Photo: Autumn sunset from summit of Offersøykammen, Vestvågøya, Lofoten Islands. October 3, 2012
To coincide with this weeks new hiking guide, here’s a photo from the summit of Offersøykammen, a small, isolated mountain peak on the western most edge of Vestvågøya.
Autumn on Offersøykammen: The day so far had been a typical blustery Autumn day on Lofoten; clouds and rain, light and shadow. But as late afternoon approached, and having nearly driven around the whole of Vestvågøya, I knew I had yet to capture an image that would represent the day, and more importantly, the brilliance of Autumn on the Lofoten Islands. The previous day I had also hiked up Himmentindan, the highest peak on Vestvågøya, so I was telling my legs I’d give them a rest day. And so with that in mind, I figured I might as well make the easy hike up Offersøykammen and see what the light would provide.
I reached the summit as the sun was hanging low over the mountains of Flakstadøya in the west, casting a brilliant golden light over the colourful Autumn foliage on the relatively flat summit. I shot several compositions including various rocks as a foreground element, but this scene seemed the most balanced to me.
As I waited around for the sun to lower, I noticed a mist begin to form around the mountain below me. This soon turned into light clouds blowing over the ridge, climbing higher and higher until the summit was surrounded by a sea of clouds. I went back to the rocks and made this image, as I like the way the mist had a softening effect on the light. 10 minutes later, I was in a complete whiteout, the sun now invisible. And so my hopes of sunset were gone.
As I left the summit and descended back below the clouds I soon discovered that I had pretty much chosen the only peak to be covered in clouds, nearly everything else remained free and clear in the softening evening light. But looking back, I think the clouds had near perfect timing for the creation of this image, something maybe a bit more special than I would have seen had it not arrived.
Technical notes: Image is from a single RAW file processed twice: once for foreground and once for background.
Nikon 24-70 f/2.8