Northern Lights SI

Northern Lights

The Northern Lights that are depicted on the stamps were captured in the sky above
the region where I come from, the landscape Jämtland. One fun little fact is that the latitude and longitude of the location where I was standing with my camera can be found under every stamp image. Several of the photos were taken in the area around the city Östersund.

I think it is fun that my photos have beco- me stamps. A bit surreal. It was an exciting challenge to try to fit my photos into the smal- ler format. I am more used to working with photos in a larger format, and at an exhibition in Östersund I displayed photos of space that were 3m x 3m.

The Northern Lights are one of the most beautiful phenomena in the sky, and they are best captured on camera in the fall and spring. The peak season is the late fall before the snow has fallen, so when this Bulletin reaches you, we will be right up in the middle of the prime period for photographing Northern Lights.

There is another peak around the spring solstice in mid-March, but researchers have yet to figure out why.

My best Northern Lights experience was during a spring solstice on March 20 three years ago. I went out to photograph a comet and at the same time captured fantastically be- autiful green and purple Northern Lights that had a corona, i.e. lights that stream outward in all directions.

The Northern Lights are the result of the sun’s activity and can take on a countless number of forms, but one of the regularly occurring formations is the archway that can be seen in two of the stamps, third and fifth up from the bottom.

You might be wondering how I find the Northern Lights. Several international mete- orological institutions offer Northern Lights forecasts, and based on these I can plan well in advance when to be out in the field.

I usually use a digital 35mm camera with a wide-angle lens since the Northern Lights drape themselves across such a large part of the sky. Depending on how much light there is and the rate at which the lights are moving, the exposure time can be anywhere from one to 30 seconds. 

Technical Details

Issue Date: 10.11.2016
Designer: Gustav Mårtensson
Illustrator: Photo by Göran Strand
Process: Offset
Size: 49.1x26.5 mm
Values: 13 KR