Nine-Years Ago (01-September-2009) — Alaska

Gone to See North America Road Trip. Day 11: Haines, Alaska.

I completed the ferry voyage to Alaska aboard the Alaska Marine Highway ferry MV Columbia the previous afternoon. Rather than starting the drive to Anchorage right away, I checked into a local B&B and spent the night in Haines. My room on the 2nd floor looked over the harbor across to the mountains. I set up a camera to record the night sky (Nikon D3x camera and 45 mm f/2.8 PC-E lens). When reviewing the images in the morning, found that during the night there was a display of northern lights which I had not been expecting. With faster computers and new software, I have been able to re-process the night sky star trails with the full high-resolution raw images, and create a time-lapse video. In the past I could only process the lower resolution jpg images.


Individual images from the slide show can be viewed here.

Eleven-Years Ago (30-January-2007) — Norway

Gone to See Norway 2007 Family Winter Vacation. Day 10: Hurtigruten MS Kong Harald Norwegian Coastal Voyage Southbound (Mehamn to Tromsø).

On the second day of the southbound Hurtigruten voyage, the ship stopped in eight ports: Mehamn (01:00-01:15); Kjøllefjord (03:15-03:30); Honningsvåg (06:00-06:15); Havøsund (08:15-08:30); Hammerfest (11:15-12:45); Øksfjord (15:30-15:45); Skjervøy (19:00-19:45); and Tromsø (23:45-01:30).

At about 01:00 the captain made an announcement that Northern Lights were visible. I put some warm clothes on and went out. It was cold (minus 10 degrees) and windy. But the northern lights were brighter than I ever remember seeing before when growing up in Minnesota. It was hard to stand still for 10 seconds on a moving ship in the cold and heavy wind to take a selfie. I did hear that some of the folks that got off in Kirkenes also saw the Northern Lights that night (but didn’t wake the others up…). It was because of the view that night that I decided to go back to Norway in the middle of the winter six years later — and saw even more impressive displays in Tromsø.

Northern Lights Self Portrait. Image taken with a Nikon D2xs camera and 10.5 mm f/2.8 fisheye lens (ISO 400, 10.5 mm, f/2.8, 10 sec). (David J Mathre)
Northern Lights Self Portrait. Image taken with a Nikon D2xs camera and 10.5 mm f/2.8 fisheye lens (ISO 400, 10.5 mm, f/2.8, 10 sec). (David J Mathre)


Four-Years Ago (05-December-2013) — New Jersey

Troll Family: Holiday Card

Edited images from 2013 for a Holiday Card. Troll family portrait with a background of Northern Lights from Tromsö, Norway.

Troll Family visiting Norway for the Northern Lights. The entire sky just exploded just after midnight. (David J Mathre)
Troll Family visiting Norway for the Northern Lights. The entire sky just exploded just after midnight. (David J Mathre)

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

Gone to See Norway 2013. Chasing the Northern Lights. Day 13: Tromsø.

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)

Two-Years Ago (14-February-2013) — Norway

Gone to See Norway 2013 Chasing the Northern Lights. Day 17: Tromsø.

Northern Lights in Norway. The entire sky just exploded just after midnight on Valentines day. My fisheye lens was not wide enough to capture it all!!!. If you watch closely you can see the Big Dipper. Image taken with a Nikon D800 and 16 mm f/2.8 fisheye lens (ISO 3200, 16 mm, f/2.8, 2 sec). The sequence of 18 images was automatically converted into an animated video by G+.