Lofoten is an unsurpassable place, a place where around each corner the scene takes your breath way, a place where a ten-minute journey stretches into hours as you stop and reach for your camera again and again, a place where you need to be prepared for that chance moment, that instant when the last rays of the sun kiss a cliff face; or above your head sea eagles tumble in the sky; or the sun’s rays burst through an overcast sky; or a trawler shatters a perfect reflection.
Agvatnet, Lofoten, Norway
On Lofoten magic just happens. Over the brow of a hill on a cold, wet day, to find yourself at the edge of a frozen lake, towering mountains reflected in rainwater covered ice, spindrift blowing on the distant peaks. Forget Narnia, or Game of Thrones, this is a true-life winter wonderland
Sigma DP0 Quattro, 3 images stitched. 1/25 second at f13, ISO 100. Aspect ratio: 2.5 X 1
The weather was coming in, heading down the valley, and we were stumbling through knee-deep snow, over rocks and boulders, the air full of expletives. I wanted to be able to point straight down the teeth of the valley, so onward we went, trying to beat the clouds, until we found some foreground, set up the tripod, and took the shot. Five minutes later the valley was obscured by mist, and we found an easier road home. Photography as an aerobic sport!
Sigma DP1 Merrill. 1/8th second at f16, ISO 100. Aspect ratio: 3 X 2
Utakleiv, Lofoten, Norway
We arrived at Utakliev to find that it’s reputation as a popular beach for photographers was well deserved! Escaping the crowd we walked down the coastal path to a more deserted spot before returning as the sun was setting. Many of the tripod wielding brigade had left, still, the most difficult challenge would be to avoid a red bobble hat appearing in the corner of the shot. It was this problem that forced me up the beach in twilight, further than I probably would, and to find a group of rocks, perfect foreground to balance the mountains above … and not a size 12 footprint in sight! It’s become my favourite image of the trip.
Sigma DP0 Quattro. 6 seconds at f14, ISO 100. Aspect ratio: 1 X 1
Mountain Sunrise, Reine, Lofoten, Norway
Rising before dawn from a warm bed, caffeine depleted; trudging up the road in darkness, half asleep; fumbling with tripod legs at -5 degrees; this is the landscape photographer’s lot! The aim was to catch the sun’s first rays set Olstind, the mountain that dominates Reine, aglow. And for once I was set up and ready. But it was behind me where the real action was. East, towards the Norwegian mainland, and the most perfect sunrise breaking over the mountains. Majestic!
Sigma SD1 Merrill. 1/8 second at f8, ISO 100. Aspect ratio: 3 X 2
Hamnoy, Lofoten, Norway
The E10 runs the length of Lofoten. It’s the backbone of the islands connecting them with bridges and tunnels, and to the mainland with seaports and airports. If you stay on Lofoten you soon become familiar with the road’s contours and curves. Staying in Reine, we most often headed East to discover mountains, or frozen lakes, or deserted beaches, and headed West to return to the warmth of home. Each time we passed Hamnoy and each time, whether in thick snow, or mist, or rain, in twighlight, or in darkness, there was a photographer on the bridge taking a picture postcard image. And you can understand why!
Sigma SD0 Quattro. 1/80th second at f10. ISO 100. Aspect ratio: 3 X 2.
Nusfjord, Lofoten, Norway
Nusfjord is a time capsule, the old shop, cod-liver oil workshop and smithy, preserved just as they were for visitors to experience the old Lofoten. As we drank a welcome cup of coffee in the restaurant we chatted to the waitress about the size of the fish catch; the old boat, now part the furnishings; and the island’s recent popularity. Outside the coachload of visitors departed and we were left alone to wander, and take photographs.
Sigma SD0 Quattro. 1/20th second at f10. ISO 100. Aspect ratio: 3 X 2
Storvatnet, Lofoten, Norway
We happened across Storvatnet on the road from Nusfjord just as twilight set in. Stopping the car, captivated, we walked down from the road, to the shore, and out onto the ice. All alone, on a frozen lake, overlooked by a ridge of high mountains, topped by the warm orange glow of the sky, the perfect silence broken only by the groans and grumbles of the ice, as the water shifted below.
Sigma SD0 Quattro. 1 second at f16. ISO 100. Aspect ratio: 2.5 X 2
Frevang, Lofoten, Norway
Another road, another turn, another chance encounter with the spectacular. We stopped to take a break near Fredvang by a small river running into a fjord. At the waters edge boulders broke through the ice, mountains reflected in the fjord beyond.
Sigma SD0 Quattro. 1/100th second at f10. ISO 100. Aspect ratio: 2 X 3
Reine, Lofoten, Norway
Sometimes a wide angle lens just isn’t wide enough. This image is made up of four images stitched together, capturing the Lofoten coastline East, from Reine.
Sigma DP3 Merrill (stitched). 1/200th second at f8. ISO 100. Aspect ratio: 3.5 X 1
Olstind, Lofoten, Norway
The triangular South face of Olstind, rising from the fjord, glowing in the morning light, must surely lay claim to be the most beautiful mountain in the world.
Sigma DP3 Merrill. 1/200th second at f0. ISO 100. Aspect ratio: 3 x 2