Photo: Rays of light shine over the distant mountains of Moskenesøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway. October 4, 2023. 16:25
While every landscape photographer dreams of colourful sunrises and sunsets during their travels, the weather often works against us. Even more so on Lofoten this autumn with a near constant layer of low clouds and rain covering the islands for weeks on end. When the horizon is fully enveloped in the next waves of rain swept in by a cold north wind, it is time to look for other options.
Fortunately, other options exist on Lofoten. The dynamic light of backlit clouds actually requires the stormy and rainy weather which is often present in autumn. With the quickly moving in the variable weather, the trick is attempting to predict where you want the light to fall, and then waiting for the right moment to hopefully arrive – which is still not guaranteed. But on rainy days like this cold and blustery day in early October, there is a high chance of such conditions.
It is important not to wait too late in the day, because as the sun gets lower on the horizon, it is more likely to become fully concealed behind the clouds. You will often have better looking shooting towards a more distant background, as this gives you a better chance of having the backlit rainy clouds pass between you and your intended background. The closer your intended subject, the more exact the passing of the rain and gaps in the clouds must be, making a higher miss rate – although for a potentially more dramatic image should conditions come together perfectly. But on a day like this and out with a group, I knew there was a pretty good chance for some interesting light if we positioned ourselves near Vareid while looking towards the distant mountains of Moskenesøy rising over Fredvang.
Head over to my Instagram account for (almost) daily postings of the local conditions here on Lofoten: @distant.north
Nikon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6