Honningsvag is a small fishing port far up the northern coast of Norway, nestled in a pocket among islands and fjords north of Tromso. From the Hurtigruten ship heading north, the town is uber-cute, hugging the base of a hill. Aside from fishing, it is the capital of the “North Cape” area.

Although Honningsvag, Norway, was flattened in World War II (sadly, only the church was left), the town remains a key location for seeing the Northern Lights. With a population of just over 3,000, the town is, frankly, adorable, even if you don’t see the Northern Lights. And the arrival of the working Hurtigruten ship is a lifeline to the rest of Norway.

Honningsvag lights in winter are entrancing.

The subject: Our Hurtigruten ship was sailing into port, maneuvering the narrow channels into Honningsvag along the Norway coast. The town itself is a picture postcard for all that is Norway – beautiful hills with a sifting of snow in mid-November, colorful clapboard houses snugged around the port, and fishing boats unloading or preparing to depart. Only the Svalbard islands separate you from the North Pole. The Northbound Hurtigruten ship arrives mid-day and is only in town for a couple of hours, so I toured the town on a run in the biting cold.

The inspiration: But before the run, I was entranced by the light. Honningsvag is of course beautiful in a simple way, but mid-day in November in northern Norway the sun is already pretending to set. This time of year there is only twilight for a few hours mid-day, which is quite an eerie experience. The light sparkles off the windows of the homes and paints the hills with a red glow.

Artist’s tools: My Nikon D90 has served me well for many an adventure. On our trip to Norway, I was beginning to re-discover photography after about 25 years away! I was using an 18-105mm lens, f/3.5-5.6, which I find quite versatile so you avoid swapping lens while your photo opp disappears. I do NOT carry multiple cameras! I was on deck as the Hurtigruten ship cruised into Honningsvag. I was set at 1/200th of a second at f/9 with a focal length of 98mm. This photo is cropped some to bring out the sparking windows but mostly remains as it was shot. This was taken in November 2014.