Friday Photo #199 – View Over Bunes Beach

Friday Photo #199 - View Over Bunes beach

Photo: Panoramic view over Bunes beach and Reine near summit of Storskiva, Moskenesøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway. October 22, 2016. 12:11

After the previous weekend’s failure to reach the summit of Ertenhelltind, last weekend I found myself on the 21:30 ferry from Reine to Vindstad with another mountain in sight. The goal: Storskiva. The iconic peak rising 848 meters above the southern side of Bunes beach.

The autumn has mostly been mild and dry this year, and even mostly cooperative on the weekends when my mountain partners are available. Though no rain was forecast, a shower passed over my house Friday afternoon, giving me a bit of hesitation about the condition our route for Saturday. But as evening came, the radar was clear and so I headed to Reine.

After a cold, windy night camping on the pass above Bunes, we took a leisurely start to the hike. The forecast was for full sun, yet the sky remained somewhat cloudy, but above the summits at least! With the sun low on the horizon at this time of year, Bunes only gets a brief amount of sunlight. With the clouds added in, light was only cast among the surrounding mountains.

A little below the summit we took a shot break and I shot this 12 image pano, handheld – not always time/need for the tripod, even though it was on my backpack. The wind was blowing cold, so we didn’t stop long. Above, the temperatures dropped below freezing and the turf was frozen and slippery, with winter just around the corner. But not before one last snow free summit of the year! And one that I have waited a while for and will surely be back again to watch the magical summer midnight light shine across Bunes and Helvetestind!

Camera Info:
Nikon D800
Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8
24mm
ISO 200
f 10
1/320 second
WB Daylight
12 image pano

Friday Photo #198 – Yttersand Beach

Friday Photo #198 - Yttersand Beach

Photo: Autumn morning over Yttersand beach, Moskenesøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway. October 18, 2016. 09:31

I had originally planned to camp on the summit of Fuglhuken, yet a late start to the day meant I would not reach the summit before sunset. The weather was cloudier than forecasted, and my main hopes were for a repeat of the northern lights, which had been fantastic on the previous night – when I was a bit lazy after a day of climbing, so stayed low on the beaches.

I thought about just heading back to the car, but since I had already carried my gear up to Ytresandhei, I decided just to stay the night up on the ridge near Røren, just in case anything happened.

At 18:40, I saw the first flicker of aurora in the sky. However, the combination of high clouds and full moon were too strong. Crawling into my sleeping bag to escape the cold, I remained optimistic for the sky to clear, and kept checking until late into the night. Sometime early in the morning a faint aurora glowed overhead, but it wasn’t strong enough, nor was I, for me to enter into the cold.

Dawn brought some nice colors, but the composition was off for my location on the ridge. So when it became evident I wouldn’t shoot much, I packed camp and began the short walk back to the van. It wasn’t until I was almost back at the parking area that I thought this scene looked interesting enough to pull out my camera. The clouds were moving just enough for me use a 10 stop ND filter and and an exposure of 90 seconds to bring a little softness back into the sky to match the feeling of the light.

Camera Info:
Nikon D800
Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8
28mm
ISO 50
f 13
91 seconds
WB Daylight
10 stop ND filter

Friday Photo #197 – Olstind Rainbow

Friday Photo #197 - Olstind Rainbow

Photo: Autumn rainbow over Olstind mountain peak, Reine, Moskenesøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway. October 2, 2016. 08:44

The beginning of October brought the usual turbulent autumn weather across Lofoten. And with the wind and rain come the rainbows. I often remark, that for a place with so much rain, rainbows are relatively infrequent compared to my experience with similar conditions such as in Scotland. Yet with the autumn rains and the lowering sun, the rainbows seem to grow in frequency.

I was guiding a tour on this particular morning. I was just about to pickup a client from the bridge at Hamnøy, but as I saw the rain approaching, I told him to stay – and where he got an absolutely fantastic photo – while I continued across the bridge and parked on the other side.

By the time I was out of my van, the rain was already falling, blowing right into the direction I needed to shoot. I turned my back to the wind and set my camera up in advance. Turning quickly, I fired off a series of shots as the wide glass of the 14-24 was pelted with rain. Luckily the first few shots were good enough.

Camera Info:
Nikon D800
Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8
16mm
ISO 125
f 7.1
1/250 second
WB Daylight

Friday Photo #196 – Tønsåsheia Sunrise

Friday Photo 196 - Tønsåsheia

Photo: Autumn sunrise from Tønsåsheia, Flakstadøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway. September 23, 2016. 07:13

My tent was shaking in the wind as dawn approached. Having stayed up past midnight in an unsuccessful attempt at northern lights, my 05:30 alarm hit me like a wall; part of me secretly hoping for no light and an excuse to stay in my sleeping bag. But as I unzipped the tent and saw the orange glow on the easter horizon, I knew I couldn’t be lazy. I closed my eyes for another few minutes, then began to get dressed.

It was a cold and windy morning. As the sun neared the horizon I could see clouds begin to form over Stjerntind to the north, the highest peak on Flakstadøy. I went about wandering and shooting across the broad flat plateau of Tønsåshei, trying my best to take shelter from the cold east wind. Soon I noticed the clouds beginning to move lower and lower.

What I thought would be a relatively nice, but somewhat boring sunrise quickly turned into a fantastic show of swirling clouds all around me in the golden light of dawn. Every second different from the previous or the following. It was one of those times where you have to keep shooting the same scene over and over again, afraid to put down the camera.

Camera Info:
Nikon D800
Nikon 70-200mm f/4
130mm
ISO 125
f 8
1/200 second
WB Daylight

Friday Photo #195 – Ytresand Aurora

Friday Photo 195 - Northern Lights

Photo: Autumn northern lights over Ytresand beach, Moskenesøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway. September 27, 2016. 21:12

The forecast called for heavy clouds and a bit of rain, yet as the day faded into night, the sky remained clear. Busy with work, I peaked out the window just to see if anything was happening. Lights!

Hopping into my van, I knew my best shot was to head to Ytresand. Only 5 minutes from my house, it is not only a scenic beach, but also a relatively quiet place compared to the more popular Skagsanden beach – as I was aware of several photo tours on the islands at the moment.

As I arrived and ran down to the water the sky was filled with light. I first set up a time lapse sequence to shoot with my little Fuji, then wandered elsewhere to shoot with my D800. It was high tide, so I couldn’t get the clear reflections I was hoping for the the flat, sand beach. But the aurora was so strong that even the incoming tide took a nice green tone.

It is for nights like this that I moved to Lofoten. Hopefully there are many more in the coming months…

Camera Info:
Nikon D800
Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8
14mm
ISO 1600
f 3.2
10 seconds
WB Daylight

Friday Photo #192 – September Aurora

Friday Photo 192 - Northern Lights

Photo: Autumn northern lights, Flakstadøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway. September 2, 2016. 23:22

Last Friday was the beginning of the northern lights season for me here on Lofoten. There had been a few displays during the last days of August, but I was always too busy to go out shooting. But as Friday rolled around, with a forecast for calm and clear weather – something a bit rare these last weeks, I knew it would by my chance for the first aurora of the season.

I first started the night at Skagensanden beach, near Ramberg. But as the first aurora began to appear in the sky, I immediately knew I was in the wrong position, with the lights forming behind the beach, in a location that wasn’t very photogenic.

I immediately headed to Ytresand beach, which basically points towards Skagsenden, and the location of the aurora. I missed the first large outburst as I was driving, but I caught some nice lights and shot a time-lapse for about 30 minutes before deciding to move to another location during a dim period.

I had seen the water was calm near the Fredvang bridges as I was initially driving out, and so I headed there to see if I could find anything interesting. Shortly after I arrived and setup my camera, the sky exploded with light! So bright that I over exposed my first shot, not having changed setting from my previous exposures. While I wasn’t completely happy with the foreground, and the small bit of power lines off the the left of the frame (most people would just edit this out probably), the aurora was good enough that I stayed until they calmed down again.

Truthfully, I don’t know anything about KP levels or any of the technical stuff. It seems to be a fascination among some photographers to label their shots KP 6, or whatever. I don’t know or care too much. I just compare what is immediately in front of my eyes to what I’ve stored in my memory. Friday night was a good one. I’m glad I was there to photograph it.

Camera Info:
Nikon D800
Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8
14mm
ISO 800
f 4
8 seconds
WB Daylight

Friday Photo #149 – Reinebringen Twilight

Evening twilight over Reine from summit of Reinebringen, Moskenesoy, Lofoten Islands, Norway

Photo: Autumn twilight over Reine from Reinebringen, Moskenesøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway. September 25, 2013. 19:00

The promise of a clear September sky brought me up Reinebringen for the night with hopes of northern lights. But even in the north, not every clear night brings auroras, and so, despite my 360˚ views, the sky remained quiet until a faint glow arrived at midnight, before quickly vanishing again.

But simply being alone, high in the mountains of Lofoten is a pleasant enough experience in and of itself. The northern lights would have just been an added bonus.  This night was cold, with a bit of frost beginning to form, the first signs that winter wasn’t too far away. A spent most of the night laying half-way out of my tent, so I cold keep an eye on the sky without having to move around too much and get out of my sleeping bag. As time passed, I eventually had to begin setting the alarm on my watch to go off every 20 minutes as my eyes grew tired and I drifted to sleep beneath the million stars overhead.

You can checkout the hiking guide to Reinebringen on my Lofoten hiking page.  The mountain is perhaps the most popular summit on Lofoten at the moment – more because the name has enter the public consciousness, rather than the view being so much better than anything else; I have several mountain views I like better myself.  But with the popularity, the fragile arctic landscape is beginning to suffer. Places that used to be trail are now blank, slippery rock as the covering dirt and vegetation have become warn away.  Be conscious of the impact each step makes; the land can handle 100 feet, it can’t handle 10,000.

Camera Info:
Nikon D800
Nikon 24mm f/3.5 tilt-shift
24mm
f 11
ISO 100
1/8 second
WB Daylight

Friday Photo #114 – Lofoten Mountain Panorama

Moskenesoy Mountain Lanscape, Lofoten Islands

Photo: Twilight mountainpanoramic, Moskenesøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway.  September 14, 2014.  19:56

After the light began to fade from the summit of Markan, it was time to descend the narrow ridge back down to camp at Fageråskaret pass.  More than content with the evening, I packed up my gear and prepared for the steep descent in the fading autumn twilight.

Yet, I didn’t make it more than a few meters from the summit before I came across this scene.  I contemplated walking on; the light wasn’t as good as it had been over the previous hours.  But then I though to myself, if this was the only light I had this day, would I take a photo.  Of course.

So I pulled freshly packed gear back out of the bag and re-setup my tripod for one last image of the day…

Camera Info:
Nikon D800
Nikon 85mm f/2.8 tilt-shift
85mm
ISO 100
f 8
1/4 second
WB Daylight
2 images – left, right

Friday Photo #113 – Reine Cod Racks

Reine, Lofoten Islands, Norway

Photo: Empty cod drying racks, Reine, Moskenesøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway.  September 3, 2014.  20:19

Some days of stormy weather finally caught up with us during the second week of our sailing trip around Lofoten in the late summer.  Over a particularly grim couple days we moored to boat in Reine.

Most of the time I just hung around on board, the desire to keep dry stronger than the desire to explore Reine by foot, a place I’ve been to numerous times anyhow.  But on the second evening, it seemed as if the rain might hold off for a bit, so I went out with the group for a bit of a wander.

The cod drying racks of Lofoten, wether full of fish in winter, or empty the rest of the year, are always something I find interesting.  This particular set of racks I had never come across before, and was immediately drawn to their shape.

With the fast moving clouds and the fading light, I knew I wanted a long exposure to soften the detail of the sky and bring out the shape of the racks on the barren rocks.  This is one of the ‘dark’ moments of Lofoten that I like to capture.

Camera Info:
Nikon D800
Nikon 24mm f/3.5 tilt-shift
24mm
ISO 100
f 11
30 seconds
WB Daylight
6 stop ND filter
2 images – top, bottom

Friday Photo #112 – Sailing at Helvete

Lofoten Islands Northern Lights

Photo: Northern light fill the sky over Lofoten, Henningsvær, Austvågøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway.  September 24, 2014.  23:40

Another Image from my last night of northern lights in September 2014.

What started out as a nice display of auroras, finished with the sky completely full of light!  Even here, at 14mm, my entire frame was filled with light.  And even then, I was still left to look up ever further, with auroras filling nearly every part of the sky.  Probably one of my most memorable nights ever, and a good end to over a month on Lofoten.

Camera Info:
Nikon D800
Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8
14mm
ISO 1250
f 3.2
15 seconds
WB Daylight