Photographer's Paradise

Chartering Firebird in Arctic Norway isn’t just about the snow trekking and skiing down endless powder fields. With such an abundance of stunning landscapes and unique wildlife, it is also a photographer’s paradise. 

We speak to Mike Jones, experienced photographer and Director of Waterline Media, about why he loves this location and found out more about shooting in these conditions. 


What excites you about shooting in the Tromso area and what makes it so unique?

The wilderness and proximity to nature combined with the exceptional clarity of the light in the higher latitudes make it a photographer’s dream. I love shooting the dramatic and rugged landscape that appears straight out of the sea. Being knee deep in snow at sea level is entirely novel and challenging, yet extremely rewarding in the shots you can get. It is a very raw place to take photographs, and you feel very connected to nature. This experience is heightened when you stay onboard your floating photo studio which enables you to reach the most remote and incredible vistas that are not accessible via land.


What specific kit do you have to take for these conditions?

Equipment wise, having the right backpack is essential, especially when attempting any ski touring, climbing or tracking photography. I use the Lowepro Whistler BP 450 AW backpack, which is designed explicitly for alpine environments. Another essential is the Gitzo Explorer, light-weight carbon tripod, with ball head, that is fantastic for landscape photography in challenging conditions. Especially as this environment requires the equipment to be fast and easy to use over the steep terrain. As the area is a wildlife photographers dream, long telephoto lenses are a must, as is an ultra-wide angle combined with a tripod for capturing the northern lights.


What advice would you give to other photographers travelling to this area?

Don’t underestimate a sunrise, the light that you get on top of the mountains on the peeks can be quite dramatic and doing a reccy the day before always pays dividends. Some of my favourite moments in the Lyngden alps have been at dawn. 

Gloves with removable fingers are handy for staying warm in the arctic temperatures while being able to access all the settings of your equipment. Also, when attempting to capture the northern lights, always try and shoot away from any artificial lighting for best results and don’t be afraid to use long exposures. 


What is your favourite photo you have taken out there?

We had only just arrived in Djupvik, and I wasn’t at all prepared but ran through the deep snow, with my tripod and camera to set up on the shoreline, and I got there just in time to capture the vivid colours of the northern lights. 





Early morning sunrise on the mountains

A view from behind the lens

Mike snowboarding to the location of his next shoot

Mike's favourite photograph

Pristine snow

Pristine snow