Six-Years Ago (06-February-2013) — Norway

Gone to See Norway 2013 Chasing the Northern Lights. Day 9: Hurtigruten MS Nordkapp Norwegian Coastal Voyage Northbound (Båtsfjord to Kirkenes) then Southbound (Kirkenes to Berlevåg).

On the seventh and final day of the northbound Hurtigruten Norwegian coastal voyage, the MS Nordkapp stops in four ports: Båtsfjord (00:30-01:00); Vardø (04:00-04:15); Vadsø (07:30-08:00); and Kirkenes (09:45-12:45). After spending 3 hours in Kirkenes, the ship turns around and begins the southbound voyage stopping at three ports: Vardø (16:00-17:00); Båtsfjord (20:00-20:30); and Berlevåg (22:15-22:30).

During the stop in Kirkenes, I took the bus tour which includes a stop at the Russian border.

alt_title. (David J Mathre)
Bus Tour of Kirkenes and the Russian Border. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V2 camera and 10 mm f/2.8 lens. (David J Mathre)



Just before midnight there were some faint northern lights. I had to increase the ISO to 6400 to get this image. You can clearly see some red in addition to the green color.

Northern Lights While Sailing North on the Hurtigruten MV Nordkapp. Image taken with a Nikon D800 and 24 mm f/1.4G lens (ISO 6400, 24 mm, f/2.8, 4 sec). (David J Mathre)
Northern Lights While Sailing North on the Hurtigruten MS Nordkapp. Image taken with a Nikon D800 camera and 24 mm f/1.4G lens (ISO 6400, 24 mm, f/2.8, 4 sec). (David J Mathre)

Tuesday (05-February-2019) — New Jersey

Backyard Nature in New Jersey.

A bit of a heat wave after the cold temperatures last week. Colorful morning clouds at dawn. It was warm enough during the afternoon to completely melt the ice in the bird bath, allowing the solar-powered fountain to start working. After it got dark I made a time-lapse video of the fountain.

alt_title. (David J Mathre)
Fulll Sky View. Colorful Clouds at Dawn. Composite of 26 images taken with a Fuji X-T2 camera and 8-16 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 200, 16 mm, f/5.6, 1/60 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and AutoPano Giga Pro (Inverse Little Planet). (David J Mathre)
alt_title. (David J Mathre)
Colorful Clouds at Dawn. Composite of 12 images taken with a Fuji X-T2 camera and 8-16 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 200, 16 mm, f/5.6, 1/60 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and AutoPano Giga Pro. (David J Mathre)


Five-Years Ago (05-February-2014) — Florida

Gone to See America. February 2014 Florida Road Trip. Day 5: Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.

I love visiting Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. Lots and lots of birds as well as an alligator hiding in the swamp to view and photograph.

alt_title. (David J Mathre)
Alligator Taking a Mud Bath Along Biolab Road. Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge in Florida. Image taken with a Nikon Df camera and 300 mm f/4 lens (ISO 100, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250 sec). (David J Mathre)


Individual images in the slide show can be viewed here.

Six-Years Ago (05-February-2013) — Norway

Gone to See Norway 2013. Chasing the Northern Lights. Day 8: Northbound Hurtigruten Coastal Voyage.

On the sixth day of the northbound Hurtigruten coastal voyage, the MS Nordkapp stopped in seven ports: Øksfjord (02:00-02:15); Hammerfest (05:15-06:45); Havøsund (09:30-09:45); Honningsvåg (11:45-15:15); Kjøllefjord (17:30-17:45); Mehamn (19:30-20:00); and Berlevåg (22:30-22:45).

On the previous night, the ship went to the narrow entrance of Trollfjord and shined high-powered spot 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.

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

Five-Years Ago (04-February-2014) — Florida

Gone to See America. February 2014 Florida Road Trip. Day 4: Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.

Sunrise at Playalinda Beach, then spent the day roaming Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. Early morning spider web, lots of birds, and an alligator sunning. Many of the birds had captured a fish.

alt_title. (David J Mathre)
Surf Fishing at Dawn. Playalinda Beach, Canaveral National Seashore in Florida. Image taken with a Nikon D700 camera and 28-3 00 mm VRlens (ISO 500, 85 mm, f/5.6, 1/320 sec). (David J Mathre)
alt_title. (David J Mathre)
Spider Web Coated with Early Morning Dew. Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge in Florida. Image taken with a Nikon D3s camera and 80-400 mm VRII lens (ISO 200, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/40 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro 8, Focus Magic, and Photoshop CC 2014. (David J Mathre)


Individual images from the slide show can be viewed here.

alt_title. (David J Mathre)
Alligator Sunning Along a Canal at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge in Florida. Image taken with a Nikon D3x camera and 300 mm f/4 lens (ISO 250, 300 mm, f/4, 1/1000 sec). (David J Mathre)