Friday Photo #103 – Clouds and Light

Stornappstind, Lofoten Islands, Norway

Photo: Rays of light over Napp from Stornappstind, Flakstadøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway.  September 21, 2014.  14:38

Stornappstind is one of those mountains that I’ve driven by dozens of times and always think to myself, ‘I should hike up there soon.’  Yet that soon never seems to arrive.  But finally on this trip, the mountain found it’s place near the top of my ‘to hike’ list.

As morning arrived a cold wind was blowing from the east.  It had been several days since my last hike, and at other times I probably would have skipped going out on a day such as it was, but I was too restless to sit around.

Leaving the hostel in Stamsund, I still wasn’t sure which mountain to hike.  But with the strong wind, and at times rain and snow blowing across the islands, I though something on a western facing slope would offer the best shelter for most of the way up.  Stornappstind fit the description, and so I headed to the parking area.

Climbing higher up the mountain I was relieved when snow, rather than rain began to fall in wave after wave of passing clouds and wind.  And then it would clear and rays of light would break through the clouds and dance across the land below…

Camera Info:
Nikon D800
Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8
ISO 200
f 131/100 second
WB Daylight

Friday Photo #102 – Markan Mountain Light

Markan, Lofoten Islands, Norway

Photo: Autumn light over Kråkhammartind from the summit of Markan, Moskenesøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway.  September 14, 2014.  18:35

It was already late afternoon by the time I reached my planned mountain camp at Fageråskaret pass, deep into the mountains of Moskenesøy.  I had passed this way the previous year – while running from a quickly approaching storm – and figured it would be a good base camp to explore a few of the nearby mountains.

Initially, I thought of heading up Branntuva, but after a few minutes heading cross-country towards the summit – there is no trail – it was evident that it would take more time than there was light left in the day.  And so I returned to the pass and began heading up the ridge towards Markan.

The weather hadn’t quite cleared as much as the forecast predicted, and I was worried that I would get rained out.  But as I ascended higher and higher, I noticed a bit of sunlight beginning to break through the clouds.

Reaching the summit, the light was fantastic.  One of those perfect combinations of stormy mountain light, but still mild enough where you can take photos!  I rarely have mountain days like this, and I don’t think I could have chosen a better peak than Markan on this day.  It was fantastic to watch the light travel across the near vertical peak of Kråkhammartind.

You can checkout the hiking guide for Markan – HERE

Camera Info:
Nikon D800
Nikon 14-240mm f/2.8
ISO 200
f 11
1/60 second
WB Daylight
3 image pano

Friday Photo #101 – Tent And Auroras

Lofoten Islands Northern Lights

Photo: Northern Lights over Tent, Moskenesøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway.  September 22, 2014.  22:44

The journey to Munkebu hut is now a fairly familiar one for me, but the goal of this particular journey into the mountain of Moskenesøy was targeted at the peak of Munken.  With forecasts for clear skies, I figured it would be good to get another night in the mountains, in hopes of photographing some northern lights.

I have spent a good many nights in the mountains of Lofoten, but for some reason, they sky often remains quiet for me.  Not on this night though!

With the lengthening nights of Autumn, it’s not very practical to sit outside and wait for Northern Lights to possibly show up, not to mention the sub zero temperatures.  So I set my alarm to ring every 15-20 minutes so I can look out of the tent to see if the sky is doing anything.  On this night I didn’t have to wait long until I noticed a bright streak of green beginning to appear in the sky.

I first went off to setup my little Fuji XT-1 to shoot a time-lapse before returning to the tent to grab my main camera (Nikon D800) to see what else I could come up with.  The tent seemed like it would be nice, so here it is…

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

Friday Photo #100 – Campfire Aurora

Campfire and Northern Lights, Lofoten Islands, Norway

Photo: Beach side campfire and Northern Lights, Storsandnes, Flakstadøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway.  September 16, 2014.  22:48

After two nights in the mountains I was sort of looking forward to a shower.  But unfortunately for us, the forecast was for another night of clear skies, so instead of the warming fire and soft bed of the Stamsund hostel, it was to be a night sleeping in the car.

A couple weeks earlier I had gotten in brief contact with Theo and Bee, a British couple traveling around Europe in their VW van – checkout their website and blog at VDubVanLife.  Anyhow, I sent them a text to see if they were up for an afternoon BBQ and campfire. They were.

Seeing as how we were both were sleeping in our vehicles, I figured Storsandnes would be a decent location – a good place for a BBQ, and if any northern lights decided to show up, a pretty good spot as well.

I love the month of September for its somewhat rare combination of (relatively) mild nights combined with long hours of darkness.  The only equivalent darkness you will find is in March, when you generally don’t want to spend all that much time outdoors.

As evening progressed, I decided we couldn’t carry on without a campfire, so Theo and I scoured the coast to collect driftwood for our campfire.  Luckily, this is an area seldom camped in, so there was plenty of wood to be found, enough for two nights of campfires as it turned out.

We sat around enjoying the fire for a while, but soon enough, I noticed that faint green glow in the sky; the horizon still carrying the colors of the day’s end.  At that point, the photographer kicks in and any enjoyment of the campfire disappears.  Well, that was until Theo and I thought the girls sitting around the fire with northern lights above would make for a nice photo.  And then proceeded to tell them to ‘sit still’ for the next 20 or so minutes…

Camera Info:
Nikon D800
Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8
ISO 2500
f 3.2
15 seconds
WB Daylight

New Lofoten Hiking Guide – Markan

Sunset over Krakhammartind from Markan, Lofoten Islands, Norway

Photo: Ray of light on Kråkhammartind from the summit of Markan, Moskenesøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway.  September 2014

I’ve just added a new hiking guide for the 600 meter high peak of Markan, located on Moskenesøy.


Markan was perhaps my favorite hike of the trip, no doubt due to some of the most fantastic light I’ve experienced while in the mountains of Lofoten.  And to think I could have easily missed this one and headed elsewhere as the weather was considerably worse than the forecast.  I actually spent a couple nights camping at the pass below the summit to use as a base to explore several more mountains in the area due to the somewhat long, and more importantly, boggy approach – best to get wet feet only once.

Anyhow, enjoy the page, and maybe give thought to heading up there yourself one day, the whole area is really wonderful and scenic…