CHASING THE MIDNIGHT SUN

Tom Archer is definitely up there as one of Hidden Iceland’s favourite photographers. We had the pleasure of taking him around some of our favourite sights one cold November day last year where we spoke about our shared love affair with the country. Have a read through Tom’s account of summer in Iceland if you are thinking about visiting Iceland when the sun rarely sets.

I have long had a love affair with Iceland. There is no country quite like it on Earth; vast, barren, volcanic lands stretch to the horizon, rolling hills marbled with snow stand under colossal glaciers, icebergs float majestically through freezing lakes and wash up on beaches, steaming blue geothermal spas blend into the landscape. Dozens of gigantic, thundering waterfalls cascade from cliff edges. In the winter the aurora dances through the sky like a celestial lava lamp. It may have been my fifth time back in this beautiful country but it was my first in the summer. It was also my first time seeing the midnight sun.

The midnight sun is a phenomenon in the extremes of the Northern and Southern Hemisphere during the peak of summer. The sun sets so late (in some areas it doesn’t set at all) that it never gets dark. Sunset and sunrise merge and you end up with the most beautiful and dramatic light that lasts for hours – a photographers dream.

It’s a strange sensation, to be up at midnight with the sun still bright in the sky, it feels magical and quite surreal. The best way to experience it is to sleep during the day and stay up all night, even more so if you are a photographer.

Iceland Midnight Sun

Midnight sun doesn’t mean the weather will be good however. But you often find that as the sun passes low on the horizon, it penetrates underneath the cloud layer creating dramatic skies.

Iceland Midnight Sun

This lone house in Aranarstapi sits on the edge of town between the mountains and the ocean. Can you think of a more tranquil or beautiful place to live?

Iceland Midnight Sun

Midnight is the best time to be roadtripping in the Icelandic summer! This was taken on our way to Kirkufell.

Iceland Midnight Sun

Kirkjufell is a famous and unique mountain, this classic shot of it taken from behind Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall. You may recognise it from Game of Thrones seasons 6 and 7 where it was used as Arrowhead Mountain north of the wall.

Iceland Midnight Sun

Iceland Midnight Sun

Iceland Midnight Sun

This is one of Icelands most iconic waterfalls and a personal favourite – Skógafoss. It stands at over 60 metres and is an impressive sight to witness. The best thing about this falls for me is you can almost walk straight up to the base of it. Be prepared to get very wet though!

Iceland Midnight Sun

Iceland Midnight Sun

Iceland Midnight Sun

The shot below was taken very shortly after the ones above. The mist was making the sunlight almost tangible and creating an incredibly beautiful scene. It doesn’t take long for weather to change there however and moment later it turned to thick fog. In my opinion though, Iceland is impressive to photograph in any weather.

Iceland Midnight Sun

Blog post by photographer Tom Archer.
Originally published on www.tom-archer.com on October 26th, 2017.
All photographs are by Tom Archer.
Check out his Instagram.

 

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