The Sami are an indigenous people who live in the northern regions of Sweden, Norway, Finland and the Kola Peninsula of Russia.
Lapland – Been There

A picnic in Lapland at minus 30ºC

Photo by Ton Koene

Lapland – Been There A picnic in Lapland at minus 30ºC

While I was in Lapland making a documentary about the Sámi, the family with whom I was staying invited me for a picnic in their goahti (tent).

Ton Koene
Ton Koene Travel Photographer

I was surprised as they lived in a comfortable well heated wooden house, it was -30ºC outside and already getting dark. Not exactly a moment for a picnic, I thought. But it turns out to be a popular thing to do among the Sámi on winter days. Inside the tent, they make a small fire and sit around it on comfortable reindeer skins, while toasting sausages on the fire. During these evenings, people tell each other stories about their culture.

The Sámi also love to be outside in the woods and feel connected to nature. Many generations ago, when they were still nomads, the goathi was the “living room” where people gathered in the evenings to tell each other stories. This tradition is obviously being kept alive.

While chatting with the family inside the goathi, I wanted to take a picture of it from outside. I waited for the twilight to set in to have the maximum atmosphere. The fire colored the inside of the tent bright orange while the outside was nicely blue because of the snow under a clear evening sky.

Because there was still sufficient light, I just took a few shots and they were all perfect: no need for a high ISO (which controls the sensitivity of the camera to light), nor even a tripod.

A few moments later I tried again but it had become too dark. Photography is often a matter of timing.

Sign up for TRVL now for the best hotel rates on the internet - and get paid a commission when you book. Power to the traveler!

019-55210

Sámi people camp in the north of Finland where the “Everyman’s Right” law allows anyone to ski, walk or camp where they like, provided they do not light open fires, cut any wood or leave any garbage or other signs of their stay. The law also allows the gathering of berries and mushrooms and evolved out of a need to respect the rights of nomadic people. Photo by Ton Koene

Ton Koene

Ton Koene

Canon EOS 5D-II

Aperture
ƒ/1.4
Exposure
1/20
ISO
1000
Focal
24 mm

Sámi people camp in the north of Finland where the “Everyman’s Right” law allows anyone to ski, walk or camp where they like, provided they do not light open fires, cut any wood or leave any garbage or other signs of their stay. The law also allows the gathering of berries and mushrooms and evolved out of a need to respect the rights of nomadic people.

Other stories about Lapland