Winter Travel: Frosted Landscape, Arctic Norway

As the Sun disappears for several weeks in November and never to show up again before January, Arctic Norway prepares for the long polar nights. With them, the dramatic landscapes take on a very magical appearance as the arrival of cold and humid conditions clothes everything with ice crystals.

It seems, however, that the episodes of frost are becoming less and less numerous due to climate change and the strengthening of the Gulf stream bringing relentless mild temperatures, which in turn melt away the snow and the frost. This year has been particularly mild, but here and there, we were treated to a fleeting coat of sparkly white ice. Between pastel colors of fiery sunsets, the dance of the famous aurora borealis to glow from the night sky, the ice crystal shine and behave in a different way.

The main focus of this short film was obviously the recording of frost throughout the various landscape of northern Norway (Troms region). Unfortunately, the frost hasn’t been strong enough to show fully grown crystals, so the main interest was the thin layer of ice enveloping grass, twigs, branches, rocks, but also the small lakes beginning to freeze over. The out of focus / medium format macro techniques were used a lot in the film to amplify the diffraction of moonlight into ice crystals and reveal their twinkling. Camera motion along ramps also participated in getting this effect. Shooting macro at night is far from being the simplest, as lots of light is required to compensate for the very narrow aperture used to gain depth of field. Some sequences were shot at f/9-14 so moonlight was indispensable.

I hope you will enjoy this compilation of timelapse sequences, which are also available for licensing upon request (

All was shot with the Sony a7s, a7rII and 2 Canon 6D astromodified, a variety of bright lenses ranging from 14mm to 50mm. For motion control I used the Syrp 3-axis Genie I system and also the Vixen Polarie. All post production was made in Lr with the special timelapse plus plugin, Sequence for mac, TLDF, and final production was made in FCPX. I hope you like the movie as much as I liked shooting and processing it and I thank everyone of you for your support. All content is of course copyrighted Night Lights Films (except sountrack licensed through Epidemic Music, see credits for authors and titles), and no footage can be used in any way without the author’s permission. Please share and comment if you liked the video and follow me for more videos like this one!

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