The First Frame / by Eivind H. Natvig

New camera. Nothing to it, however, a thought came to mind. First exposure could be something special. Out of the ordinary. Not just another push of the button.

A camera is a vessel for light. Through the glass, sensors or film we use, an unbelievable amount of lights pass. Some of it registers and is transfixed to whatever part of the human condition needs to be conveyed to the viewer. Stories of importance, tragedy and joy pass through. 

I want to give my new travel companion a good start. A beautiful first frame.

Three months on the road has taken it's toll and I'm tired. My breath clouding the cone of light from my head. The polar winter is here and we are but a few weeks from this years last rays of sun. The path is well known, but this particular night unusually dark with no moon and dimly lit stars. A stretch of aurora hides its northern origin behind the mountain ahead, the green hue outline the destination.  Exciting. Lofoten and aurora. The camera is in for a treat.

As the mountaintop approach the green light weaken. The last climb and the mountain does not shelter the northern wind anymore. It is cold and dark by the time my headlamp reveal the tibetan prayerflags.

I recently finished a book where I explore the elusive notion of home. The book was a game-changer and I ended up moving to this group of rocks scattered off main-land Lofoten. 

The darkness has descended and the aurora retracted. I figure that the first image is going to be of just that. Home. Not elusive anymore, but the true refuge.

The first image fails spectacularly. As does the second. And third.

I don't know when it hits, but it took a bit of work today to get this image. Not an image for the books. Not remotely iconic. However, I will remember the chase for this special moment. This attempt at beginning a new relationship with something special. And even if the sensor did not record what I saw, these moments passed through the glass. They passed through my eyes. And they shall stay with me because this image is a reminder of the idea, the effort, and a beautiful night spent outdoors.