Photographer R.A. Olsen

Short days and polar-nights

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So what is all the talk about the short days and polar-nights at the top of Europe?

A day off

After days driving guests to North Cape in beautiful weather, I got a day off. Such beautiful days are hard for me since I can’t stop to capture the amazing light even that I know that most guests would have loved it just as much as me. As most bus drivers we have a time table to follow so no stops outside our plans.

short days and polar nights
Sunset at 71 degrees north on the 10th of November.

Short days and polar nights

Times are running so fast, it’s not long since the summer season was here and now we have short days and we are soon in the season of the polar nights. Polar twilight (nights) occurs in areas that are located at the inner border of the polar circles, where the Sun will be on or below the horizon all day. There is then no true daylight, only civil twilight. This means that the Sun is below the horizon but by less than 6°. During civil twilight, there may still be enough light for most normal outdoor activities because of light scattering by the upper atmosphere and refraction. It occurs at latitudes between 67°24’ and 72°34’ North or South, when the Sun doesn’t rise, only civil twilight visible. Here at 71°, we have the polar night between from 21st November and until January the 21st.

Polar nights
Polar night at North-Cape shot on the 20th of December 2018

Can we get some photos

Sorry, but I got carried away on the topic about the polar night up here. You are of course not here to read about the polar night but to watch some photos that I shot on my day off work.

Cold and colorful ant 71 degree north.
Cold and colourful. Minus 8 degree Celsius is cold here when you add the windchill.

Windchill

Minus 8 degree and wind at 8m/s will make it feel like -18°C (-0°F or 255K).

Frost

Frostbite on exposed skin: > 30 minutes.
There is a risk of hypothermia if you stay outside for long periods of time without adequate protection. Dress in layers of warm clothing. A thin, wicking layer to remove perspiration from the skin is a good start, followed by a thicker layer of fleece, polyester, or wool that will insulate the body. The outer layer should be wind-resistant, and ideally waterproof depending on the weather. Wear a hat, mittens and scarf. Sorry, but I couldn’t help putting in some more useful facts.

Snow art
Snow art formed by nature.

Despite my advice about wearing warm clothes for the cold weather I had all too few layers myself and had to run back to the car to get warm now and then.

North Cape plateau with its horn in the distance.
Endless dunes of snow. We got the snow early this year and it already looks like it use to be in late December or early January.

Most of these photos are shot by a 300mm telelens trying to get a different view of the landscape here at the top of Europe. I even made some panoramas with that lense that I stitch together with software. My next photot one is a sample of that.

Panorama of a part of Honningsvåg harbour.

This close up of the beacon light is shot with the same 300mm as my previous picture. So my panorama photo is stitched together of 60 photos like the last one. Click on the panorama photo to see it in a zoomable format.

I also made a big panorama of my beautiful hometown. Just like the previous panorama, it is located on a separate post due to the big size.

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This one more of my big panoramas. Click the photo to see the big version.
Reflections underneath a small bridge.
Reflections underneath a small bridge.

Northern light

Lady Aurora
The Globe

I’m sorry, but this time I will not share any photos of the Northern light. Check out my Facebook page or Instagram account for my latest photos of the Northern light. I guess there will be more photos of our short days and polar nights, some of them might be the Northern light.

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