Photos: Fireworks, ice, snow, and polar nights from Northern Sweden

Snow and ice - Arctic Tundra - Swedish Lapland - Northern Sweden - Winter photography by Lola Akinmade Åkerström

“Clear skies. -28 degrees celsius,” my husband updated me. “Good chance for norrsken“. Northern Lights.

I’d seen them dance across the skies in Reykjavik about six years ago. The second they started unveiling like curtains, I snapped away, happily recording this phenomenon which often appears on many bucket lists, only to have all seven rolls of film (yes, film) completely wiped out by the airport x-ray machine.

So I quickly bundled baby up, strapped her into her car seat, piled into the car with the hubby at the wheel, and we headed towards Kallax. Away from city lights, pushing further into the darkness. Finally as far away from artificial light as we could get on short notice, we waited by the side of a desolate crunchy snow covered road.

And waited. And waited. We were all alone out there. In pitch-black polar darkness with the moon illuminating sections of sky and land.

I set up my tripod and camera but the biting cold kept forcing me back into the car to wait. Then my mind started.

What if a massive moose popped out of nowhere? An Arctic fox? Maybe a wolf?

At each growl-ish sound I heard, I was diving back into the car at breakneck speed. Heck no!.

The norrsken never did show up that night and the subsequent nights were cloudy so no luck there. But I’m planning on heading back north before spring. Further north. Back to Kiruna and Jukkasjärvi. To Abisko. To experience more Sámi culture and possibly catch those elusive lights on camera.

So in lieu of vibrant Northern Lights photos, I give you a few shots I took over the holidays from Swedish Lapland – from our small neighborhood New Year’s Eve fireworks to dark polar nights and ice-coated landscapes.

Snow and ice - Arctic Tundra - Swedish Lapland - Northern Sweden - Winter photography by Lola Akinmade ÅkerströmSnow and ice - Arctic Tundra - Swedish Lapland - Northern Sweden - Winter photography by Lola Akinmade ÅkerströmSnow and ice - Arctic Tundra - Swedish Lapland - Northern Sweden - Winter photography by Lola Akinmade ÅkerströmSnow and ice - Arctic Tundra - Swedish Lapland - Northern Sweden - Winter photography by Lola Akinmade ÅkerströmSnow and ice - Arctic Tundra - Swedish Lapland - Northern Sweden - Winter photography by Lola Akinmade ÅkerströmSnow and ice - Arctic Tundra - Swedish Lapland - Northern Sweden - Winter photography by Lola Akinmade ÅkerströmSnow and ice - Arctic Tundra - Swedish Lapland - Northern Sweden - Winter photography by Lola Akinmade ÅkerströmSnow and ice - Arctic Tundra - Swedish Lapland - Northern Sweden - Winter photography by Lola Akinmade ÅkerströmSnow and ice - Arctic Tundra - Swedish Lapland - Northern Sweden - Winter photography by Lola Akinmade ÅkerströmSnow and ice - Arctic Tundra - Swedish Lapland - Northern Sweden - Winter photography by Lola Akinmade Åkerström

  • http://apassportaffair.com/ Megan

    I saw your link scroll by on my twitter feed. How did you know I was stalking Sweden and the Northern Lights tonight! Gorgeous photos!

  • http://www.lolaakinmade.com Lola

    @Freya – Thanks!

  • http://www.holidaynomad.com Freya

    Those photos are absolutely beautiful, what a great place.

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  • http://www.lolaakinmade.com Lola

    @Thea – Thanks so much! And by the way, your fiber art is gorgeous. Just checked out your site.

    @Abhi – Thanks! Hoping to catch those Northern Lights within the next 3 weeks.

  • http://idrinkmyteasweet.com Abhi

    Wow, such beautiful landscapes, Lola! Unlucky about the Northern Lights though!

  • http://www.theabelecz.com Thea Belecz

    Beautiful, beautiful pictures that made me clap my hand to my heart. Good way to start my day – thank you. Looking forward to northern light pictures! Where I live looks much like where you live – have seen northern lights here, but only the glow-ee kind. We’re too far south for the spectacular ribbons. Rock on, Lola.

  • http://www.lolaakinmade.com Lola

    @Ayelet – Thanks so much! I hope you get to see the lights soon.

  • http://www.allcolores.com Ayelet – All Colores

    The Northern Lights are high on my travel bucket list. I feel your pain for losing those photos, having lost photos myself that I waited so long to take. I hope you get to experience the Northern Lights again this year! Your photos are gorgeous.

  • Lola

    @Jason – Thanks! That fireworks shot is one of my favs too.

    @Monica-USA – Great to see you here and thanks so much!

  • Monica-USA

    Hej Lola, your pictures are just breathtaking!! The beauty and the stillness captured in your pictures are amazing. Thanks :o)

  • http://jayocracy.blogspot.ca Jason Guitard (@jayocrat)

    Great set, Lola! Seeing these makes me want to travel to Sweden just a little bit more.

    That shot of the fireworks reflecting in the Audi’s windshield was quite clever, too. :)

  • http://www.lolaakinmade.com Lola

    @Camilla – Thanks so much! Sorry you didn’t get to see the lights in Tromso. Would love to head up there myself too.

    @Perlina – Thanks and so sorry we couldn’t connect while you were in Stockholm. Was up north. Hopefully next time :)

    @Zane – Haha, thanks!

    @Scott – Oh yes, frostbite and all for the photographic cause :)

    @Filip – Thanks. It’s easy to take this scenery for granted every time I go up to Northern Sweden but it’s one of the most beautiful regions of the country.

  • http://filipdemuinck-kristelpardon.blogspot.com/ Filip Demuinck

    Fantastic pictures, lots of snow and ice. What a trip.

    Greetings,
    Filip

  • Scott

    Admiring your dedication to the photographic cause. :) Nice picssss, the fourth one down is my fave.

  • Zane

    Oh, what a snowy and wintery pictures. It’s like you have caught the essence of the winter like it has to be (although we may not like it) – cold, white, lots of snow and ice.

  • perlina

    Oh Lola, what a beautiful pictures !!! And all that snow !!! I was a little bit disappointed i wanted a lot of snow and a very cold weather. But Stockholm wasn’t so called and the snow slowly disappeared. But i still love you Stockholm ;) But as i said it before, Lola, beautiful pictures.

  • http://www.drinkpop.it Camilla

    I’ve just come back from Tromso, Norway, and I also hadn’t lucky with northen light :( Just a tiny light green ribbon… But I’ll try again, maybe in Abisko… Anyway, beautiful pics, as usual…!