I am not a photographer. Capturing the Northern Lights was a real challenge. But so was photography in general. We have had several cameras during the years we were in Greenland, starting with the tiny pocket digital cameras – the kind with a screen on the back.
For those of you thinking about travelling north, my advice is to get a camera with a viewfinder.
In winter the screens of those pocket cameras tend to freeze in the cold. In the summer, the Arctic is so bright you can’t see anything on that screen. Overcast days are best, and especially when taking photos of icebergs, but if the sun is shining – forget it!
It makes me smile, actually. I’m sure the iPhones and mobiles of today are far better than my cameras were, but still, without a viewfinder … good luck! 😉
Back to those pesky (and breathtaking) Northern Lights.
I did have a SLR digital camera – and it worked, prior to juggling with it. That’s another story. But learning about all the different things with numbers in photography – yes, I’m that technically proficient when it comes to cameras – kind of escaped me. And the only exposure I thought about was what was happening to my fingers as I tried to set it all up. I think it’s about -25C in this photo.
Added to that, Uummannaq, where this photo is taken, is about 600km above the Arctic Circle, and the lights tend to be green, pale green, or white. We’re too far north for the really colourful stuff. In Qaanaaq we were way too far north for any Northern Lights at all.
However, this photo, looking towards the mountain of Qilertinnguit (1,977m) on the Nuussuaq Peninsula, also shows a pipe running above the ground – can’t dig into these rocks! I think it’s carrying electricity cables – insulated. There are far better photos of the Northern Lights to be found, but this one is mine. 🙂
You might be interested to know that if the Northern Lights formed an arc across the night sky it usually meant that good weather was on the way. The opposite was true in the summer. If we had a day of glorious sun one day, then strong winds would come the following day.
Forget technology, living in Greenland was far more about learning to read the signs in nature all around you. They were more reliable than technology ever will be!
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