In the spring of this year I made my first visit to the Lofoten area of Norway, having seen hundreds and thousands of great images shared from there by other photographers. It promised to be a magical destination, and it absolutely lived up to expectations, providing me with a number of good candidates for a portfolio of my best work. On that trip I was accompanied by two photographer friends, Mika Grönroos and Pasi Kaunisto, and we stayed in the beautiful fishing village of Reine, pictured below.
Reine was a beautiful location in itself, but it was also a great base for exploring the surroundings, although we did not have to travel far to see more spectacular scenes. Hamnøy, pictured below, was my personal favourite of the locations we photographed.
The journey from Reine to Hamnøy is a massive 3.2km... and on the way you have to pass through the village of Sakrisøy which is also an unbelievably scenic destination, especially if you climb the nearby hill which has some kind of weather station or other installation on top of it as we did on one morning after the sunrise. While Hamnøy was my favourite location at the time, in the proceeding months I started to feel that the panorama images of Sakrisøy may have been my most successful images.
Since leaving Reine in March, I have been very eager to return, and plan to do so on multiple occasions, experiencing the changes in scenery brought by the progression of the seasons... this week I will be making the first of those return visits. As I write this I am on the Wasaline ferry from Vaasa in Finland to Umea in Sweden, I will spend the night in Umea before driving about 600km tomorrow to Bodo in Norway in order to get another ferry to Moskenes... which is just a few kilometres from Reine, once again my base for the trip.
There are many different ways to get to Reine, but none of them are particularly fast or easy. In March we journeyed by car-train overnight from the capital area of Finland to Kolari (about 1000km north) before driving for 7-8 hours to Bjerkvik near to the Norwegian border and then driving the remaining distance (a further 6 hours or so) the following day. This time I decided to test the car-ferry-car-ferry-car route, there is also a possibility to fly to Lofoten (from most starting points this requires two flights, one to get to Norway and then a domestic flight to Lofoten) but then you are more limited on the amount of equipment you take with you and have to hire a car. Whichever way you choose, getting there is quite an operation.
On this trip the weather promises* to be a bit clearer than it was in March, which is both a blessing and a curse. I really hope to get a chance to shoot some starscapes and to be lucky with the appearance of the northern lights as well as seeing some dramatic sunrises and sunsets, but I might miss the moody scenes that overcast skies can provide, making for potentially interesting shooting even outside the key times around sunrise and sunset.
I will remain in Norway at least until 2nd October, and maybe longer, and will keep my blog updated on my progress.
* although I recently heard a rumour that weather forecasts are sometimes not 100% correct...
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