Friday Photo #315 – Winter Snow

Photo: Snowmegeddon arrives to Lofoten, View over Nappstraumen, Flakstadøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway. January 18, 2019. 12:16

After last weeks relatively warm storm stripped most of west Lofoten of it’s snow, the past week has been making up for lost time! After several days of heavy snowfall now and high winds, it is snow chaos on much of Lofoten. I even had trouble getting home last night and had to leave my van stuck in a snow drift until my neighbour could clear the road and pull me out with his tractor this morning.

In conditions like the last days, it is best to avoid driving, especially at night, if you are unfamiliar with the roads. The roads are slippery, narrow, and snow drifts can for unexpectedly and quickly in places. Wait till the storm clears, much nicer looking anyhow. You won’t have much to photograph if your car is stuck in a ditch off the side of the road.

The weather forecasting has also been quite unreliable in this last week, due to the constantly changing conditions. Best accuracy is to look at the actual radar image. Yesterday was supposed to have been somewhat sunny actually, according to the forecast on Wednesday. But it turned into a full winter storm, blasting straight down over Vestvågøy the entire day.

Tuesday and Wednesday were also my first to days on skis this season. It’s still quite dark here and I’m in Norwegian class until 12:30 or so during the week, so only had time to go up a small hill near leknes. But it’s nice to have the legs moving again! Yesterdays trip was canceled due to the weather, and the same for today – though it has actually cleared a little, and i might have been able to make it.

I can feel the days are getting lighter, but I’ve only just caught a quick glimpse of the sun while driving to Leknes on Wednesday. So I’m still waiting for my first opportunity to photograph it again! With my first photo tour of the winter season beginning tomorrow, I should have plenty of opportunities – weather cooperating!

Camera Info:
Nikon D850
Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8
ISO 400
f 7.1
1/125 second
WB Daylight

Friday Photo #314 – Winter Storm

Photo: Storm waves wash over Myrland beach, Flakstadøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway. January 11, 2019. 13:52

I was hoping to post a photo of my first sighting of the sun today, but I have not seen it yet, even a week now after the end of the polar night. On Wednesday I went for a hike up Offersøykammen as it was the only slightly decent weather forecast for some time, but the clouds remained too thick.

For the last two days Lofoten has been getting blasted by a proper winter storm. More of less everything on Lofoten is shut down today. All ferries are canceled, flights are canceled, busses are canceled, vehicles have been blown off the road, power is out in some locations, and some buildings are having to roofs blown off. This is serious weather, not outside weather. And not a day to go touring around if you are unfamiliar with the conditions. Don’t put yourself or others at risk

The Gimsøy bridge recorded wind speeds over 50 m/s – That is 180 kph! More than a hurricane! The Swedes and the Germans have given the storm a name, Jan and Donald, respectively. Apparently its not big enough for the Norwegians to name. Is that a polite way to call our Swedish neighbours wusses?

I only managed to walk down to my local beach between rain showers. Even at low tide, the waves were crashing almost to the back of the beach. I ended up quite deep in the sea at one point before I found a large enough rock to stand on. So while the photo might just look like a somewhat average day here on Lofoten, it really was crazy!

Most of the rocks in the image are normally completely covered in sand and not visible. So it looks like a meter or more of sand has been washed away from the beach. It will be a completely different place the next time I shoot it. Luckily the sand will eventually return, but it might take some time.

Camera Info:
Nikon D850
Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8
ISO 160
f 10
.8 second
WB Daylight

Friday Photo #313 – Waiting For The Sun

Waiting For The Sun - Friday Photo #313

Photo: Waiting for the sun to return, Nappstraumen, Flakstadøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway. January 4, 2019. 14:47

Today is 33 days since I saw the sun for the last time – (Friday Photo 309). It was a windy day and I was at this exact same spot, watching the sun hover just over the horizon next to Skottind. And it will likely be this spot that I will see the sun again for the first time this year – though hopefully while on my way to a mountain.

Just like we don’t know we’ve seen the sun for the last time until it eventually doesn’t rise again – we never know when the sun will return. Tomorrow the sun crosses the horizon (depending where on Lofoten you are), after that it is simply a waiting game for the southern horizon to be clear enough – which is not looking too good for the next few days at least. Last year January 10th was my sun-return-day, the previous year, January 12. But the exact day doesn’t matter too much, simply knowing the sun will soon be back is enough to lift one’s spirits.

This was now my 3rd polar night living alone on Lofoten. And in all honesty, the novelty of the experience has long since faded. I dread November and what I know is coming – especially this past year when it has rained almost non-stop since August. I can feel my mind grow heavy and I just want to sleep. And working from home, I can begin to feel a bit stuck – last year I actually was! Maybe I only leave for an hour or two at the gym or climbing wall most days. Or even just a coffee in my favorite cafe to have some lights other than my own and hear the voices of people. Next year I’m going to Spain and learning how to paraglide – Or maybe Patagonia for a long walk. Where doesn’t quite matter, but I will do my best to leave.

This is also the first post of year 7 for these Friday Photo blogs. I never imagined it would continue for so long and I now often find myself struggling what to write – after 312 posts about Lofoten, is there much more that needs to be said? I don’t know, but I will continue on…

Camera Info:
Nikon D850
Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8
ISO 50
f 10
30 seconds
WB Daylight
6 stop ND filter
2 images – top, bottom

Friday Photo #88 – Summer Storm

Ray of light silhouettes stormy mountain landscape, Vestvagoy, Lofoten islands, Norway

Photo: Ray of light shines over Vestvågøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway.  August 1, 2010.  22:12

Despite what you might see in the travel guides, summer on Lofoten is not always blue sky at 20+ degree temperatures.  The summer of 2010 was a particularly cold, stormy one, with only a few days of calm weather.  Weather that I took full advantage of.

These years were still in my ‘backpacking’ days, where I traveled predominately by hitch hiking or bus.  But my friend Søren and I did manage to pay out enough money for a two day car rental at one point during the trip.

The day had been spend exploring the north side of the islands, where the weather had been a bit better, before finally returning to Stamsund.  But as evening progressed, we could see that the light might do something interesting and so we hopped back in the car and headed towards Utakleiv.

Up on Hagskaret, the high pass between Stamsund and Leknes, I saw this light.  I knew we were probably a bit too late to reach any of the beaches so I pulled over and took this photo.  Just a beam of light shining below the heaving clouds.  It rained for the next days.

Camera Info:
Nikon D700
Nikon 85mm f/2.8 tilt-shift
ISO 200
f 8
1/200 second
WB Daylight