lake

All posts tagged lake

… visibility got less…

Fog triptych

D800, ISO100, 1/500 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 70-200mm

… said he again in the evening.

D800, ISO200, 1/250 sec @ f/4, Nikkor 50mm. 3 images stitched in Photoshop.

D800, ISO200, 1/250 sec @ f/4, Nikkor 50mm.
3 images stitched in Photoshop.

Let’s see how often I manage to get up early enough to capture this…

This was absolutely breath-taking. Even if it’s very simple to explain what you see, sometimes it’s hard to actually believe what you see.
And it’s remarkable how the weather influences your perception. We drove by this inlet several times and only once was it like this. When there was even the slightest breeze, and the water would start moving, the dream scenario disappeared instantly.

D800, ISO100, 1/250 sec @ f/5.6, Nikkor 50mm

D800, ISO100, 1/250 sec @ f/5.6, Nikkor 50mm

D800, ISO100, 1/250 sec @ f/5.6, Nikkor 50mm. 6 images stitched in Photoshop.

D800, ISO100, 1/250 sec @ f/5.6, Nikkor 50mm. 6 images stitched in Photoshop.

D800, ISO100, 1/250 sec @ f/5.6, Nikkor 50mm

D800, ISO100, 1/250 sec @ f/5.6, Nikkor 50mm

 

 

I’ve got some more bugs coming up for you, but this one I wanted to share first.
We were up in the wilderness again, and the weather forecast was dreadful. As usual one should never trust the weather forecast. Those forecasters couldn’t even predict the entrance of an elephant if they were riding in on it…
It turned out to be probably one of the best weekends of this thing we call summer in this country. Absolutely gorgeous!

Kuhmoinen panorama

D800, ISO100, 1/250 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 50mm.
Panorama stitched together in Photoshop from 7 pictures

Sometimes I complain… It’s usually about the Finnish weather. Or the Finnish people. And I think in a lot of cases I do have the right to complain *grins* But this post isn’t a complaint. It IS about the Finnish weather, and about Finnish people, though.
We spent the weekend in the summer house in the Finnish wilderness, on the border of civilization. I love that. I love to go back to basics, where all the luxuries of today’s society stay behind, and you get to relax without all the stress of the city in your head. The quietness, save for the buzzing of the insects, the chirping of the birds, “old-fashioned” wooden sauna (for which you have to chop some wood into small pieced first, because the big logs don’t catch fire out of the blue), mowing the lawn, violently letting yourself go on the man-high weed with a scythe and of course the cheers from the Olympics coming out of the TV.
Owwait… Hang on…
Right… The TV… Ok, in the time of the Olympics we’re allowed that little bit of luxury. But really, usually the tv stays off. There are better things to do ūüėÄ

But this is not really about that either. We were talking weather and Finnish people.
We were visiting the Better Half’s relatives in that area. She hadn’t seen them in many, many years, and it was my first time, I’d never met them before, and they’d never met me before. Complete strangers to each other, that’s what we were.
See, if you are that to someone down here in Helsinki you’re being avoided like the plague, basically. But up there, on the border of civilization, people are actually much more civilized than in the big city. It almost reminded me of home, where you greet people in the street, even if you don’t know them. Where you can look at each other, look each other in the eyes on the street, without getting a look back asking “What the f**k do you want from me?”
We were invited in as if we were living there. Got the grand tour around the house, were to stay for dinner AND sauna (and a swim afterwards in the lake, about 40 paces away from the sauna), but before all that we were taken out onto the lake to catch our own dinner. Now THAT’s the kind of unconditional civilization that I like. No questions asked -well, of course, a lot of questions asked, but you get my point- and you’re showered with hospitality. The kind of hospitality that has seeped away into the sewers of individuality in the big cities (plural here, because it’s not just Helsinki in which you find this kind of behavior).

And the place… Oh my dear… That little piece of paradise. And that with the weather we had during the weekend…
If I’d have a dime to spare I would be gone from here in an instant, press the pause button on time and stay in it forever…

I’ll say no more…

View over the lake

D800, ISO100, 1/125 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 14-24mm

View over the lake

D800, ISO100, 1/125 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 14-24mm

Our trip to Norway to shoot the Northern Lights was quickly on its way to turn into a big, expensive disaster. We had one more chance, one more night.
And it was a clear night. A beautiful night. A cold night. So nothing could go wrong, right?
Or so we thought…

We arrived at our destination, Ersfjordbotn, well in time. Just before sunset. We set up, and I shot some pictures of the setting sun.

Ersfjordbotn, Norway

D700, ISO200, 6 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 50mm

Ersfjordbotn, Norway

D700, ISO200, 10 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 70-200mm

 

Ersfjordbotn, Norway

D700, ISO200, 30 sec @ f/16, Nikkor 70-200mm

And then the waiting started… In the end you of course never know. 80% is a good chance, but there’s still 20% chance to nothing. Slowly, with frustration, cold and a tickling bladder (not yet tRickling) creeping up on us it looked like we hit the jackpot with 20% of zilch. The arm and leg we paid for the trip to this country where everything seems to costs nothing short of fluid gold, was going to fly by with nothing to show for. At least not that what we set out for…

We shot a few pictures in the hours that passed (and hours they were, and stubborn WE were).

Ersfjordbotn, Norway

D700, ISO200, 1/6 sec @ f/16, Nikkor 14-24mm

Ersfjordbotn, Norway

D700, ISO800, 6 sec @ f/2,8, Nikkor 14-24mm

We got company from a few other photographers and it didn’t help our mood when one of them told us that the previous night had been spectacular over Troms√ł. We had been sitting out in the cold for about seven hours waiting for the Lights to come, because it was supposed to have been overcast over Troms√ł and clear where we are, and we went home empty-handed only to find out that we should’ve best stayed in Troms√ł and we would’ve had a great show. But no…

In the end it doesn’t matter how stubborn you are, how eager you are, how patient you are… After sitting in the cold for another six or so hours we accepted our losses and packed up our gear and headed back home. Our newly acquired photographer-friend hitched a ride with us back towards town. And I’ll be damned… we were just over the hills when he shouts “Look there! It’s starting! Pull over!”
Sure as I’m sitting here writing this… the sky turned all green on us and it was dancing like there was no tomorrow.

Sure, you see it on pictures. And it’s beautiful on pictures. But when you see it for real, when you see it with your own eyes… It’s nothing short of breath-taking. Here’s a piece of nature phenomena which struck me silent on the spot. The first five-ten minutes we just stood there gaping at with mouths open. If it would’ve lasted for only that time, we still wouldn’t have had any pictures of it. But we at least saw it in its full beauty. I’m sure you’ve seen pictures. And I have pictures coming up. But I couldn’t possibly explain how it is to look at this in real life.

The only thing… Pictures are brighter. It doesn’t happen often that the pictures are more beautiful in terms of color, saturation and vibrance (unless of course you bump the sliders in post-processing), but the actual Northern Lights aren’t all that bright. They are very clear, and very visible, that’s not it, but the colors in the pictures, even in the unedited raw files, are so much deeper and saturated than what I saw with my own eyes…
Not that it takes away any of the awe that it gave me…

I’m planning another trip. I realize we pushed it in terms of time left before the climate changed too much for the chances to see the Northern Lights. Next year it’ll be early/mid February instead of end March.

Aurora Borealis, Northern Lights

D700, ISO400, 6 sec @ f/2.8, Nikkor 50mm

Aurora Borealis, Northern Lights

D700, ISO800, 4 sec @ f/2.8, Nikkor 50mm

Aurora Borealis, Northern Lights

D700, ISO800, 4 sec @ f/2.8, Nikkor 50mm

Aurora Borealis, Northern Lights

D700, ISO800, 6 sec @ f/2,8, Nikkor 14-24mm

(So yeah, the last one’s photoshopped, but that was because I was so frustrated and I so badly wanted to have a picture with the Northern Lights coming into that point where the mountains meet… I’ll get a real one of those next year ūüėČ )

 

So… That was a disappointment… Beautiful day the entire day, and everything down the drain because it turned overcast in a few hours.
Ok, maybe not everything down the drain, we did get some good pictures, but still. We didn’t get what we actually came for.
That called for another night on the town. We were back at the hotel around 23:30. And so it appears that IF anything happens in the city of Troms√ł, it doesn’t happen before midnight. We went to the same place as yesterday, which was actually full with people. Not so different from Finland, I must add, since there were a good number of them well beyond there quota. It must’ve been an expensive night for them.

We didn’t make it a long night, since we had another long day ahead of us. Last chance, as we were homeward bound the next morning. The weather forecast was good according to several websites now. We woke up in our brightly sunlit walk-in closets and that set our moods in the right direction ūüôā
Today’s route would lead us around Hella, Bakkejord (the area where the first boat pics are from), and Sommar√ły back to Ersfjordbotn, which is a typical place where many people before us have shot the Northern Lights.

Hella, Norway

D700, ISO200, 1/500 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 14-24mm

Near Sommar√ły, Norway

D700, ISO200, 1/500 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 70-200mm

Bakkejord, Norway

D700, ISO200, 1/500 sec @ f/13, Nikkor 50mm. 180-degree panorama built from five images.

Near Sj√łtun, Norway

D700, ISO200, 1/350 sec @ f/9.5, Nikkor 50mm. 180-degree panorama built from five images.

Near Sj√łtun, Norway

D700, ISO200, 30 sec @ f/16, Nikkor 50mm, Singh-Ray VariND filter

Near Sj√łtun, Norway

D700, ISO200, 20 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 50mm, Singh-Ray VariND filter

So Norway… What a beautiful country…

The Troms area is supposed to be one of the best areas to view the Northern Lights. I’d never seen the Northern Lights in my life before, and it’s been on the top of my list for quite some time. Finally we made the decision and booked our trip. A 5-day stay in Troms√ł was supposed to be opportunity enough to see the Northern Lights in an area where the chances to see the Lights are according to statistics, especially in this year and next year when the solar activity is at its highest in 7 years, close to 80%.

We kept an eye on the weather forecast and a week before departure things looked ok still. The closer we came to departure date, the bleaker things got. We checked several forecast websites and they pretty much all had a different forecast. Even the best forecast was still 5 days of overcast weather with rain, slush and snow.

We came in on Monday in the late afternoon. Needed to pick up the car and check into the hotel, so we didn’t have much time to do anything. Not that the weather would allow us much anyway, since it was raining cats and dogs.
We asked at the lobby of the hotel for a good place to go have a drink and got an address which was guaranteed buzzing on a Monday (!) night. With about 10-12 guys watching a football match, this place called Bl√• Rock Cafe, was absolutely thrilling *ahem* The food was good, though, gotta give ’em that.

Tuesday we went scouting. Forecast for this day (and the coming days for that matter) were dramatic, with more overcast sky, more rain, more slush and more snow. We were set to leave on Friday morning and according to the forecast Friday night was going to be the first clear night (of course!). We were silently talking about extending our visit to Saturday, but with Norwegian prices (fuel @ ‚ā¨2,10 per liter, ‚ā¨115 for a walk-in closet with a too short bed, ‚ā¨14 for a pint of beer), I tell you: NOT funny!
Anyway… Even if this day wasn’t the beautiful clear day, we nevertheless took beautiful pictures. Overcast sky and some foggy clouds can make for a great landscape.

We drove from Troms√ł almost to Tromvik, but didn’t get out of the car much after the first 40 mins. It started raining so bad that one step out of the car would mean getting soaked. We had to make do with what we shot on the first stretch of the scouting trip.

Norway landscape

D700, ISO1600, 1/1000 sec @ f/13, Nikkor 70-200mm

Norway landscape

D700, ISO1600, 1/1000 sec @ f/13, Nikkor 70-200mm

Norway landscape

D700, ISO1600, 1/1000 @ f/13, Nikkor 70-200mm

Norway landscape

D700, ISO1600, 1/500 sec @ f/13, Nikkor 70-200mm

 

So it’s early morning… Sun’s rising, fog’s coming up from the water, which, by the way, is totally still…
Lovely! It was kind of chilly, but refreshing. If I wasn’t dying to go back to bed (after sleeping for only a few hours), I would’ve sat down on the pier and… just sat…

Sunrise over a lake

D700, ISO200, 1/250 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 50mm

Sunrise over a lake

D800, ISO200, 1/350 sec @ f/9.5, Nikkor 50mm