Culture / Interview

“It’s Easy to Take an Average Photo”: Dan Cromb in Conversation

When a window in coronavirus restrictions opened up, photographer DAN CROMB jumped ship from his hometown of London and landed in Tromsø, Norway…

You moved to Norway last October. Why?

There’s a lot of fantastic scenery out here, and the Northern Lights were a big draw. I’ve travelled to Norway before, but having to adapt to this environment has been a challenge. You’re going out in the cold pretty much all the time… and it’s cold. But you don’t get the opportunites to take photos of this sort of thing anywhere else.

What’s the process of photographing the Northern Lights?

You can’t just point and click. I also there’s a balance between enjoying what you’re seeing and taking a photograph at the same time. You don’t get many opportunities to frame a photograph… and the Lights might come when you’re least expecting them. Equally, you might spend hours in the cold and dark to come away with one or two good photographs, or none at all.

How much equipment do you need to photograph the Northern Lights? Could you use your phone, or do you need to a professional camera?

Mobile phones are good enough to take a photo of them, but not to print it. My approach is minimal editing, so if you go and buy a camera like mine it should be as easy. Any editing I do is on my mobile phone… I don’t use Photoshop and so on. I want to prove you don’t need to spend thousands on equipment, but it’s also a bit of laziness on my part.

Is your focus on quality over quantity?

I think so. It’s easy to take an average photo nowadays but to get a good photo is difficult. I’d rather have one good photo than lots of mediocre ones.

When you lived in London, you became known for your cityscapes. Is this something you’re still interested in doing, even now you’re in Norway?

This is the nice thing about photography: there’s lots of great things everywhere you look. We have the Arctic Cathedral up here in Tromsø, and down in Trondheim and Oslo there’s great architecture. So, cityscapes are definitely something I’m still interested in. I enjoy making sights that people work past every day something magical. I really enjoyed visiting Madrid, but in every city there are opportunities.

DAN CROMB is a British photographer.

This article is a Fika Online exclusive.

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