Sunset at Reine, Lofoten

The Mountains of Lofoten, Norway

Exploring the mountains of Lofoten Islands has to be a vertical experience.

There is so much more about the landscape then scenic fjords with the lonely beaches. It is also about dramatic mountains, sometimes nearly impossible to climb. It’s about the contrast of light and shadow, water and rocks. It is about the constant change of light, a ballett of pink and blue.
The Islands offer countless possiblities, each of them creating an unforgettable experience. There is no need to be a Alpine specialist – it does help though; especially during Norway’s winter.

 

Especially the area around Reine (and of course Sakirsoya and Hamnoya) offers tons of views to incredibly steep mountains. Olstinde mountain, combined with the yellow houses of Sakrisoy, is definetly a must see for all – best seen from Olenilsoya. The landscape around Kerkfjorden / Reine is worth the sometimes pretty strenuous hiking.

While most of the views are easily accessible by short walks, the real deal is about exploring and conquering. To prepare yourself properly, you should check out this map of Lofoten Mountains.

 


Sunset at Skagsanden Beach, Lofoten

The Beaches of Lofoten, Norway (III)

The most scenic beaches of Lofoten are the ones you visit. How about those?

Countless fjords, endless beaches, impressive mountains – there simply isn’t one perfect beach on the Islands. There are dozens of them. Each of them insanely spectacular after and during those short but intense snow storms. The experience of arctic beaches is often beyond imagination. Especially at night, when you fairly often have the chance to encounter the famous aurora borealis.

Haukland Beach – the all time classic of Lofoten’s beaches. Vik Beach – Haukland’s smaller brother, facing the same fjord. Skagsanden Beach. The Beaches of Storsandness and Myrland, which are usually less crowded. The ones facing to the north are the ones who are usually the place to be for northern lights. The different times of the day. And of course – winter.
Ask Duncan for his Travel Guide to Beaches.

 

Lofoten, Norway. Limited edition prints coming soon.

Storm over Myrland Beach, Lofoten
Storm over Myrland Beach, Lofoten

Meanwhile, the picture above represents a special project I am currently working on. There will be a small selection of prints (limited edition of 10) made on Hahnemühle paper. Pictures will be published once the printing and framing had been done.

In case you’re interested in supporting the series, feel free to contact me. The final product will be for sale via this website.

 


The Village of Nusfjord, Lofoten

Travelling Lofoten, Norway - Roads & Villages

Travelling Lofoten, Norway, is more then just following E10. It’s about getting lost.

The best way to get an overview of Lofoten Islands is to drive along the European Route E10. Starting at Å (and actually ending at Luleå, Sweden), it’s one of the most scenic routes I have driven for a while. You’ll be amazed about those beautiful vistas – and you might be shocked on what to miss in case you stick to this single route.
Turn left on the island of Flakstadøya and visit the tiny village of Nusfjord, one of the oldest (and best preserfed) villages of Lofoten. You’ll find plenty of beautiful bays with its typical rorbu cabins.

 

 


Sunset at Uttakleiv Beach, Lofoten

The Beaches of Lofoten, Norway (II) - Uttakleiv Beach

Uttakleiv Beach is known as the most beautiful beach of Norway. Here’s why.

Uttakleiv (or Utakleiv) – next to Haukland beach – is the most popular (and therefore most photographed) beach of Lofoten Islands. It is well obvious why: Especially during winter sunsets, people wait for the astonishing light show. Also, it is a well known place to experience the aurora borealis. On less cloudy nights, it is an unforgettable experience.

 

About 10 miles away from Leknes, Vestvågøy, the beaches eastern direction makes it just perfect for sunsets during winter. The contrast between the pink and blue sky, black rocks and the Carribean water is simply breathtaking.

Utakleiv is a great spot in general, as you have to drive past Vik and Haukland Beach to reach this gem of landscape. Also, Mannen Mountain offers a really great hike to discover an amazing areal view.

 


Sunset at Skagsanden Beach, Lofoten

The Beaches of Lofoten, Norway (I)

Travelling the winter beaches of Lofoten, Norway.

Lofoten, an archipelago in the county of Nordland, Norway, is well known among photographers for its incredible landscape. During winter, the contrast between steep mountains, sandy beaches all covered with a gentle cover of snow becomes even more fascinating. And intimidating.

The photographs were taken during sunset at the famous Uttakleiv Beach, Haukland Beach and its adjacent Vik Beach (north of Leknes, Vestvågøy). During winter (February/March), those beaches a perfect for a stunning sunset and sometimes perfect to see the aurora borealis. Skagsanden Beach, right next to Flakstad, offeres the same experience: an endless beach bordered by mountains.

Over the next couple of weeks, I will constantly post the photographs taken during a trip in March, 2016. In case you want to experience this part of the world as well, prepare yourself with the help of Cody Duncan’s amazing 68north.com.


Lago di Garda, Italy

Easter at Lago di Garda, Italy.

Lake Garda is the largest lake it Italy, making it one of the most popular destinations in that area. Rightly, obviously. Shaped by the glaciers of the last Ice Age, populated by a lot of adorable villages, occupied and made alive by thousands of people.

More silent parts of the lake are rare, but exist in the more rural part of the Province of Brescia, the western part of the lake.

There are countless places to find your special part of Lake Garda. Shots were made during sunrise above Gargnano at the western part of the lake. Less touristic, less hectic. Endless cliffs make it more difficult to find the perfect spot though.

The eastern and more popular part of the lake makes it perfect for astonishing sunsets, such as at Malcesine and the sensational village of Sirmione.


Winter Landscape, Lusen, Germany

Winter Landscape at Lusen, Bavarian Forest

Lusen is a mountain between Bavaria/Germany and Plzeň Region/Czech Republic) at the Bavarian Forest (National Park).

 

The Lusen mountain, 1,360m in height, is a rather popular winter destination. Due to strong winds in the rather unprotected area, snow and ice turns the landscape in surreal icy sculptures. The extinct trees due to the bark beetle makes the area look rather dead, although it is still a breathing and living area.

The Bavarian Forest together with the adjacent Bohemian Forest at the German/Czech border is a wooded low-mountain area. It is the largest protected forest area in central Europe.

Lusen, Bavarian Forest, Germany

Sunrise at Geroldsee, Germany

Winter at Geroldsee, Germany

Winter at Geroldsee, Germany: a beautiful short sunrise interrupting the dullness of a snowstorm.

Usually, the Geroldsee offers a stunning view at the Karwendel Mountains directly behind it – sometimes, during winter, it ignores its own surroundings. Thank God for that, sometimes.

Geroldsee / Wagenbrüchsee, Germany

Sunset at Ammersee, Germany

Time and Change at Ammersee, Germany

Time and Change: The incredible sunset at the famous Ammersee in Bavaria, Germany.

Following the tradition of capturing time and change in static medium, these photographs try to record the constant changes during sunset.

Most of the photographs had been taken at the famous boat houses at Stegen at northern strand of the lake.

Equipment/Technique

The photographs are long exposure photographs. You basically need two things to achieve a similar look:

First, you will need a selection of neutral density filters (so called ND-Filters) to reduce the amount of light hitting the sensor of the camera. I usually switch between the famous (and expensive) LEE Filters (especially their exquisite gradient filters) and Haida. Usually, Haida’s ND-Filter don’t influence the color cast of a photograph that much. However, shooting in raw is an absolut must to have full control about color temperature in post production.
A common 10 stop filter reduces the amount of light by appr. 1000x times, meaning the exposure needs to be exactly 1024x times longer than without the filter.

Second, you have to use the camera’s bulb mode to extend the exposure. By using a remote control such as the Pixel Timer TW-282, the default limit of 30 seconds exposures can be ignored and prolonged. Using the bulb mode, it is possible to flatten and to smoothen fluttering surfaces like moving water. Skies will, in case light and clouds are moving fast enough, look this dramatic.  Be sure to use an extremely stable tripod to minimize camera shake as good as possible.