Friday Photo #334 – Summer Wildflowers

Photo: The beginnings of summer’s fields of wildflowers, Flakstadøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway. May 26, 2019

The warmth of mid May this year gave the landscape of lofoten a head start for summer. Already many of the fields are quite filled with flowers, and all the trees are green.

Though for the past week we have also had a typical return back to some wintry weather. Last Saturday an a midnight hike I sat in to the summit in freezing temperatures and passing snowstorms – no sun to be found, despite the more optimistic weather forecast.

Sunday remained could as well, with more snow falling, even at sea level, such as the background mountains of this image from Sunday evening. An evening where I should have been in the mountains, but Norwegian language tests on Monday and Tuesday mornings meant I couldn’t be up all night as I would like. Class is soon over though, and I can return to my normal night schedule soon, hopefully!

Camera Info:
Nikon D850
Nikon 70-200mm f/4
ISO 125
f 4.5
1/640 second
WB Daylight
2 images – foreground, background for 4:5 crop

Friday Photo #333 – Reinebringen Sunset

Photo: Late evening sun over the mountains of Kirkefjord from the summit of Reinebringen, Moskenesøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway. May 23, 2019. 23:12

Spring? Summer? Or does it really matter? While I normally consider May to be spring here on Lofoten, for all intents and purposes, summer has already arrived this year. Most areas of the islands are already quite green and the fields are begging to fill with flowers as the grass grows higher and higher. And it a couple more days, the sun will not set again – already early this morning the sun was rising from the sea just after 01:30 when I got home from hiking on Reinebringen.

The midnight sun – if you want to define it as being able to see the sun at midnight – has already arrived here on Lofoten some days ago. But that is not the real midnight sun here. For Lofoten, the midnight sun is above the horizon the entire night, never setting. So that will arrive within the week. The main difference is that due to European Summer time, the sun does not reach its lowest point until around 01:00, not midnight.

Only locations north of the Arctic Circle, located at 66˚33’, will have 24 hour sunlight during summer – increasing in length the further north one is. With Lofoten at 68˚ north, the islands enjoy around 6 week of 24 hour sunlight.

I am also highlighting Reinebringen today as a reminder that work will begin on the stone pathway in the beginning of June – during which time hiking on the mountain will be forbidden. Please, leave the workers in peace so they can do their job. Do not attempt to go around any barriers. The trail project has been many years in the works at the cost of millions of Norwegian Kroner. Hopefully it will be completed by middle of July at the latest.

I know travel has changed in the last decade and now there is mostly an emphasis on showing that you’ve been to bucket-list locations, than actually just going out and seeing what you find. But on Lofoten alone, There are literally hundreds of other hikes possible – many with even better views, so be a little creative and maybe find something that isn’t on Instagram 247 million times already anyhow.

You can keep up to date with the latest information about Reinebringen from their facebook page: Reinebringen Lofoten

Camera Info:
Nikon D850
Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8
ISO 100
f 13
1/15 second
WB Daylight

New Mountain Hikes Added

I’ve added 3 new mountain hiking guides to the website over the weekend. All 3 were previously available in the eBook: West Lofoten Hikes – But now they are here too. Though there is still some content that will remain exclusive to the ebook, at least for now.

There are a few more hikes in the lineup to be published, but with summer just around the corner, my hiking season is about to begin – and since I can’t really afford to travel anywhere myself at the moment, hopefully it’s a productive one! I have a list of hikes needed for various ebook updates, as well as some other stuff. Now just need to see if the weather will be cooperative and to find some hiking partners

New mountain hikes

Lofoten Hiking - Andstabben

Andstabben – Moskenesøy

514 meters, moderate difficulty, 2 hour to summit

Tindstind Hiking Guide - Lofoten Islands Norway

Tindstind – Moskenesøy

490 meters, easy to moderate difficulty, 1 – 1.5 hours to summit

Lofoten Hiking - Fuglhuken

Fuglhuken – Moskenesøy

557 meters, moderate difficulty, 2 hours to summit

Friday Photo #332 – Syttende Mai

Syttende Mai - Friday Photo #332

Photo: 17th of May parade through Ramberg, Flakstadøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway. May 17, 2019. 11:30

Syttende mai – 17th of May is Norway’s constitution day, when in 1814 Norway declared its independence from Denmark.

All over Norway flags will be flying and music playing today. The biggest celebration will be in Oslo of course. But even here on Lofoten, even many of the smaller villages across the islands will have their own parades and celebrations. I headed to Ramberg, the capital of Flakstadøy where several hundred people were gathered.

Down south they have temps over 20 degrees and sunshine, summer. Here 17th of May usually has a bit trickier weather, and while it was forecast to be sunny, a low heavy cloud hangs over Lofoten. Though at least its not snowing or hailing like in previous years!

Camera Info:
Nikon D850
Nikon 70-200mm f/4
ISO 320
f 5.6
1/500 second
WB Daylight

New Articles – May 2019

I’ve added 2 new articles to the website in an attempt to get some information online before the beginning of the summer season. Most of the info is also in the updated edition of Seasons on Lofoten: Summer ebook, and will be added to the others when time allows.

The first article is a short write up about Norway’s newest national park – Lofotodden nasjonalpark. Created in 2018, it will oficially open in June 2019.

Lofotodden national park

The second article is covering drone flying regulations in Norway and Lofoten, as drones are becoming an ever growing item in photography and travel – many people are unaware of the flying regulations for drones here. No one will care or listen to me anyhow, but when the police charge you 20,000 for flying too close to the airport or in a wildlife protection zone, don’t say you didn’t know. A recent article on NRK (in Norwegian) as an example after a video posted on YouTube was reported.

Drone Regulations on Lofoten

Friday Photo #331 – Spring Flowers

Photo: Early wildflowers and a dusting of May snow, Flakstadøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway. May 4, 2019. 21:02

After the unusual warm at the end of April, the weather corrected itself back to normal patterns and once again snow was falling in the first days of may. The warmth though already sent the spring ‘greening’ of Lofoten into motion much earlier that normal. So even in the first days of May the fields had already begun to turn green and fill with flowers in some areas.

So when the fresh snow fell, I though it would be an interesting juxtaposition that we don’t often see here – snow and flowers. Usually it’s plenty of one or the other, on their own.

And while working on the update to the Seasons on Lofoten: Summer ebook, I was also planning on what I need for a possible Spring/Autumn edition – Though I’m still not wholly convinced there is enough demand for one. Even though website traffic here is so high these days I had to move servers and hosting the other week, ebook sales have been going down over the last year – I guess more access to free information that ever, even here, and more competition as well. But I am still out shooting when possible, trying to answer the question visually: what is spring on Lofoten?

I think I could have executed this image slightly better. While I wanted to isolate the flowers against the mountain, I think the mountain is perhaps a bit too abstract. I should have stopped down a little perhaps. On the bright side, the flowers and mountain are only a stone’s throw from my front door, so new attempts will be easy. Though I’m not sure if we’ll get much more snow this year – it already almost feels like summer here again…

Camera Info:
Nikon D850
Nikon 70-200mm f/4
ISO 160
f 5.6
1/160 second
WB Daylight

Seasons On Lofoten – Summer – 2nd Edition

I’m happy to announce that the 2nd edition of the Seasons on Lofoten – Summer ebook is now available.

Follow the link here: Seasons on Lofoten – Summer

It has been a long overdue update, with the first edition released in 2015, before I moved to Lofoten. The 2nd edition is now 30 pages longer, 155 pages from the previous 125. Now with 122 images vs. the previous 98 images. Some re-writing of old sections, but mainly new content to reflect the modern reality of Lofoten, which has changed quite a lot in just 4 years.

Those of you who have purchased the first edition will receive a free update to the 2nd edition, even if you bought at the old price, so keep an eye on your inboxes for the new download link.

As always the ebooks are a continuing work in progress. Hopefully it won’t be another 4 years before the next update. But it is also a time consuming task – It’s been around 80 hours of work for this update.

There are are few new ebooks in the works as well. I’ve been out purposely photographing for a possible, and long overdue spring/autumn ebook. And hopefully another hiking ebook during the summer – though I haven’t been able to find any hiking partners. So if interested, shoot me an email, and maybe something will work out…

Friday Photo #330 – Saharan Sunset

Photo: Spring Saharan sunset over Myrland beach, Flakstadøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway. April 27, 2019. 21:21

When I wrote it last weeks Friday Photo (#329) that it had been warm for several days, it turned into a weekend of t-shirt weather, not a cloud to be seen and barely a hint of wind. The weather was actually too good for photography!

However, it as not just the normal hazy blue sky that sometimes occurs in summer, instead it was caused by sand from the Sahara desert drifting over Lofoten. And so over several nights, despite the cloudless sky, we were given orage and red skies, something that I’m more used to at home in California.

In the sun and warmth I could see the fields outside my house growing greener by the day, at the trees in my yard have already begun to bud. A few weeks earlier than normal this year.

But Lofoten being Lofoten, the summer days are over and a cold north wind with passing snow flurries has been sweeping over the islands over the last days. Summer has been put on pause for the time being. But actually, this is the more normal weather for this time of year and snow is a fairly regular occurrence until the end of the month. So it will be a little while longer before I can put the jackets away…

Camera Info:
Nikon D850
Nikon 24mm f/3.5 tilt-shift
ISO 31
f 13
6 seconds
WB Daylight