I’ve probably mentioned the midnight sun more than a few times by now. You might naturally assume it’s because I like it so much. Actually, that’s not entirely true. It has its benefits for sure, but it’s a double-edged sword.

First, the negative: For photography, the midnight sun is devastating. The best light occurs when the sun is at or below the horizon - that’s when you get the beautiful sunsets and sunrises with orange, red, and purple skies. When the sun just sits there well above the horizon, the light is decent, but certainly not ideal.

The beach in Bleik with Bleiksøy island, home to tens of thousands of puffins, in the background.

Surely it’s still an amazing phenomenon to take pictures of, you may ask? Honestly, not really. It’s a great *experience*. You’re out at night and the sun is there and it feels exciting in its strangeness. But when you show a photograph of it later, you need to explain why the photo is special. “This may look like a regular sun but it’s actually the midnight sun!” And it’s never a great photo if you need to explain what’s great about it.

Not to mention that for someone like me who enjoys night and star photography, the total lack of darkness is somewhat of a letdown.

Luckily there are still plenty of other phenomena to shoot.

On the positive side however, the ability to camp whenever I want is wonderful. There’s never a need to stop early because it’s getting dark. I can ride all night on empty roads if I like. This adds yet another level of freedom to the many others bicycle touring offers already.

Ever since I was a teenager, I’ve had quite an elastic sleeping pattern. Originally due to the white nights of Finnish summer, or my tendency to get stuck reading interesting books far into the early hours. Going to sleep early and waking up early has never really been suitable for me. Which made school a bit of a challenge, and has later made me pursue atypical career and life choices. Meaning this kind of schedule of constant daylight without any restraints suits me perfectly.

So as my path has turned south and towards autumn, the sunsets and stars will soon be visible again. I will both miss the midnight sun and be glad that it’s gone. In any case, it should result in better photos for you readers to look at.

2 Comments