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Friday, July 1st, 2011

In search of Northern Light

Though young, Daniel Stone is an up-and-coming photographer whose technical ability and dramatic compositional style has been recognised in his native England and beyond. A true lover of his chosen genre, Daniel is drawn to capturing the essence of both natural and man-made settings. His ability to represent the drama in apparently everyday situations marks him out as a true talent.

TROMSO CHURCH

Exiting the port, all boats head past The Arctic Cathedral, and with a look at the waves and weather you can see why it is placed where it is!

FJORD CRUISE

Large cruise liners depart from Tromso. As the taxis/tube/trains of north Norway, they are the lifeblood of this remote region at the very top of Europe. Visitors can stay on board for several weeks, watching huge mountains rolling past them in imposing fjords; dinner is served as the lights dance over the evening sea.

FJORD CRUISE

HUSKY SLEDDING

We headed out of Tromso towards the border of Finland for two hours by car, followed by another hour on snowmobiles towards the border of Finland. Having seen neither a road nor sign of any humans for hours, we stopped at a single track in the middle of nowhere, where we were met by a team of dog sleighs. Many of the team had been to the North Pole, so we knew we were in good hands despite it being a six-hour helicopter ride to the nearest hospital! At -35C it was hard to tell if we were on land or crossing frozen lakes or rivers. Not always able to control my eager dogs, I crashed twice – but eventually reached my destination after traversing some of the wildest and remotest territory in Europe.

NIGHT LAKE

While travelling 200 kilometres in one night to find the lights, we stopped at this lake for a break. It was pitch black, so I had to use a long exposure, and was amazed at what the camera caught that I wasn’t able to see with my eyes.

NORTHERN LIGHTS

SHELTER

…at one point on the snowmobiles the wind was howling at 80km/h, the temp was -55C, so we were tremendously relieved to reach our log cabin for the night.

NORTHERN LIGHTS

NORTHERN LIGHTSWe spent eight days chasing the lights. On the last day, after sitting on a tree stump waiting for four hours, the sky suddenly lit up. It was as if someone was pouring neon liquid into the sky and it all seemed close enough to touch. The display, which lasted for 45 minutes, will remain one of the most amazing things I will ever see. After the initial excitement, it leaves a deep impression.

We had spent eight days in temperatures between -20C to -55C, but were rewarded with one of the best light shows on earth.

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