Friday Photo #342 – Tourist Overload

Photo: No camping or camping? Skagsanden beach, Flakstadøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway. July 16, 2019. 00:58

It is July in year XXXX and once again the newspapers of Lofoten and Norway are filled with stories of the tourism overload which occurs each summer as the motorhome armies of the continent head north to fill every single parking space available for the whole of the summer. Somehow they seem shocked each year, but it is nothing new. Though with each year the numbers grow, and yet little is done on the Norwegian side.

And so each summer, there comes a point of frustration among the locals. This year they have added a few new ‘no camping’ signs to some of the popular parking areas and supposedly the parking lot which turns into a de-facto campground in Å will have an 18 hour parking limit (in the fjord region down south they are now limiting the parking to 2 hours in some popular destinations). But as you can see in this photo taken at 01:00, where there were around two dozen motorhomes/campers in the parking lot, just 200 meters from an official (paid) campground, little seems to be done to enforce the few rules. And so the locals continue to grow frustrated.

But such is the cycle of life here in the North, the free playground for Europe. Nothing will change soon, only more restrictions mostly affecting us that live here, not the occasional visitor for a few days each summer. And next July I’ll be writing another similar post…

Camera Info:
Nikon D850
Nikon 70-200 f/4
ISO 800
f 5
1/100 second
WB Daylight

Friday Photo #341 – Reinebringen Open

Photo: Midnight sun over Kirkefjord from Reinebringen, Moskenesøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway. July 15, 2019. 23:43

Monday evening, with the sun finally out after a week of grey sky I headed up Reinebringen to checkout the progress on the new stairway which had recently opened over the weekend. After 4 years of work and 7 million Norwgegian Kroner (700.000 euro) later, 1560 steps have been completed on the mountain. All but the final 50 meters to the summit. The mountain has been tamed, and is now accessible to all.

A friend sent me photos of the overflowing parking areas Monday afternoon, and I must admit, I was a bit scared to go. But I wanted to go to Reinebringen just to checkout the progress of the work. I think in total I passed 60-70 people on the mountain, with maybe 25-30 on the summit ridge at any one point – and this was all from 22:00 – 24:30.

So the main challenge of Reinebringen these days won’t be the hiking, but finding a parking place – which may actually be further away from the trailhead than the length of the trail itself. I guess something like this was inevitable. But it’s a long way from my first experience of Lofoten back in 2001, as a backpacker without a guidebook – much less Instagram, YouTube, hiking apps, etc. I kinda feel sorry for people who only experience today’s Lofoten. Although I will say there are still many, trail-less hidden peaks to discover if one wants.

And so Reinebringen has now been reduced to a 35 minute up, 20 minute down staircase. Progress for the world I guess. But a loss for my memories of the old days here…

Camera Info:
Nikon D850
Nikon 70-200mm f/4
ISO 100
f 6.3
1/60 second
WB Daylight

Friday Photo #340 – Midnight Flowers

Photo: Midnight buttercups and Olstind, Toppøy, Moskenesøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway. June 23, 2019. 00:33

I’ve found myself photographing flowers a little more than usual this summer. While it has been a better summer than last year by far, there’s still been many grey, cold and misty days and nights – where the mountains aren’t really looking their best. So I’ve been looking for small scenes.

This small patch of buttercup flowers – smørblomst in Norwegian – had caught my eye earlier in the day during a quick stop. But the lighting wasn’t right for the scene, so I kept it in mind for a possibility of something later maybe. Returning back to Reine a little after midnight, the scene was much moodier and the lighting more even.

As it was a little windy, I first experimented with long exposures and the flowers blowing in the wind. But I wasn’t quite happy with the results. Getting closer, I found this little cluster that almost mirrored the shape of Olstind, the mountain in the background. So I thought a more subtle picture of the mountain might work. It’s not going to win any awards, but I kinda like the result…

Camera Info:
Nikon D850
Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8
ISO 400
f 3.5
1/250 seconds
WB Daylight

Friday Photo #339 – Olstind Midnight Reflection

Photo: Osltind sunset two minutes til midnight, Reine, Moskenesøy, Lofoten Islands, norway. June 19, 2019. 23:58

It’s always nice to start a photo workshop with some fantastic light, so I was lucky on my June photo tour this year. The weather forecast was actually not looking too good, and it was raining when I took an evening nap before heading out for the night again at 22:00. But as we left the rorbu on Sakrisøy, I can already see we would be in for something nice.

Low clouds from the rain evaporation were drifting across the fjord and hiding the mountain peaks before thinning out again. I took some normal exposure first, but I knew a long exposure would take a nice scene and turn it to something almost dream like. For a while I had some difficulty with exposure, do to a clear section of sky on the left which kept over exposing. But eventually the area filled in with clouds just enough.

Its also amazing the contrast of this location between summer and winter. On some winter mornings the photographers can be lined up tripod to tripod, with barely a gap in-between – as this is one of Lofoten’s iconic sunrise locations. Yet at midnight in summer, when the light is just as good as in winter, it’s nearly empty of tripods and maybe just a few people walking around. And even with the parking lot almost completely full of continental motorhomes, they are all sleeping for some strange reason. Isn’t the midnight sun one of the reasons to come here during summer?!

Camera Info:
Nikon D850
Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8
ISO 100
f 11
117 seconds
WB Daylight
10 Stop B+W ND filter