Photo: Night comes to Reine, Lofoten Islands, Norway. February
-10˚ C with not even a hint of wind, the end of an absolutely perfect winter day on Lofoten. This was the first clear night after a week on the islands, so I was waiting around the Reine area in hopes of seeing some aurora’s later that night, but first, I was presented with this scene as an extra gift. Perhaps my favourite image of the whole year, as well as the coldest day of 2012 on Lofoten.
Photo: Aurora behind Olstinden, Lofoten Islands, Norway. February
I had been waiting a week for the right conditions to hopefully make this photograph. To me, the pyramidical peak of Olstinden, as is rises out of the cold waters of the Kjerkfjord, is an icon of the Lofoten Islands. The Aurora wasn’t as big as I was hoping for, but it’s a start to an image that I hope to refine over my next journeys to the islands. I think the clouds make it almost look like an erupting volcano.
Photo: Approaching storm, Å, Lofoten Islands, Norway. February
My last full day after two weeks on the islands was one of winter storms sweeping the lands. One of those days when you watch the snow heading towards you, take shelter for 20 minutes, then rush out again between flurries to hopefully grab a few photo. The cliffs here, past the village of Å, and looking west towards the end of Lofoten are one of my favourite winter locations on the islands.
Photo: Ice flower, Lofoten Islands, Norway. February
Warm temperatures brought snow melting rain to the islands. My hope of ‘snowy mountain landscapes’ was lost and I was left searching for other interesting elements of winter to photograph. Here, in a small tidal bay near Eggum, a rock had created a ‘flower’ like shape as the ice receded. Now that the snow was gone, this added an element of interest to what would otherwise have been a fairly flat and mundane scenic.
Photo: Olstinden winter panoramic, Lofoten Islands, Norway. February
In the cold and the calm of this evening the surface of the fjord began to freeze over. With the inner waters still, Olstinden reflects in near perfect symmetry. I wish there had been a bit more interesting light to work with, but I think the subject is still strong enough for me to like this image.
Photo: Camping beneath mt Whitney, California. April
I like the contrast of my yellow tent and the deep blue of the evening sky while camped at Iceberg lake on the mountaineers route to mt. Whitney.
Photo: Horseid beach, Lofoten Islands, Norway. August
Horseid is a brilliant, Isolated, beach on the northern coast of Lofoten. I hiked several hours through rain and whiteouts that at first I thought I had made a mistake heading there. But by the next morning, the rain had stopped while the dramatic skies still hung over the mountains.
Photo: Summer twilight over Stamsund, Lofoten Islands, Norway. August
Even in late August, Lofoten’s sky still glows at 1am as the next day quickly approaches. I took an evening stroll up the hill behind the hostel to check for auroras but found this scene instead. I just stood there for a while in the stillness, glad to once again be in the north.
Photo: Autumn on the Kungsleden trail, Lapland, Sweden. September
I can feel the cold in this image (as well as remember it). The bright reds and oranges or the small scrubs in the sub-Arctic tundra of northern Sweden’s mountain, combined with snow covered peaks and grey skies are what the Kungsleden trail in Autumn is.
Photo: Afternoon light on Offersøykammen, Lofoten Islands, Norway. October
After an unsuccessful afternoon of chasing light around the islands, I finally decided to head up the small peak of Offersøykammen and see what cards the weather would deal me. As the sun neared the horizon, clouds began to rise around the mountain. But before I was enveloped in a gray so thick I could hardly follow the trail back down, the mist lit up in the sunlight shining a golden light across the Autumn mountain landscape.
Time for another year to draw to a close, though truthfully, I can’t say it comes too soon. 2012 was a difficult year for me, one of more setbacks than accomplishments. A few dreams have fallen through the cracks or been put on the the back burners indefinitely, with little hopes of revival. I also didn’t get out photographing nearly as much as I’d planned (as I write this now, I haven’t touched my camera in almost in 2 months.). If it wasn’t for a few trips to Lofoten, I’d basically have nothing to show for the whole year; 8 of 10 images here being from the islands, although maybe that speaks more about the brilliance of Lofoten. I felt I was often stuck in the paralysis of inaction, unable to make any decisions or move myself or my career forward. Maybe I put myself under more pressure to return with something ‘good,’ and ironically, chose locations to travel to where this is less likely to happen. Or maybe I’ve simply raised my standards to something that I can only rarely achieve; and thus that lack of apparent achievement continues the cycle ad infinitum. Who knows.
On the positive side, I do think there are a few good images here. Maybe even a couple that I’d say are some of my all time favourites. Although I’m not sure if this isn’t more based on my memories than of the actual photo.
In a couple more days I head north to Scotland to bring in 2013 on a small little island at the edge of the world. So here’s to a good start of the new year; one that hopefully I can find some focus and kick some ass in!