The vaunted iPhone 11 Pro has a ‘night mode’ – and where better to test it than in Arctic Murmansk during December, when the sun never rises?
That was the thinking behind Radio Free Europe photographer Amos Chapple’s odyssey to the Russian city.
And the results are mesmerising.
Radio Free Europe photographer Amos Chapple visited Murmansk this December to test out the iPhone 11 Pro’s night mode. This picture was taken at midday
Mr Chapple, from New Zealand, braved temperatures of -13C to capture blizzard-battered Murmansk
About 60 miles to the east of Murmansk, Tsarist-era boats lie frozen in the moonlight. Amos said that these boats were the most interesting sight during his trip
These boats have lay abandoned through world wars and several Soviet dictatorships. Pictured are friends from China, posing in front of the rotting hulls
Amos said: ‘The locals were awesome. Great people – the reason why I love working in Russia so much’
According to Amos, this rail yard runs non-stop, 24 hours a day – mainly moving coal around
Mr Chapple, from New Zealand, braved temperatures of -13C over a week to shoot Tsarist-era boats, some of the city’s most impressive structures – and its hardy, and very friendly, people.
He told MailOnline Travel that they were ‘awesome’.
He said: ‘The locals were awesome. Great people – the reason why I love working in Russia so much. One night I was wandering around the village of Teriberka and poked my head into the town’s heating plant. It looked amazing – epic Soviet apparatus with guys working around it under chunky old Soviet lamps. I asked if I could shoot photos. They all chatted amongst themselves for a second then said no, that they’d probably get into trouble.
‘“No problem” I said, then started walking away. Then one of the guys popped his head out and said “hey blogger!” Then he told me to wait for a second and take a seat on his snowmobile. Then he took me through the snowy wilderness for a few roaring, freezing minutes until we arrived at a frozen waterfall. The guy had felt bad for turning me away, so wanted to show me something he thought I might like to photograph!’
Mr Chapple was full of praise for the camera, too.
This picture was taken on December 11 at 11:32 am as the sun neared its highest point just below the horizon, said Amos
A moonlit night in Teriberka, which is remote – but a great place to see the Northern Lights
Men drinking in a basement bar where, according to Amos, a large glass of beer costs around $1 (77p)
The 116ft-tall Alyosha Monument, which is dedicated to those who fought in the Second World War (left). The image on the right shows two men conversing in the courtyard of a Stalinist-era building
Lone ranger: A man at a city centre shooting range inspects his weapon
He said: ‘The night mode is incredible just for the computing power it uses to shoot in the dark.’
One of its most impressive features, he revealed in a feature for PetaPixel, is its ability to prevent motion blur, even during longer exposures.
‘All of the shots I made were tack sharp,’ he wrote.
Amos said that he was impressed with the iPhone 11 Pro’s ability to prevent motion blur
A local braves an afternoon blizzard in Murmansk, which sits in a bay by the frigid Barents Sea
A Soviet-era fighter plane is lit by the glow of Murmansk’s streetlights
In the biting cold, Amos revealed that he would sometimes operate the iPhone using his nose
Amos said of this picture: ‘A shopkeeper pours for a man who said the 10 litres of beer were for “my wife and me over the weekend”‘
A city centre chandelier-festooned Murmansk nightclub does a roaring trade
However, the cold did cause a few issues.
He added: ‘I had it inside a snug leather case so it was fairly insulated, but it was a little painful at times having to pull my thumb out of my glove to switch settings on the camera. Sometimes I was just pressing buttons with the tip of my nose so I could keep my fingers warmly inside my gloves.’
The most impressive sight he shot? The old boats.
He said: ‘The most impressive place was in the nearby village of Teriberka where Tsarist-era boats sat rotting in the tide. Revolution, followed by world war, followed by Stalin’s mass murders, followed by the collapse of the Soviet Union all took place as those boats just sat there as the tides came and went.’
To see more Amos Chapple’s work visit www.amoschapplephoto.com.
Way to glow: The aurora lights up the night sky over a Teriberka cemetery
The population of Murmansk is steadily declining. But Amos found some people who loved the wintry way of life
‘All of the shots I made were tack sharp,’ said Amos. On the right is a Murmansk KFC mascot (right)