// text and photography by Marjolein den Hartog


Earth Hour

Tomorrow night is Earth Hour, WWF’s yearly worldwide event to raise awareness about climate change and the need to take action and protect our planet. WWF asks people all over the world to join in and switch off their lights for one hour in one big symbolic action. In the hope, of course, that more and more people will act more responsibly with energy on a daily basis.


This upcoming event took my memory back to some of the ‘darkest’ places I’ve ever visited. The first that comes to mind was an experience in Arnarstapi, a tiny village in a remote corner of Iceland’s Snæfellsnes peninsula. I got up in the middle of the night and decided to try and walk to the shore, perhaps to shoot a few gorgeous nightscapes. But – apart from the pitch-black – there was absolutely nothing to see. Certainly no light pollution anywhere in the wide area! Suffice to say, I had a hard time finding any path, let alone being able to take any photos at all. But an unforgettable experience it certainly was…

As was visiting Berlin’s Tiergarten on a spring night in 2011. My husband Alex and I wanted to go and listen to the nightingales, whose chorus was supposed to be most overwhelming at night. Well, they’re probably not called ‘nightingale’ for nothing, as this means ‘night songstress'. It was quite a stroll on gloomy tracks, but we finally found a spot where a couple of the small birds were making themselves properly heard. Alex made some sound recordings, but capturing one of these elusive singers in a photo in this darkest of hours was out of the question. But somewhere in this photo for those with a really sharp eye  somewhere there’s a chap (or lady) singing the beautiful sounds that you can listen to on this sound fragment.