Lofoten Islands · Norway
Every place I photograph has a unique timbre...a defining feature or feel framed by the conditions of the moment that I strive to convey through my images. I inevitably fail to some degree or other: A two-dimensional representation of a four-dimensional phenomenon is bound to by simple definition, I suppose. But there are times when I come closer than others, when the scene is so picturesque and the conditions are so favorable that just being there is eight tenths of the battle.
But it’s also during these times when the thrill of the moment is exceeded only by the remaining two-tenths: that dreaded fear of lousing up some critical camera setting or finding out you’ve left some key piece of equipment behind at home (like your tripod or—not unprecedentedly—the camera!).
Thankfully that wouldn’t be the case here. A night after my first-ever encounter with the aurora that was largely spent fumbling over the right camera settings and struggling to learn how to quickly nail focus in the dark, I was determined not to replicate my failures and miss out on the myriad possibilities that were unfolding (and disappearing) right before my eyes.
And so at the edge of a shallow tide pool, I splayed out the legs of my tripod and set it down as low as it would go, aligning the camera with the radiating pattern of ripples in the sand and framing Flagstadtinden’s
reflection as the aurora writhed like like a restless green serpent in the sky.
Short of somehow preserving the smell of the salty ocean air, this was as close to conveying the mesmerizing essence of this place in a static 2x3 frame as I could muster. And like an earworm that takes up unshakable but welcome residence in your head, years on now the driving rhythms of Lofoten still beat over and over in my soul.