Photo by Jani Kärppä

Unique Light Conditions

 

Lapland is mostly located above the Arctic Circle, which gives the daylight a unique and distinctive tone all year long. The most remarkable effects of the northern location can be seen during midsummer and midwinter.

The land of the midnight sun delivers natural lighting conditions, from the distinctive soft glow of the winter months, reflected and enhanced by the snow, to the brilliance of the 24-hour summer daylight.

 

Polar Night

 

Lapland’s location above the Arctic Circle also means that during the winter season, there is a period of “Polar Night” when the sun remains under the horizon allowing hardly any daylight. This period lasts for a few weeks depending on location.

During this period called “Kaamos” in Finnish, the variance of day and night can still be clearly noted, but the amount of light is very limited. In practice, dusk begins before dawn turns into day, making the light conditions artistically interesting. The famous blue moment with different shades of purple can be utterly beautiful and something really special to catch on film.

 

Midnight Sun

 

Summer stands for constant daylight around the clock. This provides opportunities for long shooting days and atmospheric sceneries that are possible only above the Arctic Circle. In Lapland’s northernmost point, Utsjoki, the sun does not set for 75 days during summer.

Often photographers and cinematographers speak of the golden hour and capturing the most beautiful golden light on camera as the sun sets. In Lapland, there is plenty of that golden hour time during the summer months.

 

Northern Lights/Auroras

 

One of the most spectacular phenomena over the northern sky is the illuminating light show of aurora borealis. It is only visible when it’s dark (and the darker the better) and is at its strongest after heavy solar activity of the sun. The legend says it is the tail of a fox that whisks the lights into the sky as he travels…

Northern Lights can be seen from August to April.

 

Let there be light…

 

After the mid-winter months (December-January) and the Polar Night late-winter (February-April) days reaches the Lapland. That last period of winter months is flooded with bright light as the sun sparkles in the pure white snow. That is the time when you need sunglasses, sunblock, and a dimmer for your camera.

 

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