All posts tagged mountains

Scouting, driving around the area, stopping the car, getting out of the car, getting into the car, driving, stopping the car, getting out of the car, getting into the car, driving… It’s the thing you typically do only with your fellow photographers. You do that with your spouse and inevitably you’ll get to see a lot of rolling eyes and the “*sighs* NOT AGAIN??”-looks ūüėČ
And even then there were beautiful scenes we missed, because of possible life-threatening situations we might’ve faced had we stopped (or leaned too far over the edge).

Icicles hanging from the rocks in beautiful shapes

D800, ISO100, 1/250 sec @ f/4, Nikkor 14-24mm

Icicles hanging from a rock in Sommar√ły, Norway

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

Waterfall flowing down into a small downstream river

D800, ISO100, 15 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 50mm + Singh-Ray VariND

Shack on a little island in Sommar√ły, Norway, with a small ligh

D800, ISO100, 1/500 sec @ f/5.6, Nikkor 70-200mm

Fishermen town of Koppangen, Norway

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

Islands in the sea around Sommar√ły, Norway

D800, ISO100, 1/125 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 14-24mm, 4 images stitched in Photoshop

View towards Cathedral from Sommar√ły, Norway

D800, ISO100, 1/500 sec @ f/8, 8 images stitched in Photoshop





Seeing the Northern Lights isn’t a given. With the unpredictability of the weather up there there’s as much chance of seeing the Lights as there isn’t.
And considering the fact that the Lights are only visible in the evenings and/or at night, it leaves about 12 hours of daylight time to shoot other things. And besides being insanely expensive, Norway is also an insanely beautiful country. At least up in the north where we were.

Sunsets and sunrises, a part of every photographer’s portfolio wherever he/she goes (I’m privileged that I got to see the Lights in the first place, but it would be sooooo cool to catch the them at sunset…)

D800, ISO100, 1/30 sec @ f/16, Nikkor 14-24mm

D800, ISO100, 1/30 sec @ f/16, Nikkor 14-24mm

D800, ISO100, 1/125 sec @ f/22, Nikkor 14-24mm

D800, ISO100, 1/125 sec @ f/22, Nikkor 14-24mm

Sunset over Rekvik, Norway

D800, ISO100, 1/125 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 50mm

Sunset over Rekvik, Norway

D800, ISO800, 8 sec @ f/2.8, Nikkor 14-24mm


I can write loooong pieces of text about the landscapes.
They’re gorgeous. And they’re many. And they look different every day, especially when you have a sunny day one day and snow the next, and sun again the day after that.
Have a look:

Valley with a river running in between two mountain ranges

D800, ISO100, 1/125 sec @ f/5.6, Nikkor 50mm

Yellow line dividing the road running off into the distance

D800, ISO400, 1/250 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 70-200mm, Nikkor TC2

Boulders on top of a mountain in Rocky Mountain national park

D800, ISO100, 1/30 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 14-24mm

Logs in the partly frozen water of a lake

D800, ISO200, 1/250 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 50mm

Dirt road leading into the fog and into the Rocky Mountains

D800, ISO100, 1/30 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 50mm

Waterfall in a small stream covered with fallen trees

D800, ISO400, 1/4 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 50mm

Water fall in a small canyon in Grand Lake in the Rocky Mountains

D800, ISO100, 8 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 50mm, Singh-Ray VariND

Sunset over Grand Lake

D800, ISO100, 1/1000 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 50mm

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

After our first day of scouting we were sent to different bar, a place which was THE place to be on a Tuesday (!). Well… The place was positively buzzing with about 5 people. So after a few drinks we headed back to the hotel, tired from a long day of driving in the rain. We did check up on the weather forecast, never giving up hope that the trip to this godforsaken country, which was called The Paris of the North, where a drink costs you an arm and a leg, would be a total miserable loss. And guess what? Out of the 5 websites forecasting the weather for the Troms area one actually mentioned a clearing up for the next day. Of course with all our hope we fully believed that one website and with sunshine in our hearts we withdrew in our walk-in closets and called it a night.

Lo and behold… We woke up to patches of blue in the sky. We couldn’t believe our eyes!
Another day of scouting ahead, and bring out the sunglasses!
Tourist information told us we would better be heading east for the night, where the sky would be the clearest. Near Troms√ł things would be clouded over come evening, so no use to stick around there. So off we went, in the direction of the Lyngs Alps, a mountain range east of Troms√ł, topping just under 2000 meters. We drove all the way to the east tip of the island, to Breivikeidet, there where the ferry leaves to Svensby.
It was there were we set up “camp”.


D700, ISO200, 1/500 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 50mm. A 180-degree panorama put together from 10 images.

We had plenty of time to kill before sunset and darkness, so we got acquainted with the area a bit.

The beach in Breivikeidet

D700, ISO200, 1/180 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 50mm

There was an actual beach there. I’m not quite sure how often per year you could actually lie on the beach this far north, but pretty it was. And the water… Shockingly clear…

The beach in Breivikeidet

D700, ISO200, 1/180 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 50 mm

(I didn’t position them like that…)

Sea urchin on the beach in Breivikeidet

D700, ISO200, 1/250 sec @ f/8, Tamron 90mm macro

And some more landscapes:

Gletcher on the island of Svendby

D700, ISO200, 1/250 sec @ f/16, Nikkor 70-200mm

My buddy spotted a totally unexpected guest when he was standing here: a seal! Unfortunately he didn’t manage to get a good picture of it and it took off too soon. I managed to only get a glimpse of it from where I was standing ūüôĀ

My buddy Alan

D700, ISO200, 1/125 sec @ f/2.8, Nikkor 70-200mm

And they had boats, too ūüėČ


D700, ISO200, 1/250 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 50mm


D700, ISO200, 1/350 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 50mm

And while we were waiting for the darkness and the night to set in, which it finally did after us spending about six hours in the cold there, we saw happening what we were dreading already for a few hours. More and more clouds came in and what was supposed to be a clear night was about to go all wrong.

Breivikeidet / Svendby

D700, ISO200, 10 sec @ f/16, Nikkor 70-200mm

It ended up clouding over so much that we decided to get away from here and hoping we would drive towards some lighter skies.
On our way back, for just a brief moment, we thought we saw something over the mountain range, but we didn’t capture it on sensor. It might’ve just been our eagerness…

Somewhere along the way from Breivikeidet back to Troms√ł

D700, ISO200, 15 sec @ f/2.8, Nikkor 14-24mm

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