I become addicted to the Northern Lights since I've seen them the first time in my life in Porjus, Sweden 2013. Undoubtedly it's the most beautiful thing I've seen in my life. It kinda makes you shocked and speechless. You can never get enough of watching the beauty of the Lights. Despite the fact that outside is dark or frozen, you'll simply become numb to any other senses and troubles around yourself and you'll completely feel isolated and happy. It's an unfortunate that it can't be seen any time we want or anywhere we want.
I was lucky to see the Northern Lights (also known as "Aurora Borealis" or southern version "Aurora Australis") third year in a row. First Porjus and Kiruna, Sweden in 2013, secondly Skaftafell and Blue Lagoon, Iceland in 2014 and lastly Lyngen, Norway in 2015 and Alta, Norway in 2016. Below you can watch a 2 minutes long photo lapse of my photographs.
Here you can find some helpful links about the Northern Lights.
I recently participated in Aston Martin On Ice Performance Lapland in Arvidsjaur, Sweden. It was a 4 days of driving on ice training from morning till afternoon, including a special time trial at night. A collection of recent Aston Martin cars were in the line up. Rapide S, DB9 Coupe and Convertible, V8 Vantage, Vantage S, V12 Vantage S, Vanquish and Vanquish Volante. All cars were on spikes. The track is located in Swedish Lapland on a frozen lake over 15 km square area and it’s Aston Martin’s own lake. There are more car companies organising this kind of tests in Arvidsjaur but Aston Martin has the most special and the largest track. It has many different combination including mini version of real race tracks like Spa and Nürburgring.
I completed about 12 hours of driving in most of driving those cars in the line up. 2 persons shared a car. The training was about handling, precision, performance and of course joy. I was totally thrilled by all cars performance. Each car was very unique on ice and acted completely different than others. All electronics (DSC) were off except the night time trial. In the night time trial event I drove with DSC track mode on just to be on the safe side. Despite all the power, Aston Martin cars have an amazing handling and performance on ice and they are very solid cars. I crashed the car few times hard and there wasn’t even a scratch. All cars have an extra protection bumper in front.
I’ve been in Sweden in February 2013 for watching Northern Lights and other beauties of Winter. For that I crossed the line of North Pole and went to northernmost Sweden. It’s been really cold. Polar weather is very dry but at some point you realize that everything is freezing including yourself. It’s been a challenge for me also for my Photography equipment. Before I go to Sweden I red many articles about using DSLR in extreme cold conditions and how to capture Northern Lights in that condition. This article will be another guide you’re going to read before you use your DSLR in extreme cold conditions. I have few lessons learned, suggestions and tricks to share with you. I hope they will be useful to you.
My Photography Gear
I have two Pentax DSLR cameras. Pentax K-X and Pentax K30. Pentax K-X is 3 years old and has 10k shutter count. K30 is brand new. K-X doesn’t have a Weatherproof body. K30 is equipped with Weatherproof body and 18-55 mm kit lens. K-X runs with 4x AA size battery. K30 has Li-ion battery. My other lenses are Sigma 70-300 mm AF and SMC Pentax 50 mm MF. Max aperture of 50 mm lens is f/1.8 and 18-55 & 70-300 are f/3.5. Max aperture is very important for photographing Northern Lights but we’ll get that later. Don’t forget a dust blower, cleaning cloths, separate batteries and a good bag to keep your gear warm and safe. Here is the full list of my gear that I used in Sweden.