Tuesday, September 02, 2014

The Northern Lights in Finnish Lapland

There may be no better sight in the world than the Northern Lights. Those dancing colors in the sky are one of the few things in life that can really take your breath away. It’s a sight that you’ll tell your children about and one that you’ll remember every little detail of even years later. As for where to experience the lights, there may be no better place to see them in Finnish Lapland. For those looking to experience the Aurora Borealis for themselves, here’s how to make the most of it.

Northern Lights 

Northern Finland
Few things can generate a warm glow of childlike wonder like holidays to Lapland, not least for the ability to see the Northern Lights from almost anywhere in the country. Of course, there are ways to get the most out of the view as the further north you go, the better. In northern Lapland, this natural spectacle can be seen on up to 4 clear nights out of 5 from September to March.

Southern Finland
On the other hand, southern Finland is only treated to a show on 10-20 nights a year. So if you do happen to find yourself in northern Lapland on a starry night, there’s a good chance that you’ll witness one of nature’s wonders. To enhance the experience, try to stay away from buildings and other sources of light as they will degrade the viewing quality.

Northern Lights in Finnish Lapland 

How to photograph them
Of course, you’ll want to take pictures of this magical wonder. Just remember, anyone can take great pictures as long as you’re prepared! As far as equipment goes, a tripod is a must, along with a wide, fast lens to capture pictures in the low light. Keep in mind that it’s going to be cold, so weather-sealing is preferable. The last thing you want is the camera being damaged due to moving from an exceptionally cold environment to a warm one. Also, it may seem like a full moon would be beneficial, but even that light can overwhelm the Northern Lights. A quarter moon is most preferable.

The Northern Lights are truly a wonder and anyone who is able to see them in person should count themselves lucky. Just remember, bundle up, it’s going to be cold.

Images by Timo Newton-Syms, used under creative commons license.

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