Danish photographer Steven Henriksen has been living in Norway’s Lofoten Island for more than 30 years. This remote archipelago is one of the best places in the world to see the remarkable Northern Lights. He tells Unconventional his story.
I was born in Esbjerg, Denmark in 1977, but have been living on the Lofoten islands in northern Norway since 1985. I am living just outside the lovely village of Kabelvåg, with my wife and two kids. I am a self-taught landscape and night photographer, though I also do a few wedding shoots, a little commercial work and some sales prospects for properties and houses.
I have always been interested in nature and the phenomena that can be experienced outside in the open air. I am a fly-fisher, a free-heel off-piste skier and, in general, a nature lover. I have taken pictures since I was 11 or 12 years old. About five years ago I began to get even more interested in photography. For that reason, I invested in better camera equipment, which gave me the opportunity to take photos that I could only dream of before. The first time I saw the Northern Lights shine clearly from the camera screen, in the picture I had just taken, my heart was about to jump out of my chest. Since that night I have been passionately obsessed with the night sky, and especially the magical and quiet dance of the Northern Lights. It never ceases to surprise and impress me, with new shapes, movements and colours.
Now I am running my own company for Northern Lights guiding, and night and landscape photography. I am doing this on the side in addition to my fulltime job as a project manager for a local construction company. I love to spend time outside after a long day in the office and by spending it together with tourists and other photographers, seeing how nature is making its impact on them all, makes my day complete!
My tours are varied both in terms of locations and what we do along the way. If my guests are photographers, I focus mainly on finding places where we can make good compositions, have the best lighting conditions and so on. If the goal of the guests is only to see the Northern Lights, I will do my best to make their wishes come true. Bad weather means that the tours are going to become a hunt where we use different apps to try to position ourselves in the spots that seem to offer the best chance of weather windows. Hopefully, the openings show up, so we can get a glimpse of Northern Lights. We do succeed on more than 90% of the occasions, and if the weather looks too bad, the tour will get cancelled in advance.
A couple years behind I was lucky enough to be chosen as an ambassador for NiSi filters Nordic Europe. Using filters is an easy way of improving your photography. It makes it easier to achieve a result that is well balanced and similar, or at least close to, what your eyes sees. The use of filters is also something that I teach the participants of my landscape workshops.
I was recently engaged as a lecturer and will lecture on the Northern Lights and Northern Lights photography in the beginning of next year. My first lectures will be held for around 50 Australian tourists. It will become very exciting, but at the same time inspiring, as it is something I’m very passionate about myself.