Nightless night photography workshop

I attended to the “Nightless night photography workshop” that was organised by the Inari-Saariselkä tourism board in July. You see, the sun does not set for nearly 3 months in summer in the north of Finland. It literally stays above the horizon all this time, day and night. This is the definition of the Midnight Sun. So it is easy to understand why the event is called “Nightless night photography workshop”.

Nightless night photography workshop

The nightless night photography workshop is part of the Arctic Light project, which aims to develop and improve international events in the Inari-Saariselkä tourist area. About 30 photographers participated to the workshop, most from Finland, but also a few from around the world: UK, Poland, France (me!) and even Canada. Three internationally acclaimed photographers were our guides and instructors for the duration of the workshop:

  • Eeva Mäkinen, who is a photographer and wilderness hostess from Finland;
  • Jan-Eerik Paadar, who is a subarctic explorer and photographer based in Inari, Finnish Lapland;
  • Cristoffer Collin, who is a self-taught travel, landscape and lifestyle photographer from Sweden with 1.3+ million followers on Instagram.

 

Photographer Eeva Mäkinen enjoying the midnight sun
Eeva Mäkinen poses for the participants on top of the Kiilopää fell

The days typically consisted in classroom lectures in the morning and outdoors photography workshops in the afternoon. In the first night, we hiked up the Kiilopää fell under magnificent light. The second night we had the photo marathon, during which we had 12 hours to take the winning photo on the theme “Feel the distance”.

Midnight hike to the Kiilopää fell

The Kiilopää fell is 546 meters high, and the most important fact in all this is that I managed to hike all the way to the top! The hike up is typical from the fells in the region: first you walk through some forest area, and the further you climb, the less trees you see, until you reach the barren summit with only rocks, short vegetation, and breathtaking views 360 degrees around.

On the one side you can see the midnight sun…

Midnight sun displaying a corona
The sun still high in the sky at 23:45. It will never set that night. The circles around it are an optical phenomenon called “corona”.

… and on the other side, at the same time, the moon’s first quarter above the blueish landscape (and your favourite photographer posing there too: that’s my vision of a “selfie”).

Self portrait standing in front of the moon
Enjoying the view…

The photo marathon

The organisation of the nightless night photography workshop only announced the theme at the very last moment, so the suspense was intense. We had 12 hours to submit up to 3 photos on the theme “feel the distance”. Only well after midnight, the sun peaked through the clouds. It happened when I was on top of a fell where I usually like to shoot the northern lights in winter. I just love this view on lake Inari.

Lake Inari seen from the Tuulispää fell near the village
1:10 AM… this is the time when the sun is the lowest in the sky, before climbing again. I don’t know what happened those days, do you see again the “corona” here?

Unfortunately, I did not win with this photo. Maybe because instead of shooting on the theme “feel the distance”, I got distracted by the cutest baby reindeer in the most beautiful light?

Reindeer calf in soft light on the green tundra
Baby reindeer at the Kaunispää fell… Mama reindeer was just a few meters away.

Summer in Lapland

Lapland is not only northern lights and winter wonderland. I highly recommend visiting also in summer to enjoy the Midnight Sun. You will be rewarded with the most beautiful sights and light, and you will most probably also meet the cutest baby reindeer. Inari-Saariselkä is my usual playground so I can only recommend it: there are truly always endless possibilities to have fun, whether you are a photographer or not.

All these photos are available in my stock gallery.

Have you already visited the far north in summer? Let me know what you think in the comments.

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