Because these clouds are so rare, optioning this topic to the Leeuwarder Courant, was a total shot in the dark. I had no idea if and how it would work out. I could easily have returned empty handed. Fellow photographer and friend Ammer Omara and I had been checking the skies for days, without any luck.
A few days later, on the third of July, Noctilucent Cloud formations had been reported in a different part of the country. On the fourth of July, we chased the setting sun and traveled to Zwarte Haan. This is a place, no further than 25 kilometres away from my home, that offers pure darkness at night. There is basically no light pollution here. You also find the longest road in the Netherlands here, which ends where the Wadden Sea (a UNESCO World Heritage site, but that’s a story for another time) begins.
Together with our camera’s and tripods we spent the entire evening and night at Zwarte Haan, still with no absolute certainty of having any luck.
But on that particular fourth of July in 2014, we received some amazing natural fireworks in the upper layers of the Earth’s atmosphere: Noctilucent clouds.