The “midnight sun” is a natural phenomenon occurring north of the Arctic Circle and south of the Antarctic Circle when the sun never fully sets and remains visible 24 hours a day. Since there are no permanent human settlements south of the Antarctic Circle, countries and territories that experience the midnight sun are limited to those crossed by the Arctic Circle, including Canada, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Russia and Iceland, plus Alaska in the United States.
Filmmaker and photographer Joe Capra sought out capturing the midnight sun in Iceland. To make the above film, he traveled solo around the country for 17 days, shooting both day and night. He slept in his car, hiked in the middle of the night and ate whenever he had a moment of free time. When he returned to Los Angeles, he brought with him 38,000 images in total from the trip.
In an interview about the film, Capra told photographer Michael Levy he chose to travel to Iceland in June because the month is a little early for the tourist season, giving him a chance to film when some popular locations are less crowded. More importantly, at this time of year the midnight sun allowed him six or so hours of fantastic “golden light.”
“I am the type of person who does not want to go on vacation and just walk around cities or just lay on the beach all day long,” Capra said. “I like to get out and see and experience the countries I visit. Going alone also allowed me to go where I wanted, when I wanted, and stay at locations as long as I wanted without having to worry about the needs of another person with me,” he continued.
On his Vimeo page, Capra encourages everyone – photographer or not – to visit Iceland. Although Capra is not sure where he’ll go on his next trip, he relayed that he’s researching Patagonia.