1,000 Words

Behind the lens

Chasing the Midnight Sun


Waiting for the Midnight Sun to touch the tips of the mountains behind me.

The past few days exploring the Lofoten Islands has been a true delight. We arrived just ahead of the tourist season and found our first days on the islands to be quiet ones. Few people travel about, many of the shops and restaurants not yet open for the season.

As a photographer, I am constantly chasing the light, looking for the perfect natural lighting conditions to showcase the setting I see. I've found it a unique challenge here that the sun never sets.

The Lofoten Islands are situated in the Arctic Circle, and during the summer months, the sun never sets. They call it the Midnight Sun. The sun lowers below the mountaintops, but never reaches the horizon. Instead at its lowest point, it skirts along the horizon lighting up the sky with deep oranges and yellows. Beautiful.

It's always important to my work to understand where and when the sun will make its first appearance of the day and its last. It's at those moments, "the Magic Hour," that the light is filtered and bright enough to highlight my subjects. With the Midnight Sun, the "Magic Hour" lasts through the night.

In a few weeks time, the island will be filled with vacationers from Norway, Sweden, Germany, and beyond, who come here to enjoy the fjords, the mountains, and the quaint fishing villages. But for now, it's quiet. it's me, my wife, and my camera, and the midnight sun.

An iphone photo capturing the lovely town of Hamnøy. I plan to return to this location to shoot it in various lighting conditions.

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