Get Snappy 3: Finnish Lapland

Get Snappy 3: Finnish Lapland

Greetings from Lapland! After two weeks of London photos, we’re changing it up with some pictures from extremely northern Finland.

There’ll be plenty of blogs coming in the next few weeks with pictures, information and exclamation points galore in order to try and communicate the magic of the Arctic Circle, so this will be a quick introduction rather than an in-depth post.

In terms of photography, photographing somewhere as cold and snowy as Lapland has its challenges. Firstly, the extremely cold temperatures (-28C) drain camera batteries extremely quickly. It is also too cold to have your hands in anything other than the sort of gloves that give you the precision of a bear in oven mitts. The extremely bright snow, combined with bright white or blue skies, makes choosing the right settings difficult and, finally, it is dark for essentially twenty hours each day, giving you only a couple of hours of daylight in which to capture the bulk of your photos.

I did a lot of advance reading about taking photographs somewhere this cold. I bought a couple of extra batteries and have been vigilant about charging them at every opportunity, lest we be caught with dead batteries and an incredible scene. Usually a full battery can last all day wandering around whereas here a battery lasted for about two hours outside. I am also trying to keep my camera in its bag as much as possible, to conserve warmth.

I’ve mainly just been braving cold hands in order to take good pictures, as my thinner gloves give me just enough dexterity to work the camera without inviting frostbite.

In terms of the settings, I have been experimenting as much as possible. Usually I shoot on manual exclusively but, with all the bright white snow, the auto function can often pick up the colours and contrast very effectively. The Tv setting (which sets aperture and ISO and lets you control the shutter speed) has also been very useful to capture sharp images with the right exposure while we’re moving quickly. 

It has been so amazing and fun not only seeing this unusual and special location but also trying to photograph it. I want to do justice to the incredible landscapes and delicate light but it’s a definitely a challenge for someone as inexperienced as me. I don’t think I’ve necessarily got the best shots, but the reality is that it is just too cold and the daylight too brief to spend hours outside thinking about angles.

This being said, I am really happy with some of the images I’ve taken so far. I’m here until tomorrow and tonight is our best shot for the elusive Aurora Borealis (Northern lights) so fingers crossed!

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Let me know what you think! Do you want to go to Lapland? Do you think you could handle -30C temperatures?

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