Emma Godfrey

The midnight sun | Story of the photo | Lofoten Norway

Photographing the midnight sun

Camping under the midnight sun in Lofoten, Norway.

Despite having wanted to travel to the Lofoten islands in Norway for some time, I had never really considered going to photograph the midnight sun. In my mind I wanted to find mountains that dropped into the sea and archipelagos that stretched into the distance. It was only when checking the weather while packing that I realized that for our entire travels in the Lofoten we would be under the midnight sun. I made sure to pack an eye mask for camping and thought nothing more of it.

Finding the midnight sun

Our first few days were in gales and rain, there wasn’t much sun to speak of and the dry suit scuba diving left us too tired to stay up looking for the midnight sun.

The first time I saw the midnight sun we had hiked over to Horseid beach. I had carefully checked the weather and had my fingers crossed that the promised clear days would arrive. We pitched camp in a strong wind and cloudy skies. It was too much to stay out and wait up so I set an alarm for 23:50 and we went to bed. Just before the alarm sounded I woke up and noticed that our yellow tent had a golden glow. Sliding down to the other end I unzipped the doors and there it was, a perfect red glow, blue skies and the sun skating on the horizon. I woke J up and we spent time taking pictures and soaking up the glorious light. I finally understood why many photographers reset their body clocks in the Nordic summer. Hiking at night would give incredible light and views.

Effects of the midnight sun

Later on in our travels we met a Norwegian lady on the top of the Stornappstinden one evening. It was a beautiful day, scorching hot, blue skies and no wind. We chatted as J prepared the dinner we’d brought up. She told me, with a great smile, that up here you can last a long time on days like these. I knew what she meant. There was something about the warmth and the light that was euphoric. Like somehow you could absorb it all inside and keep it to get you through other days.

The midnight sun in Lofoten

That night we camped on Uttakleiv beach with many other tents. From here you can see the sun dance on the edge of the sea and then start to rise again. It is something I will never forget and definitely on my list of wonders of the world.

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