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Falcon

Satellite scouting

I have been having a hard time figuring out where to go the last couple of times I have wanted to go out and shoot. Like, I know about a lot of great looking places, but I have some ideas for those places that the weather conditions we have right now won’t work with. Of course I have some places I can go to no matter what and most likely end up with a photo, but I’m wanting to find some new locations at the moment and capture something “fresh”.

If you google “Hvaler” you will get a ton of pictures, but they are almost all from the same popular spots so not much help there neither. What I decided to do was and go to gulesider.no and just look at the satellite map of Hvaler, scrolling around until I found something that looked cool.

Screenshot of the satellite map

Screenshot of the satellite map

Sydengen Spjærøy

After I had been scrolling around for a while I saw this little pier and it caught my attention. The image quality of the satellite map isn’t the best but it looked to me like an old wooden pier, and now in the winter time the boats next to it would hopefully be gone. I decided that I wanted to check it out a little further, so this Saturday when I was out on a little trip with my family we drove by to check it out. Luckily all the boats where gone like I had thought and the place looked pretty cool. To my surprise this place is actually a historic place, the remnants of the old ship “Falcon” lies there, right next to the pier.

Taken with the iPhone 6S

Taken with the iPhone 6S

Its pretty easy to see the hull of the old sunken boat, but the only thing I have been able to find out about it so far is that it was built in 1861. What I do know though is that I thought the place looked cool and I wanted to go back and try and capture a sunrise there. As you can tell from the picture above the weather on Saturday wasn’t anything to brag about, it was the typical grey weather I have been complaining about so many times before.

Sunday morning

The sun rises about 08:00 here now, so I woke up at around 07:00 and drove out there. Its a 10 minute drive from my house, and from the parking lot down to the pier its a hefty 10 meter walk. Even though its close to home it was almost so I didn’t bother going out there this morning, the wind was crazy and when I looked out of my window the conditions didn’t look very promising. But I got dressed and thought that worst case scenario I could just turn around when I get there.

When I arrived at Sydengen I think the people living around there could hear me sigh, it looked absolutely dreadful and I didn’t feel very motivated to get out of my car and set up my equipment but I did it anyway.
I walked around and quickly decided how I wanted my composition to look. It was very windy so I was a little worried about camera shake for the long exposures, but the X-T2 was sturdy as a rock on my heavy Manfrotto tripod.

Taken with the iPhone 6S

Taken with the iPhone 6S

As you can see from the iPhone photo above, the conditions doesn’t scream “PHOTOGRAPH ME!”, but having already spent 30 minutes out there I figured I might as well wait until the sunrise was finished in about 20 more minutes. At this point I’m having my camera set in intervalometer mode, so it’s taking an exposure every 30 seconds, while i’m pacing around just begging for the sky to do anything except staying so awfully grey.

Colors out of nowhere

Then suddenly, like with the flip of a switch the sky turned beautifully orange and magenta. I couldn’t believe my luck that I had decided to go out this morning, and that I stayed out when it looked certain that nothing would happen. I stopped the intervalometer on my camera and put on my Lee 6-stop ND and a polarizer so I could smooth the water and saturate the colors of the sky even more. The water looked so cool, the left part was this cold blue color, while the right part reflected the color of the sky with these amazing warm tones. Just look at this iPhone shot bellow and compare it with the iPhone shot above to see the difference that about 10 minutes did to the conditions.

Taken with the iPhone 6S

Taken with the iPhone 6S

The colors lasted for about 10 minutes before everything turned a little grey again, but during those 10 minutes I got a picture I think was pretty decent actually. The image I captured out there is probably the easiest shot to get there considering its just a shot straight down the pier. But I will absolutely go out there again some time to see what other compositions I can find.

I will also continue to use the satellite map to do some scouting, I have already found another place on Spjærøy I want to check out, so stay tuned for the blog post about that trip. This was my third sunrise shoot in a row, and while I think sunrises looks amazing I still can’t wait for late sunsets again. But anyway, here is the picture I got from todays morning trip, hope you like it.

Taken with the X-T2 and the 18-55mm

Taken with the X-T2 and the 18-55mm

So until next time, have a good one!

A local treasure

Viker

Even though I think all of Hvaler is extremely beautiful, and if you want to experience the awesome Norwegian coast and nature you can go almost anywhere around the islands and be amazed, there are some places I have a sweet spot for. One of those places is Viker, and if you have read or read my blog you'll know that its a place I have visited quite often.

Usually I go to Viker in the spring, summer and autumn because thats when I think its at its most beautiful. But another reason is that during the winter the rocks out there gets extremely slippery because of the sea-spray that freezes. I was out there about a month ago and no matter where I tried to put my feet down I just could not get any traction.

A morning view of Viker, taken with the iPhone 6S

A morning view of Viker, taken with the iPhone 6S

500 shades of grey

The entirety of last week was another typical Norwegian winter weather week. Grey textureless boring clouds, cold winds and just generally awful conditions. The only glimmer of hope according to the forecast was Sunday, so I decided that I would get up early again and try to capture another sunrise. With the amount of snow we have had the last week, I wasn't sure where I should go and had actually planed to go to a place called Utgårdskilen before I decided against it Sunday morning and drove out to Viker instead.

Getting out there I knew that I really didn't want to go out on the rocks considering how slippery they where the last time I was there, so I decided to just go about 50 meters away from my car and out on a jetty made of rocks and concrete and see if I could capture something from there. It's weird really, I have been at Viker probably 50+ times but I have never really considered going out on the jetty and try to shot from it. Whenever I go to Viker I go out to the coastline on the rocks, its a nice little walk and the views out there are spectacular.

At Viker you're pretty much exposed to the elements, so when its cold outside its even colder out there. Luckily I have been smart enough to invest in some proper gear, so staying warm isn't that much of an issue and I can use my energy to scout and look for compositions instead.

The X-T2 is ready to go! Taken with the iPhone 6S

The X-T2 is ready to go! Taken with the iPhone 6S

The jetty out there is shaped like an upside down L, so I walked all the way out to where the turn is and set up my camera. I think the composition is okay, and I'm not sure if there really is a lot of other ways to shot from there. Sure, you can move your camera from side to side and change the parallax, but other than that I don't think there is a lot of options.

Since it had been grey the entire week and was forecasted to clear up in the morning I was hoping for a spectacular sunrise. Well, that didn't happen. The sky got some color in it and the clouds looked interesting, so even though it didn't have a lot of beautiful color it was still worth capturing.

Taken with the X-T2 and the 18-55mm

Taken with the X-T2 and the 18-55mm

What I do like about the shot above is the snow in the foreground. I think it gives a good contrast to the rocks and the water, and I'm not sure if I would like this shot at all if it didn't have the snow in it. I will try and go out there again during the fast approaching springtime and see how it looks, but I'm pretty certain this shot in particular works best with the snow.

This week it's supposed to be a little warmer but still grey and boring. I hope that the snow will melt a little so I can go back to Kuvauen again during the weekend if the weather clears up a little. I really want to continue to explore the new place I wrote about in a previous blog, and see what other compositions I can find there.


So until next time, have a good one!

Wild Camping & Photography

Camping season has finally started, I went on my first trip a couple of weeks ago but I got a serious headache during the afternoon so I didn't do any photography on that trip. This weekend a friend and I went back to the same place and camped again and it was a great trip. 

 

My home away from home

My home away from home

The place we went to is called Vansjø, its a pretty big lake and my friend has one of those cool little inflatable boats with a little electric engine on it so we took that and drove it out to a little island. 

The island itself is awesome, it got everything you need for a good day out and its relatively close to the shore if something bad is going to happen. Right next to the islands there's a smaller island that is crowded with seagulls, and if you're like me you get kinda tired of the insanely loud screams after a while - so luckily I remembered to bring my earplugs for when it was time to go to sleep. 

Every time I go camping I bring my fishing equipment, but I never catch anything (neither does my buddy so thats a small comfort). I dont know if its because I use the wrong lures or bait, I buy what I see other people recommend but so far all I have gotten is a couple of tiny baby fish.

A nest with eggs

A nest with eggs

One of the cool things to find was a nest with eggs, and there were some birds around the island laying on their nests as well. I'm a big believer in that you shouldn't disturb animals in the wild, so we set our camp away from the birds and tried to be as quiet as we could the entire time. I'm not really a bird person, but seeing the birds in the wild laying on their eggs like that is actually something I haven't experienced before so that was cool. 

The weather was really nice during the day, so I didn't do much photography before the sun went down, but I did try out a really long exposure shot of another island with a little cabin on it. In my camera bag I have both the Big-Stopper and Little-Stopper from Lee, so I combined those two together with my Polarizer and got a total of 18 stops of light for a 15 minute exposure. It was kinda windy so I'm actually surprised that my tripod was sturdy enough, and I actually think the end result was nice enough. The sun is in the middle of the sky so there isn't any beautiful golden light or anything like that, but it has a nice "camp" feel to it. 

A 15 minute long exposure taken with the Fuji X-T2 and the 18-55mm at f11.

A 15 minute long exposure taken with the Fuji X-T2 and the 18-55mm at f11.

Just 20-30 minutes before the sun was about to set a huge bank of clouds rolled in over Vansjø, making the possibility of some nice golden light on the trees slim to none. So I took my equipment with me and ventured over to the other side of the island where a log was pointing out into the water, and there was some cracks in the sky letting some nice colour shine trough and reflect on the water. My tripod stood on some really shaky ground, so I was a little worried that I would get some blur because of that but in the end it turned out okay I think. 

A 30 second exposure taken with the Fuji X-T2 and the 18-55mm at f11

A 30 second exposure taken with the Fuji X-T2 and the 18-55mm at f11

After I had that shot in the bag I was satisfied. The little colour that was there quickly disappeared and at least this time I got a couple of shots that I'm happy with compared to last time when my head started to ache like crazy. 

I packed up my stuff and went back to the camp to grab a beer and barbecue some sausages on the camp fire and just relax and talk with my buddy. 

A nice little camp fire

A nice little camp fire

By the way, when camping (or if you're just out in the woods) make sure to pick up your litter! Every time I go camping or just for a walk I find so much trash and it sucks. How selfish and stupid do you have to be to throw your trash in nature, ruining it for everybody. Leave no trace behind is a golden rule that we all should follow.  

And before I end this post, I also just want to tell everybody to be careful when handling hooks for their fishing equipment, I somehow always manage to get it stuck in one of my fingers. It might not look that bad but I would still prefer to not have it happen you know....

The result of getting a hook stuck in my thumb, again.

The result of getting a hook stuck in my thumb, again.

So until next time, have a good one!