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This was filmed between 29th April and 10th May 2011 in the Arctic, on
the archipelago Lofoten in Norway.
My favorite natural phenomenon is one I do not even know the name of, even after talking to meteorologists and astrophysicists I am none the wiser.What I am talking about I have decided to call The Arctic Light and it is a natural phenomenon occurring 2-4 weeks before you can see the Midnight Sun.
The Sunset and Sunrise are connected in one magnificent show of color and light lasting from 8 to 12 hours. The sun is barely going below the horizon before coming up again. This is the most colorful light that I know, and the main reason I have been going up there for the last 4 years, at the exact
same time of year, to photograph. Based on previous experience, I knew this was going to be a very
difficult trip. Having lost a couple of cameras and some other equipment up there before, it was crucial to bring an extra set of everything. I also
made sure I had plenty of time in case something went wrong.
If you can imagine roping down mountain cliffs, or jumping around on slippery rocks covered in seaweed with 2 tripods, a rail, a controller,
camera, lenses, filters and rigging for 4-5 hour long sequences at a time, and then
having to calculate the rise and fall of the tides in order to capture the essence - it all proved bit of a challenge.
And almost as if planned, the trip would turn out to become very
difficult indeed. I had numerous setbacks including: airline lost my
luggage, struggling to swim ashore after falling into the Arctic sea: twice, breaking lenses, filters, tripod, computer, losing the whole dolly rig and controller into the sea, and even falling off a rather tall rock and ending
up in the hospital. As much as I wanted to give up, the best way Out is
always “Through”. I am glad I stuck it through though because there were some amazing sunrises waiting. At 1:06 you see a single scene from day to night to day which is from 9pm to 7am. Think about that for a minute.. 10 hours with light like that.
I asked the very talented Marika Takeuchi to specifically compose and
perform a song for this movie, and what she came up with is absolutely remarkable. Thank you very much Marika!
Celestial Lights is my second video project. It is another stop motion based video about the northern lights. The video is shot in the northern parts of Norway, Finland and Sweden during autumn 2011, winter and spring 2012.
If you like the video, please feel free to share it!
If you have access to proper audio hardware, please connect and turn up the volume to enjoy the fantastic music composed by Norwegian composer Kai-Anders Ryan. Not only is Kai-Anders a great musical talent, he is also very professional and a joy to work with.
For those who do not know, auroras are caused by solar activity. This is shortly visualized in the video. Our suns activity varies in 11 year cycles, and we are closing solar maximum (solar max) for our current solar cycle somewhere between 2012-2013, and solar activity with corresponding auroral activity has clearly been picking up. The beginning of 2011 was lots of clouds but weather improved late 2011 and out 2012. This video contains recordings from some of the most spectacular auroral displays I have ever witnessed, and I have seen a few.
For this video I did shoot approx 150.000 exposures from sept.2011 - april.2012 using Canon DSLR's and various wide angle lenses. Approx 6.000 frames in this video. To achieve pannings I used the fantastic Stage Zero + MX2 controller time-lapse gear from Dynamic Perception.
The video is a merge of two parts; the first part contains some more wild and aggressive auroras, as well as a few milky way sequences, hence either auroras are moving fast because they are, or they are fast due to motion of the milky way / stars. Still, some of the strait up shots are very close to real-time speed, although auroras mostly are slower, she can also be FAST! The second part has some more slow and majestic auroras, where I have focused more on composition and foreground. The music should give you a clear indication of where you are :)
Again, choosing what sequences to use was a battle, and many good sequences will have to wait for a later project I am working on ;) - More info about this will be announced on my facebook site. facebook.com/arcticlightphoto
This video summarizes the end of a hectic aurora season for me, and my last shots was done only a few days ago. However now the late sunlight is making it hard to shoot the auroras at night up here, so I decided enough was enough for now, and time to release the video.
I have driven thousands of km between locations up here in the arctic this season, and while on location(s) I was running between 2-3 cameras like a madman, and almost every sequence you see in this video also has been shot using circular fish-eye optics, for yet another project to come. Luckily I had some good company on many of the cold nights.
Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Canon 15mm f/2.8, Canon 24mm f/1.4 II, Canon 17-40 f/4, Nikon 14-24 f/2.8,
Samyang 14mm f/2.8, Samyang 24mm f/1.4
Dynamic Perception Stage Zero + MX2, Orion/Merlin AZ Teletrack head.
Thorbjørn Riise Hågensen
Dynamic Perception for making the greatest timelapse gear available to mankind!
Check it out here: dynamicperception.com
Hope you like the video, and that you by watching it are able to understand my fascination and awe for this beautiful celestial phenomenon.
Video will also be available in 4K Digital Cinema on request.