February 2016 I finally did it. Seeing and photographing the northern lights has been on my mind for a long time. For this photography workshop I chose http://arr.at because of the location, Senja in northern Norway. A great choice. Picturesque fjords, scenic fishing villages and majestic mountains provide great photo-ops during the day, in the evenings we chased the northern lights. Being right on the ocean had various advantages: temperatures were surprisingly mild (given that we were 400km north of the polar circle) and the weather changes rapidly, bright sunshine and heavy snowfall within an hour. Of course the northern lights are as spectacular in the interior of Lapland, but there you can easily be stuck in a storm for a week at minus 35 degree Celsius. Only the Sami people enjoy this battery-eating temperatures.
A blanket of thick snow covered the entire island beginning of February, trees reminded of artful structures, their branches heavily burdened by snow, often touching the ground. Numerous fjords intrude into the island, dotted with beaches, fishing villages and framed by rigid mountains, the perfect photo-ops.
The island of Senja is a two-hour drive from Tromsø and the perfect place for a photography workshop. The light conditions in February could not be more favourable, especially the blue hour.
We were about to open a bottle of Austrian red wine to celebrate my birthday. That very minute Marc stormed into our comfy apartment with the news we had longed to hear. The northern lights were in the sky, exactly on my birthday!
Even better, on my very first day of our stay on Senja! Of course I had secretly wished for this birthday present, but for it to really happen?
After hastily wrapping myself in seven layers of clothing, grabbing the tripod and the camera, I dashed up the little hill, right next to our little hotel complex. Eagerly searching the skies I saw nothing, absolutely nothing that looked like the bright green lights I had so often seen marveled at on photos. In the distance drifted bites of wafts that could have qualified as light fog.