Archive for March, 2017

Reine, the Most Picturesque Fishing Village in Norway’s Lofoten Islands

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Morning light in Hamnoy

If you are curious about visiting Norway’s Lofoten Islands, it’s most likely because you’ve seen images of Reine, an extremely picturesque fishing village.

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Frosty scenery (and marina) in Reine

Reine, and nearby Hamnoy, are probably the most photographed spots in the Lofoten Islands for good reason. The scenery is beautiful all year long. Gorgeous lagoons with bright water ooze Nordic charm during the summer months, against the backdrop of rugged and rocky Reinebringen.

Harbor Time Lapse in Reine video

In the winter, the same spots become a frozen fairyland with epic snowy scenery. The views are spectacular.

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Colorful cottages on the lagoon in Reine

Fishing is still the main industry in Lofoten Islands and reason for the plentiful docks, boats, and colorful fishing cottages (called rorbuer) that about. The cottages are filled with seasonal fisherman and visitors during the summer, and packed with photographers hoping to catch a glimpse of the northern lights during the winter.

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Pretty little church in Reine

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Cod drying racks about in the Lofoten Islands

Unsalted cod is dried in a traditional method on racks (called flakes) in villages all over the Lofoten Islands.

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Stockfish drying in the Lofoten Islands

In addition to cod, other kinds of whitefish, including haddock, pollack, ling and cusk are also used as stockfish.

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Fish heads, fish heads roly poly fish heads

Not even the fish heads go to waste. The arctic cod heads are dried and then sold to countries including Nigeria where they are ground up to be used in soups, stews, and in animal feed.

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An empty fish drying rack in Reine

Once dried, the arctic cod filets are exported to the world, and are extremely popular in Italy.

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Men hanging cod to dry on racks in the Lofoten Islands

Norwegian salmon is also popular and can be bought at almost every market on the islands.

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Left: stockfish snacks in a hotel minibar Right: Salmon, anyone?

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Fishing lures for sale at a market in Reine

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Pretty red fishing cabins in Reine

There is even a Lofoten Stockfish Museum in the islands where you can learn about the stockfish industry’s history in the islands.

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Moody gorgeous Reine

Reine looked very different in the winter than when I visited back in October. Check out these images I photographed from similar angles just four months apart.

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Left: Reine in October Right: Similar view of Reine in February

Both fall and winter have their benefit and charms. I’m glad I had a chance to visit in two different seasons.

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Left: Looking over Eliassen Rorbuer in October Right: Looking over Eliassen Rorbuer in February

If you are planning to visit the Lofoten Islands, you might want to consider staying at Eliassen Rorbuer and exploring the Lofoten Stockfish Musuem to learn more about the history of the fishing industry in the area.

Eliassen Rorbuer

Address: Hamnøy, 8390Reine

Phone: +47 45814845

rorbuer@online.no

Lofoten Stockfish Museum

Address: Å i Lofoten, 8392 Sørvågen, Norway

Phone: +47 76 09 12 11

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Photographing Norway: Arctic Sunsets in the Lofoten Islands

 

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Icy sunset on Haukland Beach

The phrase “sunset on the beach” usually conjures up images of tropical destinations and cocktails decorated with with paper umbrellas. The beaches in Norway’s Lofoten Islands might not fit the stereotype, but the sunset scenery is no less stunning.

Sexy slow motion sunset (shot on iPhone 7 plus)

One of my favorite stops during my Arctic Photography Workshop was Haukland Beach, also known as Hauklandstranda.

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No Filter Sunset on Haukland Beach

The colorful sunset I witnessed (and photographed) had colors so unreal, some of the images I took looked overly photoshopped despite being #nofilter.

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Snowy sunset on Hauklandstranda

The drama of the colorful sky, clouds, sea, and dramatic arctic scenery was breathtaking.

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#NoFilter Sunset on Haukland Beach

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Sand, snow, and a sunset

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Pastel sunset in Northern Norway

Haukland Beach is considered one of the best beaches in the Lofoten Islands. Don’t let winter weather keep you from checking it out for yourself.

Haukland Beach, Leknes Island

8370, Uttakleivveien 200, 8370 Leknes, Norway

(10 km north of Leknes)

Just before entering the tunnel to Utakleiv is a parking area on the left.

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Photographing the Northern Lights in the Lofoten Islands, Norway

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Gorgeous aurora borealis in Norway’s Lofoten Islands

Part of the reason I chose to take an Winter Aurora Photography Workshop in the Lofoten Islands with Stian Klo was the possibility of seeing the northern lights, and challenge of photographing them.

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The northern lights move quickly in the arctic sky GIF

Aurora hunting is always exciting. Photographing the northern lights in arctic winter conditions pushed me way outside of my comfort zone.

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Northern lights + cloudy skies = meh 

Conditions need to align to get a good photo of the northern lights. The first night I tried photographing the aurora, cloudy skies made it rather difficult. But it was good practice for playing with settings on my Canon SLR and getting used to shooting in these conditions.

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Arctic landscape + northern lights = win

The combination of cumbersome arctic gear, deep fresh snow, night shooting in cold temperatures was fairly stressful. I’m grateful I got a few images northern lights images I’m happy with.

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Northern lights on display in Norway

Once the aurora shows up, the cold just disappears and the adrenaline starts pumping. I forgot I was freezing. My tripod froze up and I did not care. I moved around a bit and took in the amazing light show. It wasn’t until after I was done shooting and I began to thaw in the car when I realized just how cold it was.

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Auroragasm in the Lofoten Islands

With a group of photographers in a workshop environment, it’s interesting to see how different everyone works. There were some hard core landscape photographers in the mix. As a travel photographer, I’m a solid all-around shooter. But my style is realistic. I’m not one who likes to spend hours editing to produce a perfect image. I’m convinced my strong suit will never be photographing in arctic conditions at night. But I am better at it than I was before taking Stian Klo’s workshop, and that was the point.

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Green streaks of the aurora in the Norwegian sky

I definitely picked up a few great editing tips from photographers/Lofoten Tours partners Stian Klo and Arild Heitmann to integrate into my workflow. It is always inspiring seeing how others photograph the same scene.

While chasing the aurora, I concentrated on still photography using my DSLR. I was blown away by Abu Dhabi-based landscape photographer Natasha Haggard’s time lapse and drone work. She graciously allowed me to include her fantastic video it in this post. Her YouTube channel is worth checking out.

Aurora Chasing video by Landscape photographer Natasha Haggard of The Light Majestic 

Take a peek at Natasha’s website, The Light Majestic to see more of her amazing work.

Much thanks to tour leader Stian Klo and photographer/driver Vidar who were great at both helping and pushing me outside my comfort zone.

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