“Humans sleep through the best part of the day,” the world-famous nature photographer, Hannu Hautala, told me last week in an interview. “The best light is between sunset and sunrise.” And he’s not wrong. At 1 am last week this was the view from my bedroom window. Needless to say, I couldn’t sleep with a view like that outside. So I threw a coat on over my pajamas, slipped my feet into my rubber boots and trotted down the garden, camera in hand.
It’s not just the light that makes these bright summer nights in Lapland so special, it’s the whole atmosphere. The air is still and there is no sign of human life at all; not a noise, electric light or car. It’s just trees as far as the eye can see, the still water of the lake reflecting the golds and reds of the sky, and the occasional bird call or swish of a horse’s tail to break the silence.
It is these early morning scenes that capture the true essence of Lapland: peace, beauty, and stillness.
Photo and text by Heather Sunderland