. Semester at Sea, Spring 2013 Enrichment Voyage Day 32. Image taken with a Nikon D4 and 24 mm f/1.8 lens (ISO 100, 28 mm, f/8, 1/200 sec). (David J Mathre)
Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo, Norway. Semester at Sea, Spring 2013 Enrichment Voyage Day 32. Image taken with a Nikon D4 and 24 mm f/1.8 lens (ISO 100, 28 mm, f/8, 1/200 sec). (David J Mathre)

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Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo, Norway. Semester at Sea, Spring 2013 Enrichment Voyage Day 32. Image taken with a Leica X2 camera (ISO 200, 24 mm, f/8, 1/1000 sec) (David J Mathre)
Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo, Norway. Semester at Sea, Spring 2013 Enrichment Voyage Day 32. Image taken with a Leica X2 camera (ISO 200, 24 mm, f/8, 1/1000 sec) (David J Mathre)

12-February-2013

Gone to Norway – Northern Lights Chase – 2013

For my second night of chasing Aurora I went with “Northern Lights with Green Fox Guiding- When The Sky Becomes Magic”. Green Fox Guiding is a relatively new company, but Jacek Orasinski has been working in the Tromsø area as a guide for the last 11 years. Jacek is originally from Poland. The group was picked up in front of the Tromsø Tourist Information center at 17:00 (5 PM). There was low fog covering Tromsø. Jacek was pretty sure that as soon as we got away from the city we would have some clear skies. The Space Weather report was also favorable for the appearance of auroras during the night. A little after 18:30 we had our first sighting. This was one of the earliest displays that Jacek had seen this season. We stopped along the side of the road and got some initial images. Jacek drove us a little further to a better location with mountains in the background. Even though there was just barely a sliver of the moon, a couple of Norwegians were climbing the mountain. While photographing the Northern Lights we watched these two tiny lights climb up the mountain and then ski down in the dark. Once down, they started up the mountain again. Jacek knew that I was looking for something unique to use as a background. He brought us to an abandoned coal mine which I thought was great. I think the others got board after a few minutes at the site. I framed an image of the Northern Lights display with the silhouette of a coal chute in the foreground. As I was taking the 30 second exposure, a tour bus drove by and lit up the coal chute. I wasn’t planning on doing light painting – but as can be seen below I am happy with the result. We continued on to several other locations, with the Northern Light displays getting better and better. Finally, we ended up on a beach where we continued shooting. Jacek built a wood fire to heat his signature “Fish Soup”. We were provided with reindeer skins to sit on as we ate the soup. After dinner the Northern Light displays continued for another 3 hours. Although I thought last night was great, this was an order of magnitude better. Jacek even said it was the best night he had seed this season. In all, I took about 1400 images. Many, many will be used for time-lapsed videos. I didn’t get back to the hotel until 2 AM and then couldn’t sleep as I wanted to start reviewing the images.
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Northern Lights and Coal Mine on Kvaløy (Whale) island in Norrway. Image taken with a Nikon D800 and 16 mm f/2.8 fisheye lens (ISO 800, 16 mm, f/2.8, 30 sec).. (David J Mathre)
Northern Lights and Coal Mine on Kvaløy (Whale) island in Norrway. Image taken with a Nikon D800 and 16 mm f/2.8 fisheye lens (ISO 800, 16 mm, f/2.8, 30 sec).. (David J Mathre)

11-February-2013

Gone to See Norway – Northern Light Chase – 2013

As the worm hole began to open clouds appeared, reducing the intensity of the burning green rays. This provided some cover and protection for earthlings below….

After leaving the two French Photographers at the Ferry to Finnsnes, I decided to spend the next three nights outside of Tromsø to maximize my chance of viewing and photographing the Northern Lights. There are at least 20 vendors offering trips in Tromsø this year specifically to view Northern Lights. The most famous one is booked a year in advance (after being featured on a BBC TV program for finding a place to view the Northern Lights when the film crew all but struck out). I eliminated the big tour bus, dinner boat, and dog sled northern light tours, and selected 3 based on recommendations at the Tromsø tourist information center. I am glad that I stopped at the tourist information center when we stopped in Tromsø on the northbound Hurtigruten voyage as the tours do get booked and fill up in advance. They all claim to find somewhere that is clear with a good chance of seeing northern lights – whether it is along the coast, up a mountain, or all the way to Sweden or Finland. One even tells you to bring your passport along in case they do cross the border.

The first trip was “Aurora Photo Tour with Professional Photographer” from Creative Vacations. The trip is led by Vidar Dons Lindrupsen. He picked a group of seven up in front of the Blu Radisson Hotel and brought us to his house. There we had a workshop on the basics for successfully capturing Aurora images with a digital camera. Vidar is fluent in several languages. Our group included folks from France, Germany, Brazil, Spain plus myself from the United States. For those that needed, he provided tripods and warm outerwear as we were about to spend the next several hours outdoors photographing the Northern Lights. We stopped at several locations and I got some great images, including the one posted below. I also was able to take several sequences that I should be able to use for time-lapsed videos. These were some of the best northern light displays that I had ever seen, but probably average by folks that live in this region. When the clouds started to come in and we only were getting diffuse images through the clouds, Vidar served some hot lentil soup — very welcome after standing for several hours in the cold.
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Northern Lights in Tromvik, Norway. Image taken with a Nikon D800 and 16 mm f/2.8 fisheye lens (ISO 1000, 16 mm, f/2.8, 15 sec). (David J Mathre)
Northern Lights in Tromvik, Norway. Image taken with a Nikon D800 and 16 mm f/2.8 fisheye lens (ISO 1000, 16 mm, f/2.8, 15 sec). (David J Mathre)

08-February-2013

Gone to See Norway – Northern Light Chase -2013

On our first night in Tromsø, a local photographer and her husband took us to a couple of locations to view northern lights. The first place, Telegrafbukta is not far (maybe 45 minutes walking) from the center of Tromsø along the fjord. I got a great image of the northern lights with a reflection in the water. I am not exactly sure what the walkway going into the cold water is for, unless they have a polar bear swimming club. This is obviously a favorite place for locals to view northern lights on a Friday night. There were at least a dozen just up the hill (you can see them in this first image). We then went to Kvaløya (Whale) Island for the 2nd image. The mountain on the right is lit up with a yellow color from sodium lights at the home near the water. It was a lot easier to photography the northern lights when on solid ground with a tripod. On the ship, even with a tripod you get the motion of the ship. I now have several time-lapsed sequences to put together once I get home.

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Northern Lights from Telegrafgukta in Tromsø. Image taken with a Nikon D800 and 24 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 800, 24 mm, f/2, 8 sec).. (David J Mathre)
Northern Lights from Telegrafgukta in Tromsø. Image taken with a Nikon D800 and 24 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 800, 24 mm, f/2, 8 sec).. (David J Mathre)

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Early Morning (00:02 AM) Northern Lights on Kvaløy Island near Tromsø. Image taken with a Nikon D800 and 24 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 800, 24 mm, f/2, 8 sec).. (David J Mathre)
Early Morning (00:02 AM) Northern Lights on Kvaløy Island near Tromsø. Image taken with a Nikon D800 and 24 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 800, 24 mm, f/2, 8 sec).. (David J Mathre)

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