Lunar coronae

The past weeks have been extremely busy with tours, preparations, studies and last but not least family time. Oh, and some other projects but I will talk about those another time.

A few days ago I returned from a tour in Lapland. Most nights were cloudy but luckily we also saw auroras. But that wasn’t all, the moon gave us a special show. The nights were around -15..-25C and fog pads were in the air. Due to the cold temperature it consisted of ice crystals. Sometimes the high clouds were just perfect to create multiple moon coronae (at least I think thats the correct term). The colors and shape were very distinct, something totally new for me. For a while I forgot about auroras :D. So, here it is. Winter wonderland under a wonderous moon.

Lunar coronae in Lapland, Finland.

Halo shadows

Moon halos are a wonderful phenomenom during those cold winter nights, especially when the ground is covered with lots and lots of snow. Trees and other plants will casts strong, clear-shaped shadows as you see here.
In January 2018 you’ll have the chance to join my photo tour in Lapland, where I’ll instruct all about landscape and night photography in magical places 🙂

Moon halo and shadows

Abenteuer Lappland – Adventure Lapland

Back from Switzerland, I’ve been busy preparing my newest 1-week winter tour which will start end of February 2017. There will be only one week during next winter as I will be still tied-up in my photography studies and don’t wanna spend too much time away from my little boy. In winter 2017/18 more tours are ‘on the menu’.

The website for this is so far only in German, so I’ll continue this post in German. Any questions, please let me know! Meanwhile, enjoy the photos below and behind the link 🙂

Hallo zusammen!
Nach langem Ausarbeiten ist nun endlich meine erste Fotoreise fertig geplant. Ende Februar 2017 geht es für acht Tage in den Nordwesten Lapplands. Zuerst sind wir rund um Hetta unterwegs, danach gehts ins Drei-Länder-Eck Kilpisjärvi. Der Fokus dieser Reise ist die Fotografie, wir werden uns also Zeit lassen, an den schönsten Ecken die besten Bilder mitzunehmen. Ein besonderer Leckerbissen wird sein, dass wir einige Tage auf Motorschlitten unterwegs sein werden.Details zur Reise gibt es hier:

Falls Ihr irgendwelche Fragen habt, meldet euch bei mir.Ich würde mich freuen, euch im nächsten Winter zu sehen 🙂


Getting to remote spots

Getting to remote spots

Brilliant winter sceneries - day and night

Brilliant winter sceneries – day and night

Eternal wind in the sparse, rough but so beautiful nature

Eternal wind in the sparse, rough but so beautiful nature

The beginning of kaamos – the Polar Night

On the Arctic Circle, the sun stays below the horizon for one day. The further North you go, the longer that period is. In Finland it’s called ‘kaamos, known as the Polar night.

In the beginning of December 2015, I went to Enontekiö. During kaamos, daylight is a luxury which is reflected from Earths atmosphere or clouds. For a few hours it’s almost as bright as day with thick clouds. The light which is visible is the most magical I’ve ever seen. Golden hour and blue hour turn into hours.

The very first day of kaamos, I went to a hill where – to my suprise – the sun was partly shining onto trees! The sun was just beneath the horizon and could so bring sunset light on the snow-laden trees. All was dipped into pink. The line between kaamos and sunlight moved quickly, so there was no time to waste catching the last sunrays.


Copyright: Thomas Kast

From below the horizon the sun shines upwards


Copyright: Thomas Kast

Grumpy was the keeper of light, a nice fellow with a grim face 🙂


Copyright: Thomas Kast

Up on the hill, I could catch a tiny bit of sun, thanks to the insider tip of Grumpy 🙂



The Belt of Venus

Seems I ran into winter blues in the middle of July, strange thing. And yet, not really – for me. Choosing between -20C and +30C is a no-brainer 🙂 I love the crisp air, the white snow and of course Northern lights in clear nights.

The photo below was taken in Lapland just before sunrise last February. There might be a few things it you may have stared at but never heard of. The pink band on the horizon is called the ‘Belt of Venus’. Its “rosy pinkish arch is visible long after sunset or long before sunrise by backscattering or refracted sunlight due to fine dust particles high up in the atmosphere” (1). The color is a mix of “backscattered sunlight reddened by the atmosphere and the deep blue of the anti-sunward sky”(2).

Below the Belt of Venus is a dark bluish band called ‘Earth’s Shadow’. The name here is rather self-explanatory as it stands  “for the shadow that the Earth itself casts on its atmosphere. This shadow is often visible from the surface of the Earth, as a dark band in the sky near the horizon”(3).

Next time you are out around sunset / sunrise time, check out the sky opposite from the sun. You may see familiar phenomena in the lower sky 🙂

Copyright: Thomas Kast

(1) wikipedia
(3) wikipedia


Dreams in green – in a February night

Usually I’m looking for clear skies to see the most of auroras, the shapes, the movement and colors. Clouds make the sky not only interesting but creates a challenge. Are the clouds thin enough? Are there breaks in the clouds? Do the clouds move fast? Lot’s of questions and often all answers are No’s. When all comes together though, the clouds can be THE magic ingredient.

In that February night I had exactly that situation. Great aurora forecast but cloudy. Well, almost. On the horizon was a small gap in the clouds, that’s where you see the strong bright green. I explored the area and found this snowtree ‘sculpture’. It totally fascinated me and I tried many angles to get the best photo. The difficult part was to preserve the untouched snow. And here is the final result.

Enjoy your week!

Copyright: Thomas Kast