The first day, of what will become a rather successful photo-trip.
The journey begins just after sunset and I’m leaving home off to Norway. To make the most of this short trip I planned to be at location just behind the border before sunrise to take advantage of some nice morning light on and in the mountains. After that I shall continue to the islands north of the city of Tromsö, after a little nap that is. So far the plan.
In fact, it turns out that my plan works out nicely. My journey starts as planned and with the now already clear roads the trip proceeds without any unfortunate surprises, quite the opposite is the case: at 22 o’clock I see the first northern lights. Since I was hoping to be able to photograph some of them during this trip this is surely a good start. Unfortunately it’s too cloudy for a good view on them. Only occasionally I can see them through a gap in the clouds. These conditions will follow me during the next few hours.
As planned I arrive in Kilpisjärvi/Finland in a wonderful starlit sky, unfortunately no northern lights this time. A bit knackered I wanted to take another quick nap, but my favourite parking location between the mountains of Saana and Malla hasn’t been cleared of the snow. Too lazy to turn the car I continue my ride on the dark road through the mountains which eventually will bring me to Norway. This road is surely a spectacular sight but now in the absolute darkness there’s not much to see.
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…
In my post “The Red Rocks” from the Finmark area (Norwegian Lappland), I mentioned that I had also recorded a clip (actually it were two) as a videoblog for the blog. I finally got it done and added a images as a slideshow to it as well.
I had some fun listening to it since it seems I didn’t quite knew where I have been photographing back then! Luckily I have figured that out in the meanwhile, this location actually is a few kilometres south of the city of Berlevag.
But now enough of talking/writing here’s the video-blog and I hope you enjoy it:
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.
It’s the beginning of June on a warm early summer night. I’m just on the way back home from a outing at Kiutaköngäs, a beautiful yet difficult to photograph waterfall. It’s little before midnight and the sun has “set” slightly below the horizon but still lights the sky just nicely.
I’m driving on a little path which leads me out of the forest and finally to the road back home. I would love to spent the whole night out, but there’s about 400km to go before being at work for the last time before holidays. Still I halt the car ever so often to compose an image.
It’s early November now, about one and half month’s away from the darkest day of the year, and it becomes increasingly difficult to find the time to do landscape photography. The forecast showed clouds and sun just in time for sunset and I wanted to use this chance. It might take quite some time, before I have another one.
Light snow, muted colours, occasional sun and blue skies. Looking promising. On board the ferry to location now. http://yfrog.com/n8s7qbsj
I’m sitting in my car on the ferry which will bring to me to the island of Hailuoto and light snow is falling on the car. On my way here I notice the muted colours of the foliage on the ground caused by the light layer of snow. Occasionally the sun breaks through the clouds and gently warms up the scenery. Still on the ferry I hope to find similar conditions at my targeted location, a beach on the other end of the island. To be prepared for changing conditions I’m already thinking of a plan “b”. The muted colours of the foliage should create a wonderful contrast to the tree trunks which is why I planned to go into the forest. That is if there’s not too much snow on the island.
After I passed the border into Norway for a few kilometers my disappointment about the fairly unfortunate conditions in the north of Finland was quickly forgotten, when I faced the drama and the beauty of the landscapes. Without any map or GPS I have driven along the road looking for compositions to jump into my eye, while trying to not get lost at the same time.
I already explored a few locations along the coast of the fjord to which I planned to return later that day when I finally decided to wait at this river for the rain to end. While having good and dry conditions at all other locations that I visited, somehow the rain clouds got stuck exactly here and appeared to be very persistent.
I waited for quite some time until the rain calmed down a bit before I could set up for an image. Still I had to clean and dry my filters from the rain drops after each image and the final resulting images are in fact merged out of two images. Not to get more dynamic range, but to at least get one image without any spray on the filters.
I continue looking for images along in this area before I had to head back home.
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.