Lofoten Islands Winter Sunrise

colorful sunrise lofoten islands

Photo: Colorful winter sunrise over Norwegian mainland, Lofoten Islands, Norway.  Feb 2012

A layer of clouds was hanging over the islands with only a thin slice of clear sky in the eastern horizon.  This light lasted a few minutes and then turned to gray and my camera didn’t come out of the bag for the rest of the day.  I was hiding behind a rock to try and get a little protection for the winds – the sea is dark, but you can see it’s a bit rough.  This was the 2nd best/most colorful sunrise of my February trip.  The best was the day before as I was looking out the window of a bus, in my typical expertise of missing good light.

The arctic sun is deceptive in the fact that it rises so slowly in the sky.  In my head I have what I expect as a standard length of time from when I start to see the light of the sun building below the horizon until it finally breaks it.  In the north I end up standing, jumping around the keep warm, and telling the sun to come on and hurry up so I can get back in the car as I can’t feel my toes anymore.  Although the benefit of this is that the light last so much longer and you take take a little more time to work with each scene before the light fades, all depending on what the clouds are up to of course.

2 replies
  1. Xingyuan Wang says:

    Awesome shot — incredible colors! I remember waking up in Stamsund on the last day I was there and thinking to myself, “I could get used to this life.” I’m in Charleston now, where though also a coastal area is incredibly flat, and this shot brings me back to an easier, more natural life.

    Changing topic, I’m discussing with myself what “dynamic range” means to me, so purely out of curiosity, did you use any kind of filter or processing on this shot to brighten the sea?

  2. Cody says:

    No filters while shooting. In ACR (Adobe Camera Raw) I brought down the highlights a bit to reduce clipping in the red channel and brought up the black/shadows. In photoshop I probably would have applied a ‘Soft Light’ layer at around 20-30% opacity to bring back a little contrast and color.

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