Polar Nights – A taste of Lofoten

Who would be mad enough to head to Lofoten for New Years Eve? A place where there is twilight for just 2-3 hours per day? MEEE! I thought it would be great fun to see Lofoten in winter, but this is no trip for the faint hearted.

Hamnøy is famous for photography. Here is the wonderful Anita’s Sjømat cafe. Lofoten, Norway. Canon 5D Mark III with Zeiss Milvus 18mm 2.8

I intended to hire a car and roam around seeing the area, camping in my tent at night. Turned out that perhaps this was an optimistic plan. My journey began in Narvik, flying in from Copenhagen. This is certainly the fastest way to get here, although you can also take the train through Sweden. I hired a car and spent two days in Narvik. A nice little town with much history. Narvik is famous in world war II where it was a major port for Swedish iron ore. It remains so to this day. The German war machine needed this vital supply line, and paid a heavy toll for it. There are many great museums and sights to see from this time.

My mission was to reach the town of A at the western extreme of Lofoten, taking some good photos along the way.

Google map of the Lofoten region, hearts represent stops on the route.

I thought that camping would be fun, but it was a little difficult and they were not great nights. Essentially I had two days of very cold weather, two days of extremely windy weather and two days of constantly pouring rain… The first night I found an area to camp off the beaten track, but turned out that there were moose around – not exactly a relaxing night.

A little snow overnight, Evenes, Lofoten. Canon 5D Mark III with 24mm 1.4 Art

A bit of cooking in this lovely hut. Canon 5D Mark III with 12mm 2.8 Fisheye.

The two nights on the coast were so windy that my Hilleberg 4 season tent bent one of its poles, and sleep was impossible due to the constant noise from the tent shaking about. The next nights had constant and cold rain. I decided to mix it up and get a hotel where I could dry out my gear and get some sleep.

Lofoten is very quiet in winter and few places are open. On top of this, the dark days made it challenging to actually see much – only 2-3 hours each day. Not exactly the makings of a great holiday, but there were some consolations. Lofoten is epic-ly beautiful and rugged. The coastlines are an impossible mix of sharp mountains and beautiful beaches. Small settlements dot the landscape in the typical Norwegian fashion.

Svolvær, Lofoten. 5D Mark III with 135mm f2L

Somewhere in Lofoten, Canon 5D Mark III with 135mm f2L

Lofoten, Norway. Canon 5D Mark III with 24mm 1.4 Art.

Hamnøy, Lofoten. Canon 5D Mark III with 85mm 1.2L II

At the same time you have that typical Scandinavian comfort. Such a modern and cosy place. The cafes are utterly up-beat and serve some of the best seafood in the world.

Delicious seafood burger from Anita’s Sjømat, Lofoten. Canon 5D Mark III with 85mm 1.2L II

I will have to return under some more favourable conditions. A winter trip should be planned in March for more light, and in summer the midnight sun will allow endless light and better conditions for camping. For me I loved the mystical feel of this northern fairyland.

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Pit Stop in Rostock!

On my way driving to Sweden I had the opportunity to stop by Rostock. This time I took the car ferry from Rostock to Trelleborg in Sweden. The ferry is late evening so I had the afternoon to check out Rostock.

I walked around the old town and ended up partying with the rest of Rostock at the Christmas markets. Very nice town, here are a few keepers!

Sankt-Petri-Kirche, Rostock. Canon 5D Mark III with 35mm 1.4 Art

Christmas Duck? Rostock. Canon 5D Mark III with 35mm 1.4 Art

The beer tower, Rostock. Canon 5D Mark III with 35mm 1.4 Art

Rostock Christmas Market. Canon 5D Mark III with 35mm 1.4 Art

Nice cookie. Rostock. Canon 5D Mark III with 35mm 1.4 Art

Paper Island (Papir Øen)

One of the awesome places to visit in Copenhagen is paper island, or Papir Øen. in danish. Copenhagen is a multicultural, super modern metropolis, and paper island is a great example of this. This island is in the middle of Copenhagen harbor, with the famous opera building as a neighbor. The location was used for paper storage for the danish press for decades, hence the name, paper island. The old halls were left decaying, but have now been given a new lease of life. I think its Copenhagen best example of how dynamic and culturally diverse the city is.

Cozy place to hang out! Paper Island Street Food, 5D Mark III | 50mm 1.4 Art

Outdoor Bar, Paper Island style. 5D Mark III | 50mm 1.4 Art

Made mostly out of old containers, the place is alive with creative companies, art, cafes and street-food vendors. The government seems to have done this mostly for fun and to experiment, with the new residence given short term contracts ending in 2017. I think its great to see such an old and run down industrial area turned into something so full of creativity and life. I really hope they keep it. The main attraction is the ‘street food’. There is food there from all over the world, and the quality is really good. Everyone seems to be competing to see who can make the most amazing dish.

Whoever has the most amazing looking dish wins. 5D Mark III | 35mm 1.4 Art

A new-age derivative of the Danish open sandwich.. 5D Mark III | 35mm 1.4 Art.

Another thing there is no shortage of is beer and proper coffee! Paper island has become a trendy place to hang out, even for the locals. There are open fires, cool places to sit or lounge around. Young entrepreneurs are making the most of it, introducing some great food, drinks, art and creativity into an otherwise old city.

A number of good bars offering great beer, Paper Island. 5D Mark III | 35mm 1.4 Art.

1960s caravan made into a cafe. Great coffee. 5D Mark III | 35mm 1.4 Art.

So grab a craft beer and a double organic carrot and beetroot salad while you can!

Find out more: Official Site
Location:

Photography Tips:
  • Photography is allowed unless signed otherwise.
  • You should ask for permission before taking photos.
  • Its a tight space, with low light. Best to use a fast wide angle lens like a 24mm or 35mm 1.4.
  • Don’t forget to also enjoy a beer there!

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Hallstatt

I had seen a lot of cool shots of Hallstatt, and decided that we needed to check it out. Our first stop was Salzburg (click for photos!). We then headed for our overnight halt near Hallstatt. We thought we would use the tent, and do it backpacker style. Sleeping under the stars was really nice, but it was a pretty cold night! That evening we thought we would check out Hallstatt even if there wasn’t much going on, at least we could get dinner and a few long exposures.

Hallstatt, Austria. 5D Mark III | 24mm 1.4 Art

Hallstatt is a very cosy village perched on the steep banks of Hallstätter See. It is a very popular spot for tourists, so much so that the Chinese have made a scale replica back in China apparently. I can understand why as the town is really quite charming. Should be mentioned that you can’t actually drive into the town, you need to part a little outside the village.

Hallstatt from the lake. 5D Mark III | 35mm 1.4 Art

Next day we came back and took a 50min boat trip which was a good way of seeing the town from the water. I think it was about 10 Euro per person. 35mm seemed to be a good focal length from the boat. There is lots of see the do in the village, and when we were there there was a marathon on.

 

Best flower pots I’ve seen. 5D Mark III | 35mm 1.4 Art

Coolest tree I’ve seen. 5D Mark III | 14mm 2.8

Like many villages like this, there are walking tracks throughout the town, and it takes a while to learn your way around. We eventually made it to the church which over looks the town. From there you have a look view of the lake and surrounding mountains.

Vistas from the church. 5D Mark III | 14mm 2.8

All in all a nice place to see if you are in Austria!

Here are some of my favorite photos from the two days:

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Portrait Gallery


For me, portrait photography is certainly to hardest form of photography. There are so many emotions, and other factors to consider. Its all about catching moments, moments that only hang around for a second! Still, you must face your fears! Below are some of my favorite portraits. Hope you enjoy them!


Added Portrait Page!

I have added a portrait page to my blog. Portrait photography is challenging for me, but I hope you like them!

Click on the image below to see the gallery!

Sunday photo shoot in Melbourne

Sunday photo shoot in Melbourne

Another great trip to Vietnam!

We had another fantasitc trip to central Vietnam this year! I want to share some of the photos I captured from our trip. Most are from magical Hoi An where we stayed for a week. Click on th image below to see the entire album. Most of the images are taken with Sigma’s fanastic Art primes. Hope you enjoy!!

Kids selling lanterns, Hoi An. 5D3 | 24mm 1.4A | f1.4 | iso1250

Kids selling lanterns, Hoi An. 5D3 | 24mm 1.4A | f1.4 | iso1250