Undulating ribbons and shimmering curtains, spiky fingers that creep up from the horizon and dazzling rods of light that burst like a firework from a single point high in the sky in a supernatural green color. On occasion, the sky explodes into a kaleidoscope of green, white, pink and violet for a seemingly endless second. Down on solid ground, we pinch ourselves and ask whether we did actually see what we just saw. The Lofoten Islands is one of the best places in the world to watch and photograph the Northern Lights. What is more, the Gulf Stream creates what is thought to be the largest temperature anomaly relative to latitude anywhere in the world, so in Lofoten, winters are surprisingly mild.
Join award-winning photographer Alex Conu and his partner Anca Tinc in this exquisite spring photo tour chasing the Northern Lights. Alex has been doing night photography and astrophotography for more than 15 years and he’s more than happy to share with you all his expertise. You will travel together with Alex and Anca to some of the most scenic places in Western Lofoten where the sky merges with incredible landscape. Besides the Aurora Photography Workshop held in our cozy red cabins, Alex will offer you “on site” support and will help you get the most out of any situation. Back at the cabin, your images will be reviewed and critiqued. Alex will help you choose your best frames and will guide you through the post-processing workflow.
You are probably used to usual night photography. Or at least, you had your first tries at it. Well… The Northern Lights are something else entirely! For thousands of years people in the northern part of the world have marveled at the spectacular displays that occasionally light up the night sky. The lights are usually yellow-green, but can also be green or reddish-violet. The magnificent colors cover the sky and usually form a bow from east to west or a slightly more even belt of color. The formations can arise at any moment, filling the sky at an incredible speed.
The Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon which occurs in Arctic regions in particular. The phenomenon is caused by electrically charged solar particles, high in energy, entering the Earth’s atmosphere. This usually occurs in an area around the Arctic Circle (67˚ N). Within this area, the Northern Lights may be seen almost every night, but are seen less and less as you travel South.
During daylight, the well known Norwegian Arctic Light is soft and its colors shift from pink to purple to pale pastel blue beneath the grey of the sheer granite peaks. The landscape slips under pure white snow; the air is fresh, pure and crisp. Clusters of cozy houses glow on the shores like embers, and the stunning backdrop of snow-clad mountains reflects the polar twilight and, later, the green of the Aurora Borealis.
Besides the photos you’ll take home with you, we are sure that Lofoten will be forever in your soul and will change something inside of you.
Join us now on our Spring Aurora Photo Tour in Lofoten Islands!
We want all of you to have a great experience in our Photo Tour, so in your first day in Lofoten we will tweak our daily schedule so that it will suit us best. The general schedule of the Photo Tour looks like this:
Day 1 – March 19th 2017 – Participants Arrival
Depending on your way of arriving in Lofoten, we will pick you up at Leknes Airport or at Moskenes Ferry Port. Then, we will head to our accommodation – traditional red fishermen’s cabins (rorbu) in the village of Reine, one of the most picturesque places in Norway. We will spend the day around the house. If weather permits and the Northern Lights are active, we will have an Aurora photo session right in our backyard.
Days 2 to 6 – Chasing Light
Our daily schedule will be very much influenced by weather and Aurora Borealis activity, but during our photo tour we will explore many scenic places in Lofoten.
During our photo tour, the Sun rises around 06:00 and sets around 18:30.
Even though our daily schedule will vary quite a lot due to Aurora viewing conditions, an usual day could look like this:
6:00 – 7:30 – Sunrise Photo Session
7:30 – 11:00 – Free Time
11:00 – 12:30 – Image Review Session
12:30 – 16:00 – Free Time
16:00 – 19:00 – Late Afternoon and Sunset Photo Session
19:30 – Dinner
21:30 – Northern Lights Photo Session
Day 7 – March 25th 2017 – End of the Photo Tour
According to your travel schedule, we will transfer you to Leknes Airport or Moskenes Ferry Port.[divider top=”no”]
Price: 2900 EUR (VAT included)
Deposit: 1400 EUR. This deposit will secure your place in the photo tour. Full payment will be made no later than January 1st 2016.
Should you no longer be able to participate in our photo tour, the following cancellation fees will apply:
– cancel before January 1st – 100% of your Deposit fee
– cancel between January 1st and March 19th – 100% of the Photo Tour fee
Number of Participants: Large groups aren’t suited for this kind of experience. That’s why we offer exclusive tours for only two (2) people at a time. This number includes both photographers and non-photographing partners.
Transportation: We will move around with a car seating 5 people, so we will have plenty of space. Alex will drive it and will get you to the best places to photograph the nature in Lofoten.
Language: The official language of our photo tour is English.
Alex Conu is an award-winning photographer born in Romania, but now living in the Lofoten Islands. He has a BSc in Astrophysics and became interested in Nature Photography through Astrophotography. Alex was always drawn to scenic astrophotography mixing majestic views of the sky with breathtaking landscapes.He is part of TWAN – The World at Night project. Now Alex works a lot in the field of Adventure Photography, working allover the world.
Alex enjoys lecturing on Photography and Astronomy. While living in Romania, he held one of the most appreciated photography workshops in the country. Alex Conu uses Canon photo gear being a member of the Canon Professional Network. He is also an Olympus Tough ambassador.
His works have been published in magazines like National Geographic, Sky and Telescope and many more.
He speaks English, French, Romanian and a bit of Norwegian.
Anca Tinc has a degree in Public Relations and is specialized in organizing events. While working in Romania, she managed PR campaigns for Nadia Comaneci Foundation, S.T. Dupont, Habanos, Repower, Aerobatic Yakkers etc. Her eye for detail and her professionalism will make your photo tour pleasant. Anca is ready to answer to all your questions about the Lofoten Islands and to help you when in need.
Anca enjoys spending time outdoors, hiking and climbing. Also, she loves flying and holds a Glider Pilot Licence.
She speaks English, French, Romanian and she now studies Norwegian.
“I spent 5 wonderful days in Lofoten. Not to mention the nights under The Northern Lights! Alex is a great guide and he will do everything that’s humanly possible in order to photograph the aurora in the best place. He knows the ins and outs of Lofoten, weather forecast and aurora behaviour. If you are a beginner photographer you will learn a lot from him. If you are a “pro” you will still learn some neat tricks about night photography or some hidden Lightroom features. Did I mention The Northern Lights? The accommodation in Hamnoy was lovely–even if the weather outside was pretty bad, enjoying a cup of coffee with that view outside the window is worth every penny. Highly recommended!”
Radu, Northern Lights Photo Tour, October 2015
“I really loved the tour with you. You taught me lots of useful skills. You found some special and beautiful places for me to take photos. Thank you. I hope to see you again.”
Laurence, Lofoten & Senja Photo Tour, September 2015
“I liked the photo tour in the Lofoten islands for multiple reasons. Nature modeled in Lofoten an area where both your eyes and camera have something wonderful to capture, at any time. And, if you want to keep and share these views in the best way, you need to be able to use your camera in manual or semi-auto modes, to get the most out of what nature has to offer. And if you take into account the Aurora Borealis, probably one of the most spectacular natural phenomena I’ve ever witnessed, is also visible from the Lofoten archipelago, we have the recipe for a great tour. But, in such a trip, it would be great to have someone to help you around above the Arctic Circle, taking care of all the aspects so that you enjoy everything around you. So, I chose to go there with Alex and Anca. I had no worries about learning how to register my memories in images, as Alex is a very good and patient lecturer, ready to share his photo experience accumulated during many years. I got very quick useful advice because that’s what you need in a place where the elements don’t wait for you to set your camera. I learned new things and I got the opportunity to apply them on site. Alex answered all our questions, no matter the topic. In fact, I loved this photo trip so much, that I’m planning to join them again in future trips…”
Mona, Autumn Northern Lights in Lofoten Photo Tour, September 2013
“No matter your photographic level, you’ll learn something new during this photo tour. Starting from the first workshop session, held inside the cabin, to the on-site advice you get from Alex, I’m sure you’ll learn something new and interesting. The secret? Ask, ask, ask. Ask Alex as many questions as you like. Basic DSLR operation? Ask him. Aurora Borealis? Ask him. Astrophotography? Ask him. Astronomy? Ask him, too. And if you feel like he’s already answered your question, ask him even more.”
Octavian, Autumn Northern Lights in Lofoten Photo Tour, September 2013
“For me, the photo tour in Norway was an unforgettable experience: fabulous landscapes all around you, breathtaking colors and light and probably the most impressive thing – the Aurora Borealis. Words are not enough to describe it. Quite often, the Aurora will take you by surprise, but Alex was there and helped us to properly set our cameras. When you witness such a phenomenon, it’s easy to forget what you already know, so it was good to have Alex nearby. Alex is a very skilled amateur astronomer and meteorologist so your chances of viewing and photographing the Northern Lights will be maximized. His rich photo experience make him a very good lecturer giving you clear and concise advice on photographing and post processing. Alex and Anca organized an unforgettable photo tour. My only regret is that I’m not able to be always awake.”
Loredana, Autumn Northern Lights in Lofoten Photo Tour, September 2013
Q: Do I need a Visa for Norway?
A: If you are an EU or US citizen, you won’t need a Visa for entering Norway. Also, there are many Visa-free countries. Please, visit this link to confirm whether or not you need a Visa for Norway. Colors of Lofoten is not responsible for this part of your travel.
Q: Is Norway/Lofoten safe?
A: We think this is the safest place on Earth. There is virtually no crime that would affect our trip or its participants. Even the Lofoten Archipelago is a pretty remote place, it has a very good road network and access to emergency medical service, in case needed, is very easy.
Q: Do I need a travel insurance?
A: Yes. We require you to have adequate travel insurance. Minimally, it must reasonably cover costs in case of accident and medical emergencies abroad.
Q: What quality is the accommodation?
A: We will be accommodated in traditional fishermen’s cabins, called rorbu. The cabins are fully renovated with modern furniture. They have two bedrooms with comfortable beds, a living room with an open space kitchen and a bathroom. Even though bedrooms have more than one bed, only one person will be accommodated in one room. The cabins have running hot water in the bathroom and kitchen and thermostat controlled electric heaters in all rooms. The kitchen is suited with a full range of appliances such as microwave, electric oven and hob, coffee maker and water boiler. You will also have access to dishes, cutlery and cookware.
Dinner is provided. You will have to cook your own breakfast and lunch. We will happily assist you in choosing ingredients and recipes. If you don’t want to cook there’s a restaurant nearby, but it’s opening hours are quite erratic.
Q: What photo gear should I bring?
A: Any camera would do, be it film or digital, as long as it has manual controls. Alex shoots DSLRs, but it’s no problem if you bring a mirrorless or a compact camera with you. If you are a film fan, it’s OK to shoot film. Alex has a long experience in film photography and you’ll have his assistance. For shooting the Northern Lights, you will need a fast wide lens. For the entire tour, most useful focal lengths will be in the range of 14 – 200mm. Make sure you take two or more batteries for your camera. They drain out faster in the cold.
Q: Do I realy need a tripod?
A: Yes. Yes. Yes. The tripod is essential. Aurora photography involves long exposures. A tripod is also advisable for daytime landscapes and seascapes.
Q: Do I need to be an experienced photographer to take part in this tour?
A: Not at all. Our photo tours are for everybody, from beginners to professional photographers. However, it’s better for you if you have read and understood the operating manual of your camera. In any case, Alex will offer all his support during the tour and will help you set your camera properly for any situation.
Q: Will I see the Aurora Borealis?
A: Aurora activity cannot be predicted, so we cannot guarantee that you will observe the Aurora Borealis. We will be constantly monitoring Aurora activity forecasts and weather forecasts and we will do our best to put you in the best place at the best time for viewing and photographing the Northern Lights.
Q: We will be in a subarctic region. How cold will it be?
A: Not very. Even though the Lofoten archipelago is located above the Arctic Circle, Gulf Stream creates here what is thought to be the largest temperature anomaly relative to latitude anywhere in the world and winters are surprisingly mild. We expect temperatures no lower than -7°C/20°F.
Q: What clothing should I bring?
A: First of all, you should bring comfortable and waterproof trekking boots. We will walk through different sorts of terrain (sand, boulders, rocks, water) so you’ll need boots/shoes with a well gripping sole.
Bring warm clothes especially for our night photography sessions when temperatures will probably drop below 0°C/32°F. We strongly recommend choosing layered clothing. The base layer should consist of light merino thermal wear. On top of that, you should wear a fleece/polar jacket. Your outer layer should be wind- and waterproof. The same layering will be applied to your lower clothing, using light merino leggings, optional fleece trousers with wind- and waterproof over-trousers. This way, you will be fully protected against rain and wind. You should also bring a pair of gloves and something to cover your head. One piece of clothing really useful in this region is a balaclava. Even though the Gulf Stream keeps air temperature at a pretty comfortable level, night photo sessions will make you feel cold, so it’s better if you dress for lower temperatures.
Q: What fitness level should I have to take part in the tour?
A: You don’t need to be able to climb Everest to take part in our photo tours. If you are able to walk with your camera bag and tripod over uneven terrain it will be enough. We probably won’t walk more than a kilometer from the parking lot. We won’t climb steep mountains or walk in deep water. Our tours are for people with a normal fitness level.
Q: Is WiFi available?
A: Yes, we have free WiFi available at our accommodation. 3G is available throughout Lofoten, if you really have to connect to the Internet in the field.
Q: How can I travel to the Lofoten Islands?
A: You have two options: plane or plane plus ferry. If you choose to come by plane, your destination should be Leknes. We recommend getting to Bodø using Norwegian, a low cost airline flying from many European cities. Then, you will have a short flight to Leknes. If you come by plane plus ferry, you will have to take a plane to Bodø and then a ferry from Bodø to Moskenes. You can find the ferry timetable here.
Then, we will pick you up, either from Leknes Airport or Moskenes Ferry Port.
Granite cliffs rising from the Sea
Great light all day long
And more Aurora Borealis
Place: Lofoten Islands, Norway
Date: March 19 – 25 2017
Price: 2900 EUR
Deposit: 1400 EUR
Available Places: 0 of 2
6 Nights Accommodation
All Ground Transport
Leknes Airport and Moskenes Ferry Port Transfers
Lots of Fun
Flights and/or Ferry to/from Lofoten Islands
Breakfast, Lunch, and Beverages