Friday Photo #581 – Rorbu in winter

Photo: Red cabins of Eliassen Rorbu on snow covered rocky shoreline of Hamnøy with Olstind in the background, Lofoten Islands, Norway. February 25, 2023. 17:07

Cold grey clouds fill the sky over Reinefjord and the mountains of Moskenesøy. A very typical winter day on Lofoten. No color, no dramatic light, just the blue and grey tones of the flat winter light and an almost black and white snow covered landscape.

These colourful red rorbu cabins on Hamnøy are perhaps the most photographed in all of Lofoten – usually from the bridge which is just off to my left. With a layer of fresh snow covering the rocky shoreline, I like this composition as well as I feel it better simplifies the balance of the cabins and mountains – particularly in this flat light.

Many initially think the cabins were painted red to brighten up the look of the villages in winter. This is not the case. The real reason is much simpler: red paint was the cheapest. And so the rorbu cabins for the fishermen and the barns for the farmers are painted red. In contrast, in the traditional fishing harbors of west Lofoten, you will often see a large white house on the top of any hill above the harbor – this was for the family which owned the village/harbor in the old days. The rorbu cabins would be rented by fishermen during the winter fishing season.

There aren’t as many fishermen anymore, and many live full time on Lofoten anyhow. So now these cabins are for tourists. Several of my groups each winter stay in these exact cabins – so it’s not bad to walk out the front door and have some nice pictures available within a minute of walking.

Camera Info:
Nikon z7 II
Nikon 24-120mm f/4
ISO 31
f 9
60 Seconds
WB Daylight
6 stop ND filter

Friday Photo #580 – Flying to Lofoten

Photo: Widerøe flight coming in for landing at Leknes in winter, Vestvågøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway. February 25, 2023. 13:21

Flying into Lofoten during winter can sometimes be an adventure! On days with strong winds, the little Widerøe planes can almost feel more like helicopters than airplanes, as there approach and landing can be so steep to the short runway of Leknes.

There has been ongoing debate for years and years about building a larger airport for Lofoten, capable of accepting landings from international flights, but so far it seems like no one in Lofoten can decide on where or should go, or even if they want it at all. Personally, I like the adventure of the short hop across the Vestfjord from Bodø. Though admittedly, cheaper travel options without driving 3.5 hours east to Evenes would be nice as well on occasion.

It had been my intention for a while to get an image of a flight approaching Leknes just for an article or ebook updates. Yet somehow I never manage to do so. Usually I’m driving into town and see the plane coming in to land and think to myself I need to take a picture the next day. And then I instantly forget about it until I’m driving a day or two later and see another plane.

This image I only managed because there was a slight delay in arrival as I was waiting to pick up my next group of clients for a photo workshop. While not the most interesting light, I like the scale of the plane against Skottind mountain. It almost makes things look more dramatic than what is just a 690 meter mountain.

You can find more Lofoten travel info in the article: Getting to Lofoten

Camera Info:
Nikon z7 II
Nikon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6
ISO 200
f 5.6
1/1600 Second
WB Daylight

Friday Photo #579 – Stornappstind

Photo: Morning light on the summit of Stornappstind from Nappstraumen, Vestvågøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway. February 22, 2023. 07:54

The highest mountain on the eastern edge of Flakstadøy, Stornappstind (literally: Big Napp mountain) catches the first morning light during mid to late winter sunrises, when the sun is rising over the flatter areas of western Vestvågøy. Though this location is only 10 minutes from my front door, I tend to only visit when guiding workshops when staying down the road at Ballstad; ironically, further away than my house. Though I guess I don’t go out for sunrise too much on my own when I’m not guiding and have to wake up so early. Personally, I much prefer the late nights of summer’s midnight sun!

The location is not always accessible, particularly after a heavy snow, as the parking area is down as small hill that is unmaintained during winter. So access is also weather dependent and often when I think the shoreline would be the best looking with a fresh layer of snow one can’t actually get there. But other times, such as this image at low tine, there can be some scenic foregrounds to find.

I do also find the mountain itself almost too symmetrical, and a little difficult to frame. I this image I wanted to include the full cloud which was above the mountain. Had the cloud not been there, I think I would have moved the mountain a little higher in the composition, or perhaps zoomed in a little more. While I like this image, I think everything feels a little too centred and the mountain too distant.

Camera Info:
Nikon z7 II
Nikon 20mm f/1.8
ISO 2000
f 1.8
1/25 Second
WB Daylight

Friday Photo #578 – Eye Of Uttakleiv

Photo: Sea foam conceals the famous ‘Eye of Uttakleiv’ at Uttakleiv beach, Vestvågøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway. February 28, 2023. 15:32

With these Friday photo posts I generally like to highlight locations in their best conditions. But the best conditions often don’t exist – especially so in winter! Today’s image is the famous ‘Eye of Uttakleiv’ or ‘Dragon’s Eye’ in less than ideal conditions. So bad, that if you were walking here for the first time and looking for the Eye, you might actually think you were in the wrong location altogether.

This is the right location and the Eye is in the middle of the image, it is just hidden by a layer of sea foam whipped up by the waves and wind. If shooting the Eye was on your list of images for Lofoten, then a day like this would be a waste of time and you’d be better off visiting locations with work better in stormier conditions. Although, other than the Eye, Uttakleiv beach is one of my favorite locations for stormy weather, so it is still a location worth visiting in such conditions.

Camera Info:
Nikon z7 II
Nikon 14-30mm f/4
ISO 31
f 11
0.5 Second
WB Daylight