An Arctic Midday Sun

In wintertime in the Arctic Circle, the sun never makes it above the horizon.  For about 2-3 hours – depending on cloud coverage – you do get these gorgeous sunrise/sunsets.  I really like the way the light colors the snow a pale orange on one side while the shadows appear blue.  In this shot below, you can really appreciate the vast expanse of the frozen tundra.  All the way to the horizon, all you can see is the waves and texture of the snow drifts that collect like desert sand.  Devoid of moisture, the snow even feels and moves like sand.  If you’ve ever been to the beach on a windy day, you’ve probably seen the shoreline come alive for a moment when the wind picks up a handful of sand and sends it floating off in a sort of a serpentine dance that takes place not but a few inches off the ground.  With no trees to block the wind, it does as it pleases with whatever remains unfastened to the ground.   Driving down the ice roads at night can be quite disorientating with these drifts of snow slithering ahead of you in the glow of headlights.  What an otherworldly, remarkable environment.

Sony A7RII w/ Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 @ f/4
Sony A7RII w/ Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 @ f/4

For those who may be interested:  The A7RII has handled the brutally cold temperatures without missing a beat.  My batteries have held up quite well and I’ve had no issues with stiff buttons or dials.  The only thing I have noticed, and it is to be expected, is the liquid crystal display is affected by the cold temperature, resulting in a very sluggish image on the back panel.  The OLED viewfinder does not seem to mind the cold as much.  I’ll continue to post any observations I make regarding the performance of this camera in such an extreme cold environment.  So far so good; let’s hope it stays that way.

5 thoughts on “An Arctic Midday Sun

  1. It’s funny, this photo made me think of White Sands, New Mexico! This is such a beautiful photo. Alaska is such an amazing place.


  2. Thanks Paul. That was some strange lighting up there. I wish I had brought a tripod with me and a longer lens to capture the epic moon rises. The horizon would compress the shape of the moon, making it look like a massive mushroom. If I go back up there, I’ll definitely bring with me more than just a 14mm and 35mm lens.



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