Aside one visit to the Finnmark area two years ago, the majority of our visits to Norway took us into the Tröms area or the Lofoten, which was the most south that we have gotten so far. The road trip though led us again mainly through the Finnmark.
We began our trip just behind the Finnish/Norwegian border in Skibotn up to the northern spot on the European continent, the Nordkapp1. I find the wide open landscapes in this area to be very visually appealing and the resulting images reflect this in more streamlined and simpler compositions.
To capture these wide open spaces, I focused on creating panoramic images exclusively, something that I haven’t been doing for quite a while. It seemed though necessary as I had not the feeling I couldn’t capture the feel and atmosphere of the landscapes in a single frame. Looking back at the resulting images it proves me right.
My approach to photographing landscapes has changed quite a bit during the last two or so years as I have grown accustomed to the fact that the experience of being in a place is far more satisfying than the act collecting as many images as possible. Also I started to learn to deal with whatever the weather conditions are at the moment and stopped hoping or waiting for the right light.Right can mean a lot of things, and I think when it looks great, the light is simply is right.
During the short stint at these locations, many views have been left un-explored but I have the distinct feeling that this wasn’t my the last visit around there.
It’s only a little while ago that I missed some gorgeous light on the coastline and I returned to this beach which noticed earlier while driving along the road. On this location though, the conditions work for me. The light is soft and warm and the sky is beautifully lit by the sun which is hidden behind a layer of clouds just above the horizon.
This beach is located slightly south of the city of Berlevag (Google Maps defines this location as Sandfjorden, let’s just assume this is correct), and the scenery bears some interesting views: tilted rocks, ponds and puddles reflecting the light from the sky, some green in the grass and some coastal mountains in the background, what else can one look for?
I climb on the rocks along the coast and finally gently walk along this beach, looking for something to catch my eye. Finding a clear composition in an area like this is though more challenging than it looks like in the first place. Still I find some images that work out and the light just plays along nicely.
These images are among the last ones that I took during this short trip to the Finmark. I will have a stop at a previous location with more luck and better light and then, after a few hours of driving run into more foggy conditions in the north of Finland.
My first trip to the very north of Norway turned out to be full of surprises.
The storm lasted the whole day but just as the forecast had predicted, at 22 o’clock the conditions finally change to the better. The wind calms down and the sun is having a first appearance and warming up not only the scenery with it’s golden light but also myself. I’m happy to be finally able to take some images and also to have my clothes drying up after a long day of rain.
I’m already prepared what to photograph during this night, as I have been looking for locations along the coastline during the day.
One of my first stops is this bay:
Like in the images that I took earlier, strong and high waves are crushing on rocks along the coast and the light of the late evening sun illuminates the sky above. It just starts to come together just nicely.
Even though the storm calmed down quite a bit I still need to seek shelter from the wind behind a few rocks to ensure a steady camera on the tripod. I find a place which still provides a good angle on the scene and I take my time composing my image. After a few exposures I’ll continue on the path along the coast to the next bay. I have been waiting all day for this, so there’s no time to waste.
Again I find myself crouched in a corner of the cliffs to find shelter from the wind. The conditions look much less friendly around here and huge waves are crashing on the cliffs below me. I try to get a little closer, but the spray was just too heavy down there. It simply would have turned out to be a mess.
During the course of the evening, or actually night, the conditions improve constantly. The wind calms down and the light of the now rising sun gently lights the sky and clouds above the coast. The waves of the Barent Sea are still crashing heavily on the rocks along the coast and I immediately have an idea of the kind of image I would like to photograph once I see this view. All it takes is to have the right waves. It takes some time, it’s not perfect but it got at least close to what I was hoping for.
The light is getting brighter quickly now and there’s only little time left for just a few more images during this morning…
Waiting for the right conditions turned out the right thing to do.
This evening’s shooting started successfully a little while ago at a lighthouse a few kilometres to the north along this road. Again the weather and lighting conditions seem to change after almost every turn of the road (something that I already got used to) but slightly more confusing is the fact that now I’m struggling to find the scene that I scouted out earlier that day. For some reason it seemed to have disappeared. I guess I was exploring a too wide area earlier in the day and I mixed it up complete. Lesson learned, next time mark it right away on the map.
Still, I’m driving along the road looking for “the” spot when the clouds broke and the light of the setting sun turned the otherwise brownish rocks into deepest shades of orange and red. I pull over the car into a nearby parking spot (handy to have it there, as the road was too narrow to safely leave the car on it), grab my gear and head back to the vantage point that I saw.
Too bad though that by the time I was at the right spot the warm and direct sunlight was gone and the sun “set” behind a layer of clouds, where in fact it should a stay for the next hour and a half. While still having nice light, it just wasn’t that warm and direct light anymore. I stick around and take a few photographs and finally decide to continue at a different place and maybe return to this spot a little later.
By now the sun somehow has long “set” behind a layer of clouds just above the horizon and I continue to explore the coastline. I’m somehwere along the road to the small city of Berlevag, in the most northern parts of Norway.
After a well deserved nap and my first few images of this evening, I again notice the frequently changing conditions in this area. Not much earlier I photographed a lighthouse a only a few kilometers from here in a lot different conditions. Again, the weather appears to be different around here in every different bay.
Having dropped the car somewhere along the road I head out and explore the coastline which was seemed to be rather accessible. Still, most of the time, I’m forced to climb over the rocks along the coast looking for a decent composition before I in the end reach a sandy beach.
I took two different compositions from these rock formations before I continue down at the beach. It was rather a successful shooting here at this coast and I continued my explore with my return to a small bay down the road which I visited earlier already before heading home to Finland.
Somehow landscape photography is always full of surprises. Every now and then something unexpected happens. Most of the time it’s just the weather turning bad just an hour before the best light after having a beautiful, occasionally though, something surprisingly nice happens. In the beginning of the year it was a group of whales slowly passing by in the fjord in front of us. Last year it were seals, and this year I got unexpected company by a cute little fox.
I have been strolling along the coast west of the city Vardø, in the very north of Norway the whole day already. A 30km long and narrow road along the coast. In the beginning of the day, I had been trying to resist against the heavy conditions, and once it cleared up, I had been looking for locations and vantage points. I spent the whole day waiting for the conditions to change and the chance to finally to do some photography.
It’s the second day up here in most north part of Norway. So far I drove about 1500 km of my total 2500 km in three days. I arrived a day earlier in one of the heaviest storms I have encountered in my life. In fact it almost broke the back of my car when I tried to access the gear stored in the trunk. Luckily in the evening the weather calmed down and I found some nice locations which were protected from the storm.
Usually I only take a few frames of one specific composition, but from this one it somehow took a while. I took about 15 frames to get the right movement in the waves. At one I went a little overboard and tried to wait for a seagull and the waves to be in the right place.
Well.. I had not so much luck with the latter. I processed this image twice. Once for colour and once as a black & white. The colour version I will publish later to my galleries. And a quick reminder that if you haven’t read my previous post, please take a second to take part in the poll.
Together with the launch of this new site I thought it would be nice to also have some more multi-media content and as such, I decided to add some sort of mini-podcast to the blog. Like many of my online friends I decided to go with with Audioboo.
I don’t want to write too much now, but I would like to invite you listening to my short Boo and I hope you enjoy both my image and the podcast.