In January this year I traveled for two weeks to the north of Finland, to Lapland, to photograph the impressive winter landscape and the polar lights.
The landscape is dominated by deep snow-covered forests and coniferous trees. Sometimes you can also see native animals like reindeer, squirrels, swans, ptarmigans or other birds.
One week I spent, together with other photographers, near Muonio at the border to Sweden and a second week I visited Riisitunturi National Park near Ruka.
In January, the chances are good to photograph the trees completely covered with snow. This is not always the case. But if you are lucky, the trees are completely snowed in, so they look like
towers of ice or trolls of snow. But this only happens when a lot of snow has fallen, it has been windless for a long time and it is also very cold. Then the snow freezes on the trees and the branches bend down under the weight of the snow. The firs then look like huge spears of ice reaching into the sky.
But if it is too windy, the snow is blown off the branches. The temperature in the north of Finland in January is about -10 °C to -35 °C.
In February the temperatures are often a bit warmer and the chances to see the trees completely covered with snow are lower. In December, on the other hand, there is not yet enough snow.
Of course, these are only experience values. It can also happen, depending on the weather, that you can find perfect conditions in December or February.
The sun remains below the horizon at the beginning of January. From mid/late January it rises only 1 to 2 degrees above the horizon. Therefore, there is perfect light for photography in January! The first light, at blue hour, is at 09:00 am in the morning. The last light in the evening is until 04:00 pm. In between you can experience an incredible play of colors in the sky!
The light is from blue/purple in the morning to pink to orange at noon and in the evening it becomes purple/blue again. This light, which exists in our latitudes only for about 15 minutes, exists there in the the whole day! A paradise for nature photographers!