NI photographer lands the world’s coolest job

Tyler Collins who is off to start his dream job chasing the northern lights in Finland next month.
Tyler Collins who is off to start his dream job chasing the northern lights in Finland next month.

Living for months in almost total darkness some 300 miles into the Arctic Circle might not sound like the most inviting prospect, but for photographer Tyler Collins it is a dream come true.

Tyler’s spectacular photographs of the aurora borealis, captured in the night sky over some of Northern Ireland’s most iconic landscapes, has landed the self confessed night-owl a dream job in a part of Finland where temperatures can plunge as low as minus 40 degrees Celsius.

He will lead tours around the magnificent frozen landscape of Europe’s extreme north as people voyage from all over the world to catch a glimpse of one of nature’s most incredible spectacles - the Northern Lights.

The web developer turned photographer from Londonderry was selected for the position out of a pool of thousands of applicants from across the globe after a job posting with Finnish firm Aurora Service Tours went viral.

“I’ve always been a night owl”, he said. “When you go out at night there is no one about and I just prefer that peace and quiet - the solitude.

“If you’ve ever been out really late into the middle of the night, you can see the Milky Way, auroras, shooting stars, satellites and it is really a great experience. In the day time, you have cars, people running about going to work - busy, busy, busy - and there is so much noise. At night it is so peaceful and quiet. Just being there and admiring what is out there is something 90 per cent of the population never get to experience.

“The company that I’m going to work for had been providing data for the auroras themselves with the chances of seeing them at certain latitudes and that type of thing. It was a service I had actually used myself and when I saw the job listing up on the site I just thought, if you don’t ask in this life, you don’t get.

“In a sense it is my dream job. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I think it would be something I would always regret it if I didn’t go for it.”