Retrospect of the Norwegian Winter Season 2015/2016
It's become a trend during the last few years that winter is shorter, milder and wetter here in Norway, especially in the southeast where I live. For the first time I can remember we had a green Christmas. No snow, not even that cold. Just green grass and rain.
Having a white Christmas has always been what awakes the Christmas spirit in me, even when we have celebrated in the tropics it has been an calming feeling to know that back in Norway the cold, fresh snow has covered the land. Even though I love summer and sun, winter has a special place in my heart.
Closing into Christmas Eve there was still no sign of winter. The snow barely showed it's appearance in the but even there it was gone within a day or two. What kind of season would this be? I was not in particular worried about having Christmas dinner without the presence of snow outside, rather I was worrying if it would be an entire season without capturing the beauty of the Norwegian winter.
The great Dalai Lama XIV said "If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it's not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.”. While at times it might be hard not to worry, Dalai Lama has made a good point and his quote perfectly sums up the way I try to live.
Since I yet haven't learned the dance to create snow, there's not much I could do to make winter arrive sooner. It's best to accept that nature does as she wants and she has the full control. Instead of hanging with the head it's time to look up and search for possibilities, after all there's always a motive out there waiting to be photographed.
Green Grass, Green Sky
Even though the arrival of winter seemed to be out of reach another weather phenomenon was dominating the cold nights. A phenomenon that's no stranger in the northern parts of Norway but less occurring in the southeast. A phenomenon I hadn't had the pleasure to see more than once or twice previous to this winter. A phenomenon that has changed my perspectives of the nights.
The Northern Lights, known as Aurora Borealis, is a natural light display in the sky, predominantly seen in the high latitude regions. Auroras are produced when the magnetosphere is sufficiently disturbed by the solar wind that the trajectories of charged particles in both solar wind and magnetospheric plasma, mainly in the form of electrons and protons, precipitate them into the upper atmosphere (thermosphere/exosphere), where their energy is lost.
Like taken out of a fantasy movie this display may make you wonder if you're on some sort of drug. Taking your eyes of the sky when it's at the best is nearly impossible and I must admit that it's happen a couple times I've tripped on roots or nearly walked into trees after forgetting to look down or at least a head.
With the lack of snow it was at least enjoyable to have this magic appear in the sky and my camera was frequently used during this period.
After weeks of cold weather, occasional rain and a lot of ice, we finally had our first proper snowfall. January 3rd was the date I could finally go outside with my camera and capture the white. Not only the white snow but complete whiteout as a result of low clouds and fog. This marked the beginning of one and a half weeks of a landscape photographers wet dream.
Snow covered trees, starry nights and a few sightings of the northern lights filled my days and I was grateful for having a pair of high quality winter boots at home keeping my feet warm.
I found it a bit disappointing that we did not get one single sunrise or sunset with some clouds since I love that extra factor of movement in my images. However, on a rare instance, especially during winter days like these, I enjoy the clear skies softly glowing pink.
Not long before Christmas I decided to invest in a AWD car, which is something I need to access certain locations during winter. Previously I've driven a small and old Toyota Corolla that on a few occasions slid backwards down some of the winter hills. Being able to drive up these hills without any problems might have been one of this winters highlights!
Images of the Norwegian Winter
I think it's better to show you a summary of this winter through my images rather than my words, so here's my favorite collection of images from the Norwegian winter 2015/2016:
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