During most of our trips, we don’t see any northern lights. People often ask what the chances are, but don’t realise it has to be dark to see them. However, as Scoresbysund is about 1000km south of Spitsbergen and it’s now the middle of September, it is getting pretty dark, so the chances increase. Unfortunately, we were not very lucky with the weather, as it was overcast for most of the time. Until our last evening in Greenland. Just before I went to bed, I had a quick check outside (I hate it to be woken just after going to bed), and there they were. Not extremely bright, most of the time our eyes only saw something white, but it was really the Aurora.
Now my challenge came to try and make some decent pictures of it. On land no problem at all, but on a moving ship, it becomes a different story. Tripods are great of course, but only for so much use if the ‘ground’ you place it on is moving. And for Aurora-photos, you always need a shutter speed of several seconds, far to long for the ship to stay stable. This time, I got lucky. First of all, the sea was quite calm, so the boat didn’t move that much. And secondly, with my new Sigma 24mm/f1.4 lens, I managed to reduce the shutter speed to only two seconds, if I put the ISO a bit higher. Okay, at close examination still not perfectly sharp and a bit noisy, but very decent results, I would say.
When I placed myself on the back deck, I noticed there was another light to be seen as well. In the water behind the ship, bioluminescence could be seen. Tiny animals producing light and creating light flashes behind the ship. I did give it a try to photograph the combination, but that was too complicated. However, the result was still quite nice with the reflection of the northern lights in the water.