Friday Photo #2 – Autumn on Offersoykammen
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
Thanks for sharing, this is a great image. When you say you processed the single image once for the foreground and once for the background, what you do mean? Did you make a duplicate and process each image then combine with HDR? Or do you mean just applying different processing to the lower and upper parts of the same image?
Have loved your site for a while and reminds me of my trip to Norway back in 2010.
No HDR, just different a processing for the upper and lower parts of the (same) image. IE: I brightened up the foreground a bit for one processing, which made the sky a bit hot, so then I made sure the highlights were under control in the sky on the second processing. Next I just stacked the 2 versions in PS and added a layer mask with a fairly simple mask to combine them. I had also shot a few bracketed exposures, which I maybe would have needed, but the contrast was fine for 1 image to handle. You can probably do just about everything in LR4 these days, but I’m a bit behind the times…