Photo: Northern lights fill sky over Reine, Lofoten Islands, Norway. Feb 2012
Out of 12 nights on the islands I only saw a minor display of the northern lights – aurora borealis on February 6th. Most every other night of my trip the sky was cloudy and thus not very conductive to northern lights watching. Capturing a photo of the lights over Reine, or more specifically the mountain peak Olstind is an image that has been on my mind for a while. I think I came close, but the aurora wasn’t particularly bright so I’ll have to be back to try again. As luck would have it, I missed a fantastic display of the lights just two days after I left the islands. In addition to missing a good display that occurred at the end of January.
I’m of a sort of mixed opinion as to how good the Lofoten Islands are as a location for viewing the Northern Lights. While snow covered mountain peaks rising out of the sea make for perhaps some of the best subjects to include in a photo of the northern lights, the weather on Lofoten greatly diminishes ones chance of seeing the lights. I’d say that if you have 2+ weeks and want to see/photograph the northern lights than Lofoten Islands would be a good location. If you’re time is limited to under a week, then it would probably be better to look to northern Sweden or Finland where the chances of having clear skies are much higher. It doesn’t matter active the sun is, if the night sky is full of clouds, as it was 10 of 12 nights for my last trip, you’re not going to see anything.
Photo: Northern Lights over Olstind, Lofoten Islands, Norway. Feb 2012