Polar Night - Mørketid

One of the very best things, maybe the best thing in doing what I do, is meeting new people. Over the past two years i've met clients from Switzerland (a lot!), Norway, Sweden, Denmark, USA, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Australia, Portugal, Poland and even India. Many become friends.

But I also meet others on the periphery of what I do. My friend Vlad Donkov is no exception to this. A Bulgarian photographer with a passion for the snow (he should have been born in the north I think!), Vlad ventures to Greenland and the Arctic Circle each year.

Last year, he got in touch with me and after a few emails, he suggested I come out to Lofoten with him this winter time. He wanted me to come for longer than the 8 days I was free. It was an amazing experience. Not just the landscapes, but the people that I met there - kind, open, warm. I now feel I have some friends to go back and see. Surely this is one of the best things that something like a passion for photography can bring you?

So tonight I was speaking to one of my new Norwegian friends about Mørketid - the 'dark time' they have in the far north. Checking the Photographer's Ephemeris tonight I see that Mørketid commences on December the 11th and continues until January the 4th. It is the time when the sun does not rise above the horizon and is considered a special time. My Norwegian friend says she does not miss the light during this time as there are lots of celebrations and something 'timeless' about the experience of being there.

So I've been invited, and I've decided I should go (it doesn't take much to twist my arm). Maybe the elusive Aurora will make an appearance, but there is much to shoot, even in perpetual darkness. Long exposures turn darkness to day.

I think this is worth exploring. I've been told there are faint colours on the horizon, plus, the chance to shoot long exposures of the region should prove interesting. When the light does arrive back, twilight starts at 9am and finishes at 11am, sunset at 11 and sunset at 1pm, when twilight commences until 3pm. That's the most perfect day for a photographer who loves to shoot the golden hours and its periphery light.

Now, I've been thinking of suitable music for a podcast on Norway, and since I'm a fan of Maria Kalaniemi, who plays very emotive Scandinavian accordion music,  I thought I'd ask her for permission to use a track of hers titled 'Nautilus', but I wasn't aware that she is Finnish. I thought she was Norweigan. So back to the drawing board on that one!

Still, it gives me a nice introduction to her music for you. I know, Accordion music isn't everyone's taste, but I feel there's a deep soul in what she plays.... particularly the last piece in this video. And as I keep saying, inspiration comes in many forms. Just because we're photographers, doesn't just mean we should draw our inspiration from other photographers work. There is a whole world out there and I get inspired by beautiful music as much as I do from the visual world.

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