More details about the "making of" on http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2013/06/18/how-a-stunning-aurora-video-was-made/
The soft light of the arctic regions attracted me magically so that I decided to dedicate a project to it. Around the polar circle light occupies a very important role, especially in winter. During the freezing months the sun creeps only along the horizon providing thus long hours of this tender twilight that occurs before sunrise and after sunset. But the nights are even longer and then another special light brights up the sky: the aurora borealis. In this film I wanted to show how individual the northern lights are: they may dance very fast in a frenetic rhythm or explode in a red-purple firework or they may just glow greenish over the starry sky vaguely distinguishable by the human eye. Every night there is a different night show - if the polar lights appear as they use to be very shy divas.
As a non resident of the arctic regions it was very difficult for me to hunt the northern lights. I travelled different times to the distant regions at the polar circle. It was not easy enduring the freezing temperatures and the darkness and sleeping in the tent or in the car when the harsh wind was shaking it too strong. But after a year I had the incredible luck to gather enough video material for this film project. Especially on my last trip to Tromsö in february 2013 I experienced incredible beautiful aurora borealis.
The footage was captured in Greenland, Norway (on the Lofoten islands and in the Troms region), Iceland and Finland.
The surreal atmosphere of the landscapes is emphasized thanks to the wonderful music of the talented and creative composer Pablo Garmón vimeo.com/pablojgarmon.
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.