Photo: Winter Light on Olstinden, Reine, Lofoten Islands, Norway. Jan 2010
Starting from the darkness of the new year, the daylight hours of the Lofoten Islands lengthen at at phenomenal pace throughout the early months of winter. Over the course of a week daylight increases by about an hour, making a noticeable difference to the observer. And for the photographer waking for sunrise, it means having to adjust ones alarm clock earlier and earlier every few days. By the middle of February the days still feel a bit short, but are approaching some feeling of normality for wintertime at lower latitudes. By late March the length of the days have passed places lower down on the continent and are well on their way to a summer of endless sunlight.
Here are a few sunrise – sunset times for the first few months of the year (based on Leknes):
Jan 1: No sunrise
Jan 15: 10:45 – 13:45
Feb 1: 9:27 – 15:12
Feb 15: 8:27 – 16:14
Mar 1: 7:24 – 17:13
Mar 15: 6:25 – 18:06
In planning for a trip to the islands, I think it’s important that one pay attention to the length of day. While the darkness of midwinter is a beautiful time on the islands, and should be experienced at some point. It is perhaps not the best time to visit if you’re planning a ski touring or climbing trip, as longer days for outdoor activities would be preferable. For the photographer who wishes to catch up on sleep after a busy finish of the year, mid January is a perfect time for a visit.