Last night it happened again. During my crossing of the Northern Atlantic on a Delta flight from Portland to Amsterdam I was blessed with another of nature’s most magic light shows, the Aurea Borealis.
Please excuse that the photographs I took with my little Ricoh GR II are not the sharpest. I took the photos out of a slightly shaking airplane with 6 seconds shutter speed and ISO 3200, the camera resting on a book I put onto the pillow I stuffed between seat and window. All I could do. But I wanted to share the magic of that moment.
I was consciously looking for the Northern Lights, as a fellow blogger currently on the ground in Norway captured them the night before. So I made sure I had a window seat on the left side, facing north. And then it was just a matter of waiting (and not falling asleep). And I got indeed lucky! More than enough compensation for the stress of a 4 day US trip.
Driving on African gravel roads is tiring. The landscape around you is fantastic, bit keeping the car steady on the gravel or sandy roads takes a lot of effort, you can never drive on “autopilot”. After a 380 kilometer and 6 hour trip on unpaved roads we arrived at the coastal town of Swakopmund. After checking into our B&B we went straight to the historic jetty to experience the African sunset behind the Southern Atlantic Ocean.
Despite having a coastline of 1400 kilometers, Namibia has only two natural ports, Luderitz Bay in the south and Walvis Bay just 30 kilometers south of Swakopmund. As Luderitz was limited to the diamond mining operations and had no real access to the rest of the country due to being isolated by the Namib desert, and Walvis Bay was British, the German colonial authorities founded Swakopmund as a city that had at least some access too fresh water and decided to built a Jetty in 1905 to help the unloading of cargo from ships and support the settling activities. At the Ocean end of the Jetty is a great restaurant where we enjoyed a great fish dinner after getting the obligatory sunset pictures first.
The Ocean waves where impressive, as was the colors of the sky after the sun went down behind the great Oceans waves. I wanted to create a long exposure image of the waves, creating that dreamy effect. In order to achieve the longest possible exposure time I set the PEN-F to its smallest aperture of f/22 and the lowest native ISO of 200, resulting in a 6 second exposure time, long enough to create what I was after.
To keep it simple, I did not attach any filters, and neither I used a tripod. I simply set the camera on on of the rocks between the road and the beach and used a 2 second self timer to avoid any camera shake after pressing the shutter.
The photograph is a jpg out of camera, no postprocessing was applied.