Photo: Passing rain clouds illuminated at sunset over Reinefjord, Moskenesøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway. October 4, 2021. 18:10
Sometimes we get lucky and all the elements line up at once; in this case, rain at sunset with a clear horizon. Then the sky turns to fire. It is not often that Lofoten has sunsets like this, and even when it does happen, the steep mountains often mean it can be quite localised. So to be in the right place at the right time is quite a treat, and a bit of luck – especially in autumn, when the western horizon is only visible from a few locations on Lofoten, so it is hard to see what is happening out there.
The weather forecast this autumn seemed to be completely backwards for the most part: rain when there was supposed to be sun, clear skies and aurora when it was supposed to be 100% cloud cover. The only reasonable guessing was just looking at the sky and hoping everything worked out for the best.
This particular afternoon didn’t look very promising, with rain in the forecast and a layer of clouds covering the Reine area. But as the hours passed, I could see the subtle beginnings of color lighting up the clouds from below. Always a good sign, but one still never quite knows what will happen. So as the sky got brighter and brighter, it was a nice surprise. And then, at the peak of the color a light rain shower passed over the mountains, adding even more color, it was the brightest sunset I’ve seen since the spring.
But a lesson to myself. I was focused on the show in front of me, that as the rain arrived, I forgot to turn around and look behind me. When I eventually did after some minutes had passed – a full rainbow was filling the sky! I wasn’t in the best position, so I had to run up the road to the Hamnøy bridge, where the rainbow had been circling around it. But I was too slow by about 30 seconds or so. And as I approached the bridge, changed lenses, and put on a polariser filter, the rainbow had already faded for the most part. I always tell my workshops clients to look behind themselves when intense light is happening to see if there might also be something interesting going on, but this time I forgot to listen to my own advice…
Head over to my Instagram account for (almost) daily postings of the local conditions here on Lofoten: @distant.north
Nikon Z7 II
Nikon 24-200 f/4-6.3