Sunday, 5 February 2012

A hint of the Northern Lights

The money shot from this trip is capturing the elusive Northern Lights. After several nights on the bounce of too much cloud to even try there is an expectant buzz at the hotel tonight eagerly waiting for the buses to whisk us away to the bus station before we begin our chase. Unfortunately our group of twelve get split into three different coaches and more of the hotel guests climb into other coaches. I'd envisaged that we would all congregate at the same spot but each driver and guide had different plans. So much to our surprise we all had completely different experiences.

We started off with a few false stops, we'd climb out into the total blackness, armed with our tripods to find we could barely see a star in the sky.

Finally our guide started leaping around the coach in excitement pointing out of the windows at the tendrils of light dancing across the sky. Us uninitiated visitors peered out the clouds and wondered if this was the case of The Emperor’s New Clothes.

Eventually we stopped again, decamped (well not everyone, as some felt that we were on a fool’s errand) but clutching my tripod I was determined to give it one more chance. As I squinted up at the sky I could see a band of fast moving cloud which could have had a greenish tinge. I pointed my camera at this possibly greenish cloud for forty seconds and to my shock got lucky.

The rest of our group were treated to a twenty minute light show but as least we saw something. The other groups drove around for hours and didn't give up until about 2am and still saw nothing.

In conclusion, the Northern Lights are elusive, mystical and can be a little frustrating. I am delighted I saw a hint of what they can deliver, maybe another time I can see the full performance.

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