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Lofoten Islands in April 2016

Travelogue: Lofoten Islands in April 2016

From April 10th to 24th I spent two great weeks together with two groups of participants and the people of Phototours4U.com on the Lofoten. And that was worth it, I tell you!

Day 1

We arrived at the "Lofoten Suite Hotel" in Svolvaer at about 9 pm. Our home for the next 14 days. An hour later we went straight out to Kabelvag. Let's see if there's anything.... The sky was cloudy, so nothing like aurora borealis. We were still able to take a good shot.
We could still have a chance at aurora borealis this week. Not a week later. Then it just gets too bright...
The length of the day changes within two weeks by almost three hours... and already in May the sun is not going down any more.

Day 2

It's cloudy. The weather is modest.... First have a quiet breakfast, then shop in the supermarket in Svolvaer. In the early afternoon we start... drive to bad weather locations. We take a rotten boat wreck (photographically, of course), then we go on to Gimsoy... there's always something going on, even in bad weather. On the way back we find an old tractor trailer, off the road, in the mud. That's a little different, but not necessarily my motive.

Day 3

The weather is grey in grey. From time to time a few cloud gaps can be seen. We start our tour at noon and head south. On the way we pass several places which are suitable as motive. Some beautifully situated lakes with thin ice on the surface. But the weather doesn't play along. The sky is grey, no structure in the clouds. Just a gray wall. Not suitable.
We continue towards Haukland. The weather is improving. It's clearing up. Now follow in 15 minute intervals hail showers alternating with sunshine. So quickly set up a tripod, make a picture composition, fire free! And wrap it up. The hailstorm follows. I turn my back into the wind. Here we are, like the penguins in Antarctica. After 15 minutes the spectacle is over. The sun is coming. The white layer is shaken off. Get out of the camera, continue to the next hail shower which is not long in coming...

In the evening we drive through the tunnel to Uttakleiv. Great weather! Sun! We can watch a great sunset! It's clear at night. But unfortunately we can't find aurora borealis.

Day 4

I can hardly believe my eyes: pure sunshine... not a cloud in the sky! I didn't know there was such a weather on Lofoten...
We start again at noon. Southbound. First to Myrland. But the light is still too hard. The sky is bright blue! Great weather.... but to take a picture there can be a few clouds. Otherwise, it's just a blue wall in the photo. Well, postcard time. Yeah, I know... bitching at a high level.
Afterwards we'll go to Hamnoy. The obligatory shot is quickly in the box. Further on to Reine... but we're in low tide. Not good conditions.
Then we'll go to Yttersand. Relaxed photography in the grassland. The sun in the back... the shadow in the picture... waiting for the sunset. After a long time the sun has slowly disappeared behind the mountains... finally! Photo taken. Let's move on.
To Vareid. We have great light and enjoy the sunset at the sea.
The last stop for today is Reine. But there is still too little water there, which is why the dark stones in the foreground disturb the picture structure. Not quite optimal. In the evening the sky is clear, but again no aurora. You can't have it all. Nevertheless, it was a great day!

Day 5

The weather has changed its mind: It's grey again. This time we head north to Laukvik. On the way we stop at a filthy hut. A great bycatch.
Afterwards we continue to the lighthouse where we spend the evening. Unfortunately, the weather doesn't play along. It is grey in grey and no structure in the sky. We'll make the best of it and try to photograph the lighthouse in the blue hour. In the late evening we return to the hotel.

Day 6

We start our tour around noon. The weather is cloudy, but good for photography. Our destination is Unstat, the surfer's beach. And yes, there are many surfers there. We do some shots and experiment with the black round stones that are surrounded by the waves. Later in the evening the weather closes.
We drive on and try our luck in Uttakleiv. The weather improves and we can even add the sun for a short moment.

Day 7

Today is a day for some "relaxation". We're having great weather again. Lots of sunshine with a few clouds. Around noon we drive to the small village of Nusfjord. There we spend a relaxed afternoon and take some photos of bycatch. Fishing huts, stockfish, seagulls, boats etc.... The small village shop opens especially for us. We are the only visitors and the owner lives right next door.
So let's get some ice cream and some tasty snacks. In the sun it is quite warm for Norwegian conditions.
After a long break we drive on towards Flakstad. It is low tide and the water flows only a few millimetres high over the shallow beach. This way we can photograph great reflections.
We continue to Eggum where we have a great sunset. There we take pictures until late into the night.

Day 8

The first week ends today. Serdar brings the other participants to the airport and picks up the new group. So I'm spending today alone.
The weather is great again. At noon I start my tour and drive to well-known locations. Henningsvaer, Gimsoy, Myrland. But the light is still too hard. In the afternoon the sky is closing and in the south it starts to rain. Maybe I'll have more luck in Uttakleiv. I like the weather god and so I can take a great sunset with me! On the way back I pass Eggum, but the weather will be bad again. So I decide to go back and am back at the hotel shortly before midnight.

Day 9

There are 10 participants in the "new" group. This could get crowded at the locations now.... Serdar and Christian von Phototours4U are of course also present.
We start our tour around noon, photograph the night and return to the hotel at 7:00am. First we go back to Myrland to the beach... And again with a blue sky. For me the third time.... The weather means too good for us. Afterwards we continue towards Hamnoy. Here you can see a great sunset. Christian the Hexer takes up his bag of tricks and shows us some great perspectives. The motif is a mountain range reflected in a puddle on the rocks. After I felt myself crawling over the rocks for 15 minutes on my stomach, the camera just a few centimetres above the ground, my work can go on.... What a poster you can't accept! But that's exactly how it's fun. And I think I can be proud of the result!
As it gets dark we drive back towards Eggum. Here we experience a beautiful sunrise at 4:00 o' clock! The sun is dipping the mountains in red light. One must have experienced something like this! Super!

Day 10

Today we only returned to our hotel at 7:00am. Then we had breakfast (for us it was more like dinner...) and off we went to bed^^^. Get up at 4:00 p. m. Then we prepare for our departure at about 6 pm. 9:00 pm we arrive at the location on time for sunset. Since we should always have good weather this week, we started our trips every day at these times. And believe me: If you take photos all night long and go to bed at 8:00 the next morning, the battery is empty. And by that I don't mean the camera's....
The weather should be fine for us today as well. The first stop is Uttakleiv. No matter how often you are there, this beach is an absolute photographic dream. One always discovers new perspectives and image compositions. In the evening the trip continues towards Fredvang, where we take pictures until 2:00 o' clock. Continue to Flakstad. Sunrise is around 4:00. It's all orange in the sky! Not a single cloud is visible. This is crazy! We enjoy the tranquillity, the sound of the sea, the colours in the sky. Completely exhausted, we arrive at the hotel at 7:00am.

Day 11

The weather's not so good today. It is heavily overcast and so we leave a little later. At least it's not raining. This time we head north to Laukvik. We stop at an old fishing hut. You will often find such huts in the middle of nowhere on the Lofoten. Particularly beautiful specimens must then be used as motifs. We stay there until all their shots are in the box.
In the evening we continue our journey to Laukvik to the lighthouse. There, directly by the sea, a strong wind always blows and it is correspondingly cold. Especially at night. Between the craggy cliffs deep puddles have formed in which, viewed from the right perspective, the lighthouse is reflected. I was particularly taken with one position. After 20 minutes, sliding over the rocks on my knees, the camera and tripod almost sunk into the water, I finished my photo. Halfway through frozen and exhausted we slowly return to the hotel in the morning.

Day 12

The weather is not the best. Today we do a tour towards Haukland. There at the beach we take some photos with long exposures, clouds, ironing water and so on. Due to the dense clouds it is now pitch dark. We drive through the tunnel to Uttakleiv, but there the weather is even worse. So we decide to go back. Maybe we're lucky and the weather is still improving. We make another detour to Gimsoy, but the weather is bad. Storm and rain. So we're going back to the hotel.

Day 13

A new day and new luck. But the weather has not improved. We'll try the south and go to Yttersand. Once there it starts to hail easily. Some shots are tried but the results are not satisfactory for me. We decide to drive to Uttakleiv and wait for the sunrise. The clouds are slowly drifting away. We are lucky and at 4:30 a. m. the sunrise is fantastic! It saved our day. And one super photo is enough per day! After the loot has been bagged, we return to the hotel.

Day 14

Today is our last day on Lofoten. That's why we can only do a small tour, because we have to leave the next morning at 7:00 a. m. to the airport. After we have slept through the night, we finally go to Gimsoy. This time the weather fits well to the location and I can still put some good pictures on the memory cards. At 10:00 p. m. we're going back to the hotel. Tomorrow we have to get up early again and somehow we have to get used to a normal daily rhythm.

The Lofoten is an El Dorado for landscape photographers! My next trip there will be next winter. And of course I hope for great northern lights!

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