Hello darkness my old friend

Posted: January 16, 2014 in Photography
Tags: , ,

How time flies! It was only just Christmas and now we are over halfway through January. This was my 8th Christmas up here on the Arctic. It was the first time it was WARM (and by warm I mean just above zero degrees C). It actually rained the whole Christmas. It was totally miserable, weather-wise. Luckily we did have enough snow so that even the continuous rain couldn’t melt it all. Sometime after the New Year winter finally got back on track and it got colder and the solid grey skies cleared.

These pictures were taken just before Christmas, before it got warm. It was way below -20C. We don’t have street lights here, nor pavements to walk on, so walking can seem a bit dangerous in the dark, on the side of the road. These days people seem to do anything but concentrate on driving (I’m guessing they are on the phone or updating Facebook statuses!) and so many times I’ve almost been hit on my elbow by the wing mirror of a passing car. However, unlikely as it seems, walking on the side of the road in the total darkness feels actually much safer than it does when it’s light. Once you have lights and reflectors on you, the drivers can see you a long way away, but they still need to give you a lot of space, just in case. It’s marvellous. I like darkness anyway and knowing that the drivers are much, MUCH more polite and probably concentrate more on driving in the darkness, I’ll be walking a lot more in the dark from now on.

The spooky thing is that you can only see your breath (this clearly) once you take a picture. It reminds me of the films ‘The Fog’ and ‘They live’.

The drivers can see me from a long way away, but so can I see them.

A Christmas tree look is essential. This was a cloudy night with no moon and it really was pitch black. If I switched my head torch off, I couldn’t even see my own hand. My in-laws in England don’t seem to understand that the polar night doesn’t mean total darkness day and night (the sun still rises, although not above the horizon but it DOES get light, for a while). I explain it every year and still they imagine it being this dark all day. This was actually taken just after 8pm. I almost felt like sending them this picture and saying: ‘going for a midday walk’ but that would be like shooting myself in the foot, so I didn’t send it.

And then it starts to snow and the spooky ‘Fog’ has changed into ‘Narnia’!

I don’t know what’s so terrible about darkness anyway. I like it. Besides, the day is now almost 4 hours long. Give it another 2 months and the nights are shorter here than they are further south. Give it yet another 2 months and it doesn’t get dark at all for a long time. I really don’t know what the problem is.

  1. Marion says:

    HI Sari, I’m not a lover of short days but do like the changes of season and yes do like the winter, i was a winter baby! I do love the very long days of spring here and would love your summer 🙂 I am hoping to start a textile piece soon, one of your photos being the inspiration for it, so all those lovely pics you post do inspire…..me anyway!
    Happy walking

    • Sari says:

      Hi Marion, like you I’d not like to live somewhere where the seasons don’t change. These days I don’t much notice the fact that the sun doesn’t set in the summer but it does take some getting used to. Often I think that it must be about 7 or 8 pm and turns out it’s way past midnight.

      I’m very pleased that my pics have inspired you 🙂

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