The Wide(r) North

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.

  1. And yes, I am aware know that it in fact not the most northern point, but who cares. 

A Case Of “Drive-Through” Landscape Photography

The sea, the coast, rocks and mountains are surely my favourite subjects in the landscape and luckily all of these can be easily photographed in Norway. I quickly learned this during my first, and admittedly very short, visit to Norway three years ago. Ever since I have returned to different parts of the country at least once or twice a year for a more or less extended photographic journey.

During this year though I haven’t had a chance for a real photographic journey in general and specifically for a visit to Norway whatsoever 1. A few weeks ago though, a work trip though brought me to the city of Narvik for something along the lines of 36 hours.

Since the nature of this trip, was purely a work related (that is, if one can actually call that what I’m doing as work, but that’s of course a totally different story), the chance to pursue landscape photography was very small one to begin with. To reduce luggage I in fact didn’t even bothered to take my gear with me. The thought of carrying a 10 kilogram backpack (plus tripod of course) while already being aware that I most likely wouldn’t have a chance for serious photography, wasn’t so nice and motivating after all.

Naturally though, I didn’t come totally un-equipped and took my Ricoh GXR with me. In Narvik itself I had no transportation available and the only chance I actually had to take at least some pictures was during a quick walk to the harbour just before breakfast. The outcome of those images isn’t worth mentioning in fact.

Things were a bit different on the way back though. Whilst the trip to Narvik led us first through heavy snowstorms and later for the greater part through the dark, the way back to Finland on the other side was a rather smooth ride in the bus in nice morning light in mountains. Since this was the only chance I had to do at least some photography during trip, I spent some time taking pictures out of the driving bus. This is surely something a lot different from my usual way of working.

The result is this little series of images, which I find interesting since they are of a slightly more playful character, a tad out-of-the-usual. At the same time they are taken from an angle I am usually not able to take images of. The slighty higher seating position provided often a better viewpoint (often over the tree line) than I would be able to work off would I have been working with my tripod from ground level.

Somehow I do enjoy the more documentary feel of the images, which somehow is supported by occasional reflections in the windows.

To me it feels that landscape photography is something that one really needs to actually want to do. It requires passion and ever so often, a lot of time. While I’m not lacking the passion, I am severely lacking time to pursue my photography. Sometimes small projects like these help to see a silver lining on the horizon and that soon more photographic opportunities will come up.

  1. Last year at exactly the same time I have been visiting Norway and photographed what would become one of my favourite series of images, the Mountain Sketches

Raptor Falls #2

The other week I posted the first image in this series and it’s time for the image which I originally envisioned.

Immediately when I passed the waterfall I had the idea for vertical panoramic image. The waterfall seemed to be just perfect for this purpose. This doesn’t only look nice here and I’m sure it will make a wonderful print.

I also just realized that it is much easier to present a vertical panorama on the blog than a horizontal one ;-).

Raptor Falls #1

The conditions played some tricks on me during my short visit to Norway this time and I’m still strolling somewhere along the road to Alta, Norway. In fact I have no idea whatsoever where I have been when I took this image.

I notice the waterfall and quickly pull over the car to a nearby parking spot, grab my bag and tripod and head back to the waterfall. While these kind of waterfalls are very common sight along the roads, photographing them often fails due to a lack of available places to leave the car securely on the narrow roads in the mountains. I this case I was in luck.

Standing in front of the falls I immediately get the vision of the final print as a vertical panorama. To get the composition I need to stitch three images. Can’t wait to get this one printed and framed.

As I have no idea where I took this image, I named it after these two raptors which were circling over me in the air. Having been attacked once by birds in a situation like this before, their aggressive sounds were less than comforting. No risk no fun, right?

The second, and originally intended version as a vertical panorama will be published here in the next few days.

Eggum View

We’re just on the way back from the Lofoten with the direction to our home in Finland . We’re not in a hurry and we use the chance to stop now and then to explore and enjoy some of the scenery, as we did right here in Eggum.


This is the way we the clouds have been most of the time for the first few days of the trip. It is amazing how low clouds can get in this area, also is it always surprising how different the conditions are around there. Whilst driving under blue skies, it seemed that only this part of the island is covered under clouds.


We haven’t been spending much time there, but during the course of our stay, the conditions cleared up a bit, and revealing some of the mountain tops. I could imagine this to be a wonderful site to photograph in more stormy conditions, with big waves crushing on the coast. Maybe one day.

After now almost one year I’m still have some processing from this trip to do. Let’s see when I will have finished those, but a few more images you can of course view in my galleries over here.

BTW: I just “re-visited” this place in Google Maps and it seems they had some better conditions then.

Mountain Sketches

After little sun during the morning, quickly more and more clouds started to show up and it started to rain ever so slightly. The light, just soft and warm a few minutes ago disappeared in favour of a flat and grey mass above me. I was exploring an area called Signaldalen and I started to give the mountain-tops some attention when the first image of this series caught my eye.

Mountain Sketches #7 – 1/100 sec @ f11, +1EV, ISO 100, 200mm

The snow and the bright rain clouds perfectly blended into each other leaving only the shapes of the rocks visible. I was struck by the beauty of structures and monochromatic nature of the image. The preview appeared almost like being sketched with a pencil, hence the name of this series. The other proper name would have been maybe barely-visible-mountain-tops-in-rainy-clouds, which for some reason appeared to be too long.

Fascinated by the image I realised the potential I spent the remains of the day looking up and searching for these images. The search took me all over the area between Skibotn and Somaroy and while the conditions were less ideal for the photography that I usually do, they were perfect for this project. Most of these were captured in pouring rain with the camera protected by a simple towel.

Photography is full of opportunities and sometimes these opportunities jump at us when we expect it the least. This series, which I would call one of my personal favourites is an example of this. Sometimes “embracing the moment” simply works out.

For the whole series please visit my galleries here. Additionally I will publish an e-book with these photographs which will be released during the next weeks. Stay tuned for updates here on the blog.