Photo: Winter waves wash over the rocky coastline concealing the Eye of Uttakleiv, Uttakleiv, Vestvågøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway. February 24, 2022. 15:32
I had originally planned another image of the full moon for this weeks post. But as the evening light faded I could see waves crashing over the small rocky islands off the coast from my house – the rocks I use as a gauge to see how stormy the sea is. And so with Lofoten well into winter, I thought I might talk about weather and timing for certain locations in Lofoten. And specifically for today, the famed ‘Eye of Uttakleiv.’
Where is the Eye in the above image? Well, that is specifically the problem I want to talk about with timing and weather. In the case of the above image, the Eye in concealed beneath the waves and tide of a stormy winter’s day. While I like the image itself well enough, had my intent been to photography the Eye on this day, I would have been out of luck. It was simply too stormy and the waves were crashing too high, even at low tide.
In general, I think the stormier the better for seascapes, particularly at Uttakleiv. But if one was hoping for a photo like the image below, a stormy day often won’t work. Or, I should be even more detailed and say that that a storm from a southern direction, bringing a southern swell and waves, will likely work for the Eye. With the above image, the storm and swell was out of the north, which crashes directly into the bay at Uttakleiv.
If you have have a few days on Lofoten and the ability to select locations for ideal conditions, it can be useful to use and app/website like windy.com to check the swell size and direct as it hits Lofoten. If you want stormy coastal conditions, head to parts of the islands where the swell is impacting directly. If you want calmer coastal conditions, head to the opposite side of the islands. Although, since you can’t move the Eye of Uttakleiv to another location, if it’s on your photo list, you’ll want to keep an eye out for a calmer swell on that part of Lofoten.
Head over to my Instagram account for (almost) daily postings of the local conditions here on Lofoten: @distant.north
Nikon Z7 II
Nikon 14-30mm f/4
Photo: Calm winter conditions at Eye of Uttakleiv, Vestvågøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway.