This image of the Northern Lights was shot on a bitterly cold November night in 2005 overlooking Narvik Harbour, Norway. I had been living on a dive boat for the past week, snorkelling with killer whales and diving some of the pristine ship wrecks that lie in the fiords. It had been an exhausting time; spending anything up to an hour and half in very cold water for two or three times a day. If that wasn’t enough, that morning I had carried 70kgs of camera and dive gear a half kilometre through the snow to dive an intact Second World War vintage German aeroplane in a frozen lake. Tired I may have been but with a magazine deadline looming I was spending the last few hours before bed below decks writing a feature about the delights of Sardinia.
I heard footsteps on the deck above and a fellow diver poked their head through the hatch, asking if I had seen the Northern Lights…..this was one event I had hoped to witness but cloud cover had blocked the view all week. Grabbing tripod and camera I climbed onto the harbour wall and spent the next hour photographing the ghostly green curtains of light as they arced across the night sky above Narvik.
Somehow I lost the sense of wonder, the awe, and the thrill of seeing such a fantastic natural event. In my tired state I simply went to work and captured the scene. Only upon my return, when others saw the images and I saw their reactions, did I realise just how fortunate I was. This image serves as a reminder to me not to lose that almost child-like curiosity and amazement at just what nature can deliver.
Simon Brown came to photography after trying several other career paths, including engineering design and computing.
After a chance meeting with two National Geographic photographers, Simon took the plunge and since 2005 has been selling images and articles to national and international diving, motoring and biking magazines.
Photographer since 2005, EPUK member since 2006.
See more work by Simon Brown