Ebook Update – West Lofoten Hikes – 3rd Edition

I’m happy to announce an update to the 3rd edition of West Lofoten Hikes: 38 hikes on Moskenesøy and Flakstadøy

This new edition has added 11 more hikes, over 100 additional pages and dozens of new images. If you’ve already purchased one of the previous editions, then keep an eye on your email for a free update. Otherwise, if you’re looking to pick up a copy, head over to the ebooks page.

Friday Photo #381 – Grey Spring

Photo: Grey skies over Myrlandsfjellet, Flakstadøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway. April 23, 2020. 18:23

I saw an article yesterday on NRK that Bodø has had the cloudiest April since 1977. And it has been no different out here on Lofoten. In fact, it seems like it’s been continuously cloudy over Lofoten since last year. I can only remember a few clear days or nights – one reason it was also a difficult aurora season this year for my photo workshops – although every tour still managed at least one night of northern lights, it was hard work and quite a lot of stress for me this year.

While the winter winds seem to have calmed themselves a bit, the last week Lofoten has been covered in low, misty grey clouds and 4-6 degree temperatures. And there has been some amount of precipitation on 26 of the last 30 days. All while watching the stories about summer sun and temperatures down in Oslo and the southern coast. They are promising us several days of sunshine after the weekend, but I won’t believe it until I see it – as should always be the case with weather forecasting here.

Even with the uncooperative weather, the seasons still move forward. Sunset is now after 21:30 and sunrise earlier than I want to think about. The next time the sky is clear, the sun will have moved far enough north now that I’ll see it setting over the sea from my house, no longer blocked by the mountains to the west. And while a cold spell can return anytime, the spring thaw in well under way and the first signs of green are begging to appear. Whatever new snow which may fall now won’t last long on any sun exposed terrain.

Eventually summer will arrive…

Speaking of summer. I have made the decision to cancel all summer photo workshops. I also had several private tours for early June which I was holding out hope for, but it is not looking likely. Hopefully the autumn can continue as normal, but I am unsure on that as well. If the borders do open before then, then I will only take bookings for private tours during summer.

Camera Info:
Nikon D850
Nikon 24mm f/3.5 tilt-shift
ISO 100
f 11
1/30 second
WB Daylight

Friday Photo #380 – Spring Storms

Photo: Storm over coast of Flakstadøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway. March 8, 2020. 13:06

Last week during one of the big storms I waited for a pause in the rain before walking down to the coast to checkout some of the action. The wind was blowing strongly – and actually blew me over/made me slip in the mud on my way back home. Out at the coast all I could do was sit, as it wasn’t safe to stand – especially for my camera!

This past weekend another big storm arrived, though it was a north wind, blowing the waves onshore, so not really possible to photograph from my area. And even the last days, which now feel almost calm, the wind has been blowing at near gale force. The wind seems endless this year.

I always find it difficult to photograph a stormy sea. When the big wind gusts arrive, everything turns into chaos and any composition I thought I might have had either disappears or just doesn’t look nearly as dramatic as the moment was. Especially shooting from sea level into a mostly grey sky, the scene looses all the contrast of the sea spray blowing off the waves.

In this scene I tried to put the distant mountain (Veggen) into the background for a little contrast to the flat grey sky. But even then, it is mostly just waiting and hoping that the wind gust arrives at the right time with the wave in the right location, etc. Just luck mostly. But even then, it’s also hard to give a sense of scale to such a scene.

Camera Info:
Nikon D850
Nikon 70-200 f/4
ISO 250
f 5.6
1/1000 seconds
WB Daylight

Friday Photo #379 – Uttakleiv Twilight

Photo: Himmeltindan rises over Uttakleiv in April twilight, Vestvågøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway. April 10, 2019. 21:57

Last year on this evening, April 10th, I headed up Veggen with a forecast of clear sky to try and catch my last northern lights of the season, which I did – Friday Photo 327. This year has been a completely different story. I don’t think I’ve been camping at all – although Covid-19 is a little responsible for that, but the weather has been equally uncooperative. I can barely remember any calm days, though there were a few luckily, but camping weather there hasn’t been much of at all. The wind seems to have never stopped blowing this year.

Even this past Wednesday a quick to strong storm passed Lofoten, taking several barn roofs with it. But outside of the bigger storms this winter, was just a constant, never ending wind. Stronger wind than I’d like to test my tent against on a mountain top – and I’ve already broken a tent here over Easter 2017.

And so I spend most my days staring out the window and watching the rain, or today, snow clouds sweep over Himmeltind which sits across the sea from my village. One minute I can see the mountain, the next its gone. And repeat…

The northern lights will leave Lofoten’s sky next week. And soon after that the winter storms hopefully! I’ve had enough for this year – words I write as my house is whistling and shaking in the wind on this Friday afternoon as the next snow flurry arrives.

But despite the weather, these ever brightening twilight nights of the next weeks are a sight that summer is on its way. Even now in mid April the horizon glows at night. Soon the sun will hang over the sea in the north at midnight, and shine over Lofoten 24 hours a day. I can’t wait!

Camera Info:
Nikon D850
Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8
ISO 100
f 6.3
8 seconds
WB Daylight

Friday Photo #378 – Uttakleiv Aurora

Photo: Northern lights reflect in the Eye of Uttakleiv, Vestvågøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway. April 1, 2020. 23:40

I wasn’t planning to post another northern lights image today, but this was the only time I’ve been out shooting since last weeks image, so here you go. While it seems like the constant wind has continued, I also just don’t have much motivation to go out at the moment. I’ve look at the mountain out my window and tell myself, ‘Tomorrow I’ll go up there for sunset.’ That tomorrow has not come for two weeks so far…

In a small attempt to find a silver lining in our current situation, it feels live Ive been in a time machine and transported back 10 years in time to the Lofoten I remember from the old days: Empty and quiet. When winter was the season of fishermen and little more.

And so with this in mind and a rare clear sky Wednesday night, I headed to Uttakleiv and found myself pulling into a completely empty parking lot. Maybe only on a night in November or December is this possible these days while in February or March I won’t even go near the place anymore – too much chaos for me to enjoy. But in these strange corona times, I found myself alone for hours, like the Lofoten I first met decades ago…

In other fronts, I haven’t been completely idle. The 3rd edition of West Lofoten Hikes eBook should be published in a couple week. With 8 new mountain hikes added, as well as the beaches that I hadn’t previously included, it will now have 40 mountain hiking destinations in west Lofoten. So if you’re able to get here in summer, there’ll be plenty of mountains to keep you busy for a while!

Camera Info:
Nikon D850
Sigma 14mm f/1.8
ISO 1600
f 2.5
8 seconds
WB Daylight