This footage was shot by acclaimed Norwegian photographer and filmmaker Terje Sørgjerd, and offers a virtually untouched (no HDR, composite, or photoshop here, folks), time-lapse look at an awe-inspiring natural phenomenon that you can only see at extreme latitudes.
Once a year, in the weeks leading up to "midnight sun," Sørgjerd travels poleward to the Arctic Circle to capture his favorite natural phenomenon on film, an event he's termed "The Arctic Light:"
The Sunset and Sunrise are connected in one magnificent show of color and light lasting from 8 to 12 hours. The sun is barely going below the horizon before coming up again. This is the most colorful light that I know, and the main reason I have been going up there for the last 4 years, at the exact same time of year, to photograph.
When Sørgjerd says "up there," he's referring to Lofoten, Norway, a remote archipelago comprised of 7 islands and inhabited by just 24,500 people. But before you go booking your airfare and planning your own photoshoot, bear in mind that it won't be a walk in the park; take it from Sørgjerd, who risked life, limb, and expensive gadgetry to acquire these breathtaking shots:
Based on previous experience, I knew this was going to be a very difficult trip. Having lost a couple of cameras and some other equipment up there before, it was crucial to bring an extra set of everything. I also
made sure I had plenty of time in case something went wrong. If you can imagine roping down mountain cliffs, or jumping around on slippery rocks covered in seaweed with 2 tripods, a rail, a controller, camera, lenses, filters and rigging for 4-5 hour long sequences at a time, and then having to calculate the rise and fall of the tides in order to capture the essence - it all proved bit of a challenge.
And almost as if planned, the trip would turn out to become very difficult indeed. I had numerous setbacks including: airline lost my luggage, struggling to swim ashore after falling into the Arctic sea: twice, breaking lenses, filters, tripod, computer, losing the whole dolly rig and controller into the sea, and even falling off a rather tall rock and ending up in the hospital. As much as I wanted to give up, the best way Out is always "Through". I am glad I stuck it through though because there were some amazing sunrises waiting.
The trip may have been dangerous, but the results were clearly worth the risk. You keep living the dream, Terje — we'll keep enjoying the view.