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Scared of Wolves

I get this question every now and then: “Aren't you scared of wolves when you are out in the middle of the night with your camera?”

So far the answer has always been: ”No. Because I don't go to places where there would be any risk.”

Last Friday though...

Northern lights on a moonlit night
The northern lights gave me courage to conquer my fear of wolves.

Let me give you some background facts first. Here on the west coast of Finland there has really been no reason to be scared. Bears and wolves have very rarely been seen here. You simply didn't have to worry about them.

Until about last year.

The population of wolves seem to have exploded and they are seen on a weekly basis now. I share coffee room with a couple of hunters and they constantly update the rest of us about the situation. It has changed totally in one year.

Now to last Friday.

I decided to go to a remote area. I have have imagined that to be a great place for northern lights photography. And I was right.

But I was totally alone.

It was in the middle of the night.

I would have had no chance against a flock of wolves.

No one would have heard me scream.

But I had the feeling this was not a place where I really had to be scared.

However, when you are in that situation you easily imagine things. I was constantly turning my head pointing my head torch in all directions, listening for suspicious sounds. It was very quiet but I reacted on every creaking sound from the trees. Had someone decided to hide and prank me by scaring me (and filming it) it would have become viral on YouTube, I'm sure.

I had a plan. Wolves might get scared if you make a loud sudden noise. I had my aluminium tripod. I would hit its legs against each other as hard as I possibly can. And the wolves would run away. And so would I. When I really think about it, the human voice is probably more scary to a wolf so I will use that, too.


As I saw this wonderful aurora between the crooked pines I got very, very motivated and decided to defy my fear and get the pictures.

I don't regret my decision.

Pine tree silhouettes with northern lights in background.
The silhouettes of the weather bent pine trees looked awesome against the aurora backdrop.

Tree silhouettes with aurora borealis in background
Too much snow on the beach for a photographer with his equipment. I had to abandon my plan to go out on the ice.

Sky filled with green aurora light
Beautiful auroras!

Northern lights dancing over the Finnish west coast.
This is one of my best places to capture the northern lights. Only a little light pollution (seen to the right) to the east.

Northern lights and the moon.
The northern lights held the moon so tenderly in its hands for a few seconds.

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