Thursday, 19 January 2012
Pictures of the Northern Lights
I'm wearing just my pyjamas under my coat, it’s winter and I'm on the deck of a ship in the Arctic Circle. To say I'm cold is an understatement, but I really don't care.
I can see the Northern Lights - and they are more wonderful than I imagined. Rippling, luminescent green clouds and curtains of light swirl overhead and all around me. They are like ethereal dancers sent from the heavens to enact their timeless performance in the night sky over snow-capped mountains and ice-cold sea.
This is what I came for. This is what I wanted to see when I set out to hunt the lights, although the pictures I managed to get - taken at a 30-second exposure from the deck of a moving boat - don't show what it is really like.
As I watch, in a curtain of light rippling between the starlit sky and the dark sea, a shooting star drops to earth, sparkling silver and burning bright as it falls. Perhaps I should make a wish, but I think my wish has already been granted – I’ve seen the Northern Lights and they are amazing.
My fingers are like icicles as I try to find the buttons on my camera to take picture after picture. As blurry as they are, I hope they convey something of what the Northern Lights are like.