The Midnight Sun
What is this phenomena, and when can you see it?
It is past midnight, you check your watch but cannot really believe you've got the right time. You should have been sleepy, but there is not even a hint of a yawn. The reason for all the confusion is right above you. Bright and shiny, the sun seems to be oblivious of time as you sail past fjords, islands and mountains in full daylight, in the middle of the night. You are north of the Polar Circle and experiencing the Midnight Sun.
What is the Midnight Sun phenomenon?
The Midnight Sun is a natural phenomenon that occurs north of 66° N 33’, between the vernal equinox and autumnal equinox. During the midnight sun period the sun does not go under the horizon at all.
To experience the Midnight Sun you must go north of the Polar Circle, the fine theoretical line that traverses Sweden, Finland, Russia, Alaska, Canada, Greenland and Iceland. This line also divides Norway into two. You don’t see it, but you most certainly notice the difference when you go north of it. There you will see the sun all day long throughout summer – as long as the weather holds.
When can I experience the Midnight Sun in Norway?
Above the Arctic Circle you can experience the Midnight Sun season from May till end of July, depending on where you are. You can find dates and times of Midnight Sun in Norway below:
Summer is the most popular time to visit Norway, and here you'll see just why...
Photographing the midnight sun
The midnight sun is one of the most beautiful and eerie phenomena you can experience on a Norway cruise. Aside from being a gorgeous thing to witness, the midnight sun can also be a really hard thing to photograph. You'll want to bring pictures home for friends, family and Facebook, but capturing the unique look of a sun that hasn't set in days is something that takes practice, skill and expert tips. We've compiled a few of the best tips to help you make the most of your time in the midnight sun and bring back memories you'll treasure for a lifetime:
Take your time
Arrive at a location you'd like to shoot at a time when you'll have a few hours to spare. Take a look at the landscape, the light, the composition of colors - everything you care to keep in mind during your own personal photography process. If it's not ideal, wait for a while and it may change. Just because the sun never sets doesn't mean the angle of light doesn't change. Or, take a series of pictures over a longer period of time to demonstrate different angles and faces of the midnight sun in Norway. Always move throughout your scene to get an idea of what it looks like from all sides - this is a great tip all the time, but particularly when you're dealing with the almost-alien landscapes that the midnight sun produces.
Keep it simple
The midnight sun tends to bring out a glow that makes colors sharper and shadows longer, which means your photographs will be more vibrant by default. Keeping this in mind, be sure to have only one or two subjects and a composition that's not overwhelmed by color. In this way, you can be sure your viewer will see what a magic experience you had, and not be baffled by what looks like a weird Instagram filter over a picture of vibrant fjord flowers or waterfalls. It's also a good idea to keep the horizon a third of the way from the bottom of your shot to get the correct exposure.
Instead of forcing yourself to go to bed, how about bringing Hemingway or Hamsun up on deck with you, take a seat and enjoy the world´s most beautiful natural reading light? Or just let your thoughts wander while you watch the light reflect from the surface of the ripples, or study the ship's shadows playing in the water?
The Midnight Sun is just as much a feeling as it is something to see. You will find warmer places pretty much all over the world, but the warm feeling of the Midnight Sun is something special – a feeling that will stay with you for a long time.