This week can be summed up in a few choice F’s!
Finland – beautiful place.
Freezing – temperatures plummeted to -43C while we were there. And that, I can tell you, is frighteningly cold.
Fantastic filming kit – both my Nikon D800 and my GoPro Hero3 stood up to appalling shooting conditions without so much as a stutter. I’m truly impressed.
I treat my camera as a tool, not a jewel – it is precious to me, but it’s also absolutely useless to me if it stops working under pressure or I can’t ask as much of it as I would myself.
Consequently I do put my kit through a lot. It has been drenched in boiling mineral-laden water from the geysers of Iceland, pebble-dashed with shag poop on the Farne Islands, had sand and dust ground into every crevice across Africa, and now has stoically endured hours covered in ice at a life threatening -43C while shooting the northern lights in Finland.
I was less impressed with my Giottos MH5011 tripod head. The metal got so cold and brittle that it simply sheared in two within minutes of being outside. Serves me right I suppose for trying to get away with a lightweight head.
Kit aside it’s been a wonderful week full of incredible light, both by day and by night, endless fun learning to mush husky teams and reindeer sleighs, skidoo along frozen rivers and snowshoe through the forests.
I’ve had the company of lovely people, learned about the Sami way of life, talked photography for hours, messed around creatively with light installations in the snow clad forests and of course seen and photographed the northern lights.
It’s been such an exhilarating mix that I’m inspired to return to the Arctic Circle to run a northern lights photography safari with Hawk’s Head Photography next year. There’ll be loads of photogenic arctic activities by day, some wildlife along the way, and hunting out the northern lights by night. And with NASA now saying that there’s going to be a double peak in auroral activity covering winter 2014/15 too that’s an opportunity to grab – keep an eye on the website in the coming months!
Thanks to everyone on the trip for being so interested in my photos and the process behind them – there are two new aurora ones now in our Store with a discount for you if you’d like a print as a souvenir of our amazing trip