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northern lights photo tour

The Northern Lights of Lofoten Island – Trip Report

The Lofoten Islands off the Arctic coast of Norway is known for its majestic peaks, tranquil fishing villages and dramatic light. Our Northern Lights photo tour to Lofoten in February gave us all of this!

Upon arriving at Reine for our Lofoten photography tour, we stayed at picturesque fishing cabins that overlooked a scene that looked like it came straight off a Norwegian postcard. During our stay here we photographed some classic scenery found in the area, such as the beautiful red boat houses at Hamnøy and the sunset at Å (possibly the shortest place name in the world…)

Lofoten is one of the best places in the world to photograph the Aurora Borealis and as soon as we had a clear sky we headed out to a nearby beach to see what we could find. Photographing the lights on a Northern Lights photo tour depends on a lot of luck with the weather and also the solar flare activity of the sun. Thankfully, we had a bit of luck and were treated to a preview of what can be expected on a Lofoten photo tour.

After our stay at Reine we moved on to Leknes. We stayed at a beautiful lodge that was in a superb location, complimented by some excellent dining where our expert chef served us local dishes, such as fresh Cod loin and Lofoten lamb. Leknes was also the perfect location for daily excursions, with the Norwegian landscapes as a picture perfect backdrop.

We spent the mornings and evenings photographing the rugged coasts, the snow-covered beaches and tucked away fishing villages. Being positioned far out in the ocean, these islands have a very mild climate compared to the mainland but a couple of days of howling winds reminded us that we were north of the Arctic Circle in winter and on an island in the Norwegian Sea. However, we managed to get out and shoot to capture these wild landscapes despite the bitter cold but when the weather was too rough we stayed indoors and worked on editing the images we had captured so far during our Lofoten photo tour.

On one afternoon we were shooting slow shutter speeds on the coastal rocks when suddenly we saw the sun break through the clouds in the distance. We quickly aborted our initial plan and started chasing after the light and photographed it from a few different locations. As we were moving from one side of the mountain to another, the light exploded over the rugged peaks and we immediately stopped to set up our gear. Photographing this type of light was one of those moments that one dreams about and when it happens on a Lofoten photography tour, you are in for a treat!

On our last morning, we headed north and east before dawn as our main target was to capture more of the wintery landscapes in the morning light. Our decision turned out to be a good one as we stopped numerous times on our way to photograph the constantly changing light, as well as the snow-covered peaks, forests and lakes.

Our Lofoten photography tour soon came to an end but we all headed home with full hard drives and some great memories. The next Northern Lights photo tour will have to wait until 2019 but I look forward to welcoming you to the beautiful archipelago for a spectacular photo tour!

By Roy Mangersnes