Photo: Misty clouds swirl over Storvatnet above Myrland, Flakstadøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway. July 14, 2021. 23:15
There is a particular type of weather where the forecast shows sun, while a heavy, low cloud remains over the mountains – something similar to a high fog. Often though, this can be quite localised and more frequent with a north wind. So the southern side of Lofoten eventually is filled with sun, while isolated areas and valleys on the northern side of the islands can still remain in clouds and fog and the moist sea air impacts with the mountains. This was one of those types of days.
It is actually quite hard weather to predict and can often change quite rapidly. Usually, whatever weather you are looking at will have changed within 10-20 minutes. Particularly if planning on hiking and you see some cool clouds over a particular mountain, it will have completely changed in the the hour or two of hiking required. Often, the best plan is not to over think, but just choose a location or mountain, perhaps one with some flexibility to move around if conditions suddenly deteriorate and you end up in a whiteout with no visibility at all.
This particular day I was driving around and over thinking about which area to visit. It wasn’t until around 20:00 that I headed up the trail from Nappskaret, in the general direction of Middagstind, but not particularly fixated on getting to the summit. This was already the 3rd day in the week I had found myself in this area, and had already been up Okstinden a few days before. So I was just open to whatever the conditions would dictate.
And as it turns out, I ended up elsewhere, nearby a small little pond after scrambling up some steep sheep trails. I’ve been looking at this pond for a while, but never been, as it is the opposite direction of where I usually travel. But on this evening, it seemed like a pretty good area to be at, proving views over Storsandnes beach, Nappstraumen, and across to Himmeltindan in the northeast, as well as down to the valley of Myrland in the west – which had been covered in clouds for most of the day.
When I arrived, there were misty clouds blowing around the various mountain peaks, but these eventually faded and disappeared as the July evening sun still remained high overhead. I sat around waiting, not so much for any change in weather, but more so that the sun would move out of the background of my composition. It turns out this was a bit of luck, as I might otherwise had headed back home already content with a few decent photos for the evening. But as I waited, the mist returned.
I had semi-packed my backpack and moved off to a different area when I noticed the mist beginning to swirl around the outer mountains of the valley. Soon, it formed over the lake and blew in below me, illuminated by the late evening sun and almost perfectly filling the scene. It was a quite dynamic few moments and then the clouds vanished again and I could walk home…
Head over to my Instagram account for (almost) daily postings of the local conditions here on Lofoten: @distant.north
Nikon Z7 II
Nikon 14-30 f/4