Photo: Winter sun at midday, Hamnøya, Lofoten Islands, Norway. January 6, 2010. 12:50
By the end of the first week of January, the sun is just barely beginning to wake from its winter hibernation. Not even fully crossing the horizon, the sun slowly arcs the southern sky before the long winter night returns by mid afternoon. While I had already made a half dozen trips to the islands by this point, this was my first real journey into the heart of winter.
Alone and cold, my only shelter from the fierce storms that blasted the islands was my tiny rental car, unable to even fully recline the seats to sleep. I spent and average of 20 hours per day wrapped in my sleeping bag, reading by the light of my headlamp to pass the time, drifting in and out of sleep when I could. Snow fell so heavily on several days that the only place I could park so sleep for the night was next to bus stops on the E10 where a snow plow would hopefully arrive by mid morning to dig me most of the way out. But it was over these 5 days that I took some of my brilliant photos of the islands to date. I embraced to cold and the darkness and used it to my advantage.
This image is from my first full day on the islands. The night had been turbulent and stormy (I had yet to learn that Utakleiv is generally not a good place to sleep in a car in winter), but as dawn arrived, the islands clear and calm. By midday I found myself in the west as the sun was beginning to break the horizon. It seemed to just sit there, halfway between sea and sky.
Despite the fact that the horizon was clear, the clouds overhead never developed much color. The mountain behind me were glowing a brilliant pink, but I also wanted to capture something looking towards the sun, even though the scene was actually somewhat boring to tell the truth. So after unknowing getting my car stuck in the snow (I had to get pulled by some guy in a tractor I found clearing the streets a little later), I walked over to the cod drying rack, still sitting empty this early in the year. Trying a few composition, I eventually decided something a bit more abstract might fit the scene better. So I ’tilted’ the lens all the way to throw most of the frame out of focus and help lead the viewer towards the sun.
Nikon 24mm f/3.5 tilt-shift
2 images – top/bottom
Full lens tilt