Friday Photo #58 – Olstind Reflection

Olstind mountain peak rises from fjord, Reine, Lofoten Islands, Norway

Photo: Olstind Winter panoramic, near Reine, Moskenesøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway.  Feb 6, 2012.  16:10

Every time I travel to Lofoten I try and remind myself that I already have enough images of Olstind.  And yet every time I am there, Osltind provides me with something new, whether I want it or not.  And so, like sailers lured by the sirens, I find myself hopping across the rocks on the edge of the fjord, drawn towards Osltind.  The perfect mountain.

This particular day had been calm and cold.  The surface of the fjord began to freeze and the ice made an eerie sound as it gently broke against the rocks a few inches from my feet.  The sky was not quite what I was hoping, and the light a bit flat in the day’s final moments.  But with near perfectly still water, the reflection was perfect.

Camera Info:
Nikon D700
Nikon 24mm f/3.5 tilt-shift
24mm
ISO 200
f 8
.3 sec
WB Daylight
3 images – left, right, middle

Friday Photo #57 – Kjerkfjord Winter

Scenic winter view across Kjerkfjorden towards Vindstad, near Reine, Lofoten islands, Norway

Photo: Winter Reflection on Kjerkfjord, near Reine, Moskenesøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway.  Jan 6, 2010.  13:35

In the short days of early January the sun barely rises above the southern horizon.  If the sky is clear, then several hours of wonderful twilight is what a photographer will be rewarded with.

It is a rare event when all elements align perfectly, but when they do, there is perhaps no better place in the world to be than Lofoten, well, at least for those of us that like winter.

Nearing Reine, the fjord was almost perfectly still and they sky glowed pink.  In the distance, the snow covered mountains between Vindstad and Kjerkfjord reflected in the calm waters.  I knew I had precious little time on this day to get to as many places as possible.  Yet everywhere I looked was something amazing.  If I were able to stop the clock, then this this day could have lasted a full year…

Camera Info:
Nikon D700
Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8
70mm
ISO 200
f 8
1/40 sec
WB Daylight

Friday Photo #56 – End Of Lofoten

View from Å towards end of Lofoten, Moskenesøy, Lofoten islands, Norway

Photo: Winter twilight, Å I Lofoten, Moskenesøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway.  Jan 6, 2010.  15:14

The first day of my January 2010 trip was finally coming to an end as I followed the light to the end of the road at Å I Lofoten.  And from there, proceeded to walk to the edge of the sea where the final glow of the short winter day was still holding onto a bit of life.

This location has become one of my favorite winter sunset spots over the last few years as the between January and early February the sun sets near the end of Lofoten in the distance.  Combined with a multitude of compositions, depending on how good the snow is, or not, it is a location that I usually walk away with something decent from.

Alone, as seemingly at the end of the world, I stayed out here until near darkness, wishing the light would last just a little bit longer.

Camera Info:
Nikon D700
Nikon 24mm f/3.5 tilt-shift
24mm
ISO 100
f 11
20 sec
WB Daylight
2 images – top, bottom

Friday Photo #55 – Agvatnet Winter

Lake Ågvatnet and snow covered mountain landscape, Å I Lofoten, Lofoten islands, Norway

Photo: Lake Ågvatnet in Winter, Å I Lofoten, Moskenesøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway.  Jan 6, 2010.  14:22

Having followed the light from Vestvågøy to the end of the road at Å on this short January day, and the only day I saw the sun on this trip, I was eager to get as much variety as possible.  While waiting for the light to fade a bit more before heading out to the coast for sunset, I wandered over to lake Ågvatnet, sublimely covered in a fresh layer of snow.

I took a few ‘normal’ images, ie. no tilt, but for some reason, the scene wasn’t doing much for me.  I’m not quite sure why, but I think it just felt a little out of balance and with no clear focal point.  Finally, I just decided to throw a full tilt on the lens, open up the f-stop for a shallow depth of field and focus on the pointy mountain in the distance.

This did the trick for me.  Combined with the soft light and fresh snow, this image has a bit more of an etherial feel that I typically shoot.  But I like it for some reason.  And the subtly of the image works well as a desktop background, which I currently use.

Camera Info:
Nikon D700
Nikon 24mm f/3.5 tilt-shift
24mm
ISO 200
f 4.8
1/60 sec
WB Daylight
2 images – top, bottom
Full lens tilt

Friday Photo #53 – Summer Clouds

Stormy sky over Selfjord and mountains of Lofoten Islands, Norway

Photo: Ominous clouds fill the sky as I make my way towards Kvalvika beach, Moskenesøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway.  July 22, 2006.  19:24

I’m digging pretty deep into the archives for this one, mainly because Kvalvika beach has been on my mind a bit lately as I’m trying to come up with some plans for February, and this image is from my first ever camping trip to Kvalvika in the Summer of 2006.

It was early evening when my friends dropped me off at the trailhead for Kvalvika beach.  The clouds thus far in the day had been dramatic but the rain had held off so far.  Leaving the car and looking around, I was not quite sure what I was getting myself into.  I gave thoughts just to heading back to Stamsund, but I had already mentally committed myself to a couple nights camping at the beach, so I continued on with my plans.

A little ways up the trail I turned around for one last look over the fjord, this is the sight my vision brought.  I will admit to being slightly scared and worried if my tent would survive the night.  I have never seen a sky like this again in Lofoten.

By the time I began my descent to the beach a light rain was falling.  I managed to set my tent up among the grazing sheep of summer before the torrential rain began, and that it did.  Continuing more or less unbroken for the next two days until I packed my wet tent up and began the hike back over the hill.

Camera Info:
Nikon D200
Nikon 18-70mm f/3.5
46mm
ISO 100
f 5.6
1/200 sec
WB Daylight

Friday Photo #50 – Reine from Reinebringen

View over Reine and Fjord landscape from summit of Reinebringen, Moskenesoy, Lofoten Islands, Norway
Photo: The most iconic image of the Lofoten Islands: Reine from the summit of Reinebringen, Moskenesøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway.  September 26, 2013.  09:10

I post this weeks Friday Photo to help illustrate the importance of time of day and direction of light on the Lofoten Islands.  Something which becomes even more important as you travel further away from midsummer and the sun sinks lower and lower on the horizon.

Even in this photo, taken at 09:10 in the morning, you can begin to see the mountain shadow approaching from the left of the image.  Soon, parts of Reine will be cast in shadow for the remainder of the day, the sun failing to rise above the surrounding mountains.

So with the fjord at Reine opening up towards the southeast, if you want direct light shining across the entirety of the village(s), then this means you need to be up the mountain not too long after sunrise.  Though accounting for time of year, in summer, the sun rises more to the northeast, so you’ll be able to take your time.  Whereas once the autumnal equinox is reached, with the sun rising to the east, you will find yourself hiking up the mountain in the dark – or, if you’re like me, camping on top, which is easier.

Camera Info:
Nikon D800
Nikon 24mm f/2.8
35mm
ISO 200
f 11
1/160 sec
WB Daylight
8 images – vertical (portrait)

Friday Photo #47 – Reinebringen Camping

Tent camping on narrow ridge of summit of Reinebringen mountain peak, Reine, Moskenesoy, lofoten Islands, Norway

Photo: Camping on summit of Reinebringen, Moskenesøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway.  September 25, 2013.  20:44

You can read a bit more about what lead me to the summit of Reinebringen on a late September night in my Friday Photo #43 post – but the main idea was for me to camp on top of the mountain in hopes of shooting some Northern Lights.

There is not much room for a tent on the narrow ridge of the mountain, but there is enough.  This was now my 2nd night on Reinebringen, my first being in August 2010 on a perfect Summer day.  This night was was as perfect as Autumn gets; crisp clear skies and a light wind.  Temperatures dropped to a few degrees above freezing, but that is to be expected at the end of September.  Had this been 2009, then I would have been camping in Snow!

I have mentioned elsewhere, that I think it is important to attempt to get new perspectives on an increasingly photographed world.  Over the last couple years I have witnessed an explosion in the amount of photographers on the islands.  But often burdened by huge bags of gear, few seem willing to venture to the top of mountains, and even fewer still, willing to spend a night on top.  It might not always result in award winning images, but you will no doubt get something slightly less common than the previously scenic views which are now overflowing from every photo sharing site on the net.

So, next time you’re on the islands, grab your tent and head up high for a night or two.  There are still thousands of spectacular views which are seldom photographed.

For info on the hiking route to Reinebringen: CLICK HERE

Camera Info:
Nikon D800
Nikon 24mm f/3.5 tilt-shift
24mm
ISO 400
f 5.6
30 sec
WB Daylight
2 images – top, bottom

Friday Photo #45 – Hermannsdalstinden

Evening light over mountain landscape from rocky summit of Hermannsdalstinden, Moskenesoy, Lofoten Islands, Norway

Photo:  Summer evening on summit of Hermannsdalstinden, Moskenesøy. Lofoten Islands, Norway.  August 23, 2013.  20:57

The sky overhead was still blue as I reached the summit of Hermannsdalstinden early on a Friday evening.  Catching the ferry from Reine meant I had a shorter overall distance to travel, but meant that I had to get a later start than if I had hiked via Sørvågen; but this is not of too much importance with the long days of summer.  Though they are quickly shortening by the end of August.

A wall of low cloud hung over the western horizon, so I knew I would lose direct sunlight a bit earlier than I was hoping for.  But in the last moments as the sun neared the sea and began to soften in the thickening layer of haze, the light softened to a gentle glow across the endless line of mountain peaks of Lofoten.

Luckily for me, the summit of Hermannsdalstinden seems almost perfectly made for light light this, with an endless assortment of rocks and boulders providing the photographer with a multitude of foreground subjects with which to compose a photo.  I wandered around a bit, but finally found this vantage point on one of the ridges just below the summit to be one of the better views to balance light and shadow across the rocks.

Camera Info:
Nikon D800
Nikon 24mm f/3.5 tilt-shift
24mm
ISO 200
f 13
1/8
WB Daylight
3 images – top, middle, bottom

Friday Photo #44 – Bunes Beach Rainbow

Rainbow at Sunrise over mountains from Bunes Beach, Moskenesoy, Lofoten Islands, Norway

Photo: Rainbow at sunrise emerges from mountains at Bunes beach, Moskenesøya, Lofoten Islands, Norway.  August 17, 2013.  04:29

Perhaps one of the best sunrises I have ever photographed on Lofoten, I nearly slept through this one. My second morning on the islands, I was still suffering the effects of jet lag and staying up till midnight the previous night – the short summer nights don’t leave time for much sleep. So when my alarm went off at 3:30am and I drearily peaked my head out from the tent the sky looked somewhat boring, I laid back down.  I know I am on the islands to take photos, but there are times in tiredness where for a fleeting moment, I wouldn’t mind if it were raining.  Then I come to my senses.  Sleep when I die!

A little more time passed before my next alarm sounded and I figured I might as well get out of the tent and see what the morning would provide. By now a small bit of color was beginning to appear in the sky so I hurried out to the beach. The sunrise towards the east was quite nice with some pink glowing clouds filling the sky, but as I passed around a corner on the coast, this came into sight.

The world seemed to be at a standstill, and even the wind was calm.  For 20 minutes, the rainbow slowly drifted out from behind the cliff until the clouds finally faded.  It was one of those lucking moments where a combination of elements all come together at once.

I returned to my tent for a couple hours more sleep before having to pack up camp and hike back to the ferry.  As I was leaving the beach the sky was now a flat grey and a gentle rain began to fall.  A rain that some hours later would see me arrive soaking wet at Horseid beach and forced to hide in my tent for the next 18 hours…

Camera Info:
Nikon D800
Nikon 24mm f/3.5 tilt-shift
24mm
ISO 50
f 16
3 seconds
WB Daylight
2 images – top, bottom

Friday Photo #43 – Reinebringen Twilight

Twilight view from Reinebringen over Reine, Lofoten Islands, Norway

Photo: Twilight over Reine from summit of Reinebringen, Moskenesøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway.  September 25, 2013.  19:48

Clear September skies and hopes of a repeat of the previous night’s Northern Lights led me to the summit of Reinebringen on this day.  Otherwise, I perhaps would have hiked some new mountain somewhere, but the chance at seeing the Aurora fill the night sky over Reine was something I had to go for.  And of course, the view from Reinebringen in one of the best and most iconic ones in Lofoten, so it’s easy for me to find an excuse to go up there.

The clouds that had filled the sky during the afternoon faded away as Twilight and then the blue hour arrived.  My last night on Reinebringen had been in the Summer of 2010, the nights still too short for any really darkness to arrive, so seeing the streetlights come on as the world darkened came a bit as an unexpected, but scenic surprise to me.

Without the lights, the blue tones, and lack of much contrast would have left this scene lacking in contrast in my opinion.  Still scenic, but not special.  The warm glow of the street lights, running across the islands like a slithering snake lead my eye through the image and give overall depth to the scene.  An image I was never expecting to create, but something I’m quite happy to come across.  And I’m sure this won’t be my last night on Reinebringen…

Camera Info:
Nikon D800
Nikon 24mm f/3.5 tilt-shift
24mm
ISO 200
f 8
10 seconds
WB Daylight
2 images – top, bottom