ocean

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!

Maybe next time

Early morning

Shooting sunrise is something that can be quite spectacular – this time was not one of those times. 
When my alarm rang 0620 I first thought it was time to go to work, and I spent a good couple of minutes before I remembered that it was in fact Saturday and I had planed to go out in the morning to do some photography. I had already packed my bag the night before, so I just had to brush my teeth, get dressed and fill up my water bottle before I could head out.

The weather this weekend has been so and so, and Saturday morning was nothing special.
I had decided to go to a place called Rødshue on Kirkøy here at Hvaler. Its a park with a lot of different sculptures, and generally a pretty cool place. I have only been there two times before, but never to try to do some proper photography.

You can read more about the park here:
https://www.visitnorway.com/listings/coastal-path-on-kirkøy-(hvaler)/10051/?lang=usa

Taken with the iPhone 6S

Taken with the iPhone 6S

When I left my house it was about -5C degrees, but out there by the coast with a lot of wind the temperature felt like -10C degrees at least. It was so cold that when I wanted to take a zip of water after having walked around for about 30 minutes, the water in my bottle already had little chunks of ice in it. But despite the cold and that it was pitch black outside I ventured on and tried my best to find a decent composition.

The camera set up and ready to go. Taken with the iPhone 6S

The camera set up and ready to go. Taken with the iPhone 6S

The struggle.

You would think that in a sculpture park, with the Norwegian coast right next to it that compositions would just jump out at you. For some people that might be the case, but it most definetly was not for me. I walked around out there for a good hour at least before I found something to try to shot. I went to Rødshue because I wanted to capture some of the sculptures in the sunrise, but I think it's much better to go out there in the evening for some sunset photography instead because the sculptures all points in the wrong direction for the sunrise.

Rødshue Skulptur kunstpark hvaler kirkøy fredrikstad foto

The sunrise in itself was okay I think, not the best I have seen but far from the worst. As you see from the picture I think the left side is okay, but the right side with the really ugly cloud ruins it for me. I'm not a fan of the composition neither, and I'm kinda annoyed with myself for not being able to find something better to photograph out there. I will probably go back there some other time during the sunset instead and see if its easier to find something to photograph then. There are a lot of cool sculptures out there and a lot of rocks and paths that absolutely should make for some interesting shots, I just have to have a second look I think and keep practicing my composition skills.

My February plans

I hope that I will be able to go on a camping trip during February, I just need/want the weather to be a little better first. Next weekend I'm hoping that I will be able to go out again for another sunrise or sunset trip, I don't know where just yet but it will most likely be somewhere here at Hvaler again. Also, the days are getting noticeably longer now, so it won't be long before I can do some shooting in the evening after work also which I'm really looking forward too.

So until next time, have a good one!

Early Saturdays

The beach

After another week with pretty awful weather, the forecast predicted that the boring grey sky blanket would lift Saturday morning, so Friday night I decided that I would get up early to try and capture the sunrise. I choose Storesand beach as my location, its a place I haven’t photographed that often, but I know of some cool things there, like a shed made of the garbage that has been washed up onto the beach.

07:00 in the morning my alarm went off. I had slept pretty little during the night so I had to force myself to get out of bed. I went over to my window to see if the forecast had come true, and lo and behold the sky actually looked pretty good. It was still a lot of heavy clouds, but there were some clear spots and the clouds weren’t just those flat boring grey blanket clouds, but they had some texture to them.

I splashed a lot of water on my face to wake up a little, brushed my teeth, put clothes on and got into my car. From my house its a 20 minute drive to Storesand beach which is located on the island of Kirkøy here at Hvaler. During the summer its booming with people and is a great place to bring the family for some beach fun, but now during the winter you end up with this massive beach all to yourself, specially early in the morning. I arrived at around 07:40 and it was still very dark outside and I had of course forgotten my headlamp, but the parking lot is only a 100 meter walk away from the beach so it wasn’t a problem.

I have photographed the shed on Storesand before, but never during a sunrise. During the winter months the sun doesn’t rise behind the shed, so I was a little worried about getting any colour at all in the sky, and the clouds that looked to be gone when I woke up appeared to be coming back again. And dont get me started on the wind which was pretty insane.

The iPhone really isn’t a great low-light camera, but here’s the X-T2 all set up and ready to go!

The iPhone really isn’t a great low-light camera, but here’s the X-T2 all set up and ready to go!

After having found my composition (I knew before I got there what I wanted to photograph) it was just a waiting game to see if the sun would come out and cast some colour onto the clouds, or if the entire outing would be a miss, at least photography wise.

The X-T2 has a feature I really like which is “interval timer shooting” (ITS). I use this almost every time I find a composition and my camera has to stay still for an extended amount of time. First I set everything up, make sure my focus is correct and take a couple of test exposures, then I put my camera in Aperture Priority mode, switch over to interval timer shooting and let the camera take an exposure every second minute.

The sunrise was a 08:44, so I had plenty of time, so while my camera was shooting in ITS I was just walking around on the beach watching the sky and hoping for the best. The sky never turned crazy good, but in the end I think I got a decent picture.

“The Shed” at Storesand beach taken with the Fuji X-T2 and the 18-55mm

“The Shed” at Storesand beach taken with the Fuji X-T2 and the 18-55mm

Like you can see, its not the most colourful sunrise ever captured, but it has some nice tones and the colourful shed is really something unique in my opinion.

The water is cold in December

After I had gotten what I primarily went out to photograph I ventured further down the beach.
I found some nice looking compositions that I will have to get back and photograph on another day, because the waves washed up so much that I would have been soaked since I weren’t wearing any rubber-shoes, and I really wasn't interested in an early morning winter bath.

Walking around a little more and towards the end of the beach I did find something that I thought looked nice and safe to photograph so I put up my tripod and camera and prepared to take another shot. In the shot posted bellow you guys will see a wave, and thats the wave that made it so I ended up with soaked feet anyways.

“Here it comes” on Storesand beach - Taken with the X-T2 and the 18-55mm

“Here it comes” on Storesand beach - Taken with the X-T2 and the 18-55mm

Was this picture worth getting cold and wet feet over? I don’t know, I kinda like it but I haven’t completely decided yet. What I do know is that when the wave washed up and turned my nice dry warm shoes into a cold wet mess I wanted to head home. So I packed up my gear and walked back to my car. I had then been out since 07:40 and now it was around 09:45 so I had gotten a good couple of hours outside during the morning which was super nice. I also got two pictures that I’m happy enough with so I can’t complain about the start I got on that Saturday.

My future plans

Next weekend I’m going on a little camping trip from Saturday - Sunday with a good friend of mine, we still haven’t decided on a location but both of us have photography as a hobby so hopefully I will be able to capture something. I have also decided that I want to go back to Storesand soon, its a place I really haven’t explored that much but I imagine that there are tons of cool compositions to be found.

And a little wish from me to my few readers, please think of the environment. The amount of plastic and general trash in the ocean is alarmingly high. We should take care of the oceans and the marine life, they are extremely important and we should treat them as such.

So until next time, have a good one!

The windy sunset

Nothing beats having a couple of days off from work. I get to spend time with my family and squeeze in some me time to go shooting. It didn't look like the sunset would be particularly good last night, but I still wanted to go out and I decided to go somewhere I have been many times before, a place called Kuvauen. 

If you have read any of my other blogs or looked at my pictures you'll now that Kuvauen is a place I go to quite often. Its a beautiful place and the hike to get there is a great little hike. My dog and I go for walks there almost every day, and now during the summer when its nice and hot outside we use to finish our walks with a little swim in the ocean. 
 

Taken with the iPhone6S

Taken with the iPhone6S

There are a tons of places where the colour of the rock is this deep saturated red/brownish colour. I really want to take a picture of it sometime, but I still haven't found a nice composition or figured out a way to include it in an image yet, but one day I know I will. 

Lately the weather has been awesome here where I live in Hvaler, but last night the wind was something else. The ocean was stormy and some of the waves got pretty big, splashing over the coastline. I decided to skip the shorts and t-shirt, and put on a sweater and some pants, but as soon as the sun was starting to go down I regretted that I didn't bring more clothes and I was cold and miserable. I was also a little nervous the entire time I was out there that a wave would wash up and spray/knock down my camera. To take the image of the composition I wanted, I had to put my camera a little close to the water. In the end I managed to find a spot that didn't have any wet spots on it, so I figured that ment that the water wouldn't hit my camera as long as the waves didn't get any bigger. 

My camera all set up and ready to go (Taken with the iPhone6S) 

My camera all set up and ready to go (Taken with the iPhone6S) 

Sunset is at around 22:00 right now where I live, and I left my house and arrived to Kuvauen at around 19:30 so I had plenty of time to find a composition. Having been there so many times before I have now started to go "blind" and usually struggle to find something new to photograph when I'm there. This time though I was actually a little lucky and found a good spot that I thought looked interesting pretty quick, so when the clock was about 20:30 I had already set up all my gear screwed on my polarizer and focused my shot. 

The sun was now low on the horizon shining straight into my camera lens, so I waited a little bit before I started shooting and just hung out in the wind and watched the ocean. When it was about 40 minutes left until sunset I put my camera into Intervalometer shooting and took a series of bracketed exposures every 2nd minute until the sun had completely set. My plan originally for the picture was to show the movement of the water, but I had to change my plan during the shooting and use my 10stop ND-filter when I didn't get the movement in the water that I wanted. 

 

A 240 second exposure taken with the Fuji X-T2 at f11 with the 18-55mm f2.8-4

A 240 second exposure taken with the Fuji X-T2 at f11 with the 18-55mm f2.8-4

As you can see, the sunset didn't go "wild," just as I had predicted before I left my house. There was a blanket of grey clouds going deep below the horizon line stopping the sun from lighting the clouds from below. But I am still happy that I went out to shoot and I think the image I ended up with turned out okay even though I would have loved a little more colour in the sky. 

I hope this is just the beginning of a great summer with loads of photography opportunities, and hopefully I will be writing another blog soon enough. 

So until next time, have a good one!

Viker, again!

After what has felt like a year with miserable weather, the grey textureless cloud blanket disappeared right in time for easter and the five days I have off from work. 

Now that the winter is supposed to be gone (its still freezing outside) the sun doesn't set before around 20:00, which means that I again have time to go out and shot in the afternoon before its pitch black and be able to look around and find some compositions, something that I have really missed the last five months. 

Last night I ended up at Viker again, its one of my favourite places here at Hvaler but its starting to get kinda hard to find anything to shot out there that I haven't already shot. 

 

Doing some scouting with the iPhone 6S.

Doing some scouting with the iPhone 6S.

The walk from the parking lot and out to the shore is a short 10 minutes. Its not very difficult to get there, but once you're there it feels like you're far away from society, something I enjoy when I'm out in nature. 

Yesterday when I got there I first walked to the rocks you see in the upper left corner of the scouting picture, but I had no chance at finding anything there to photograph that I hadn't already done. I mean, I have no issues with taking the same picture twice, but then the second picture has to be an improvement on the first one and yesterday that would not have been the case. 

So after walking around for about an hour on that distant rock, I gave up and headed back to where the scouting picture is taken from. And lo and behold, I found something that I hadn't noticed before, a nice rock in the water, not connected to the main land at all. It caught my eye, and I decided that tonight, trying to capture that rock in the sunset would be my goal. 

The X-T2 set up and ready to go for sunset. (Taken with the iPhone 6S)

The X-T2 set up and ready to go for sunset. (Taken with the iPhone 6S)

When I got to my final location I still had about 40 minutes before sunset, so I could really take my time to set up, focus properly and do small adjustments to my composition until I was satisfied. About 10 minutes before the sun went down I put my camera to intervalometer mode and just let it take three bracketed exposures every minute. When the sun had gone down completely, I put on my Lee Big Stopper (10stop ND) and took a 125second exposure to smooth out the water. Lately I haven't been that fond of really long exposures, specially on water- but on this occasion I thought I worked out well. 

Fuji X-T2, 18-55f2.8-4 at 30mm with a 125second exposure. 

Fuji X-T2, 18-55f2.8-4 at 30mm with a 125second exposure. 

When I had taken the images I needed and wanted I did what I normally do, packed my camera gear and just sat on the rocks and enjoyed the rest of the sunset. 

So even though it was very cold and a little windy, I ended up with a shot and I got to experience yet another beautiful sunset at one of my favourite locations. And now that summer is getting closer, the sun will stay up longer and longer giving me the opportunity to go out and shot even more. I also have a lot of plans for some wild camping this year, so hopefully I will be able to get some good shots out of those trips as well. 

So until next time, have a good one!

A gorgeous sunset at Viker

Finally I was able to go out and do some shooting again, I dont even remember the last time I did it. The last couple of months when I have been using my camera its been to take some snapshots and candid photos of my family. But my passion for photography came as a part of my love for nature, so to finally be able to go outside alone and do some shooting again was so sweet.

I got to take my first panorama as well last night, but I'm not able to upload it here, I get an error when I try. Now that spring is truly upon us, and the weather is getting better and the sun stays up for longer I hope to get out a lot more. I also have a goal that I will do at least five wild camping solo trips this year, and I'm stacking up on camping gear! 

But anyways, it was nice to go outside again, it would have been an awesome night out without the camera as well, but I'm glad I had it.

 

So until next time, have a good one! 

Cheers!

Storesand Beach Hvaler

I really haven't been able to get out and do much photography lately. The weather has been bad, and I started a new job in January so I have had to focus on that. But now, as we enter March I'm hoping we will soon get some days with great weather so I can go outside and spend some time in nature doing what I love. 

A couple of weeks ago there was some clear weather and I took a trip to Storesand beach, its a lovely place during the summer,  and it was nice enough now during the winter as well. 

The fun thing, and coolest part of Storesand is the shed that they have built, using only materials that have washed up on the shore. I think its kind of creative, and it really catches your eyes. 

 

This is the same picture that I have on my front page and was taken during another trip, but this is the shed at Storesand beach. 

The light the day I went out there a couple of weeks ago was pretty boring, so I only got that selfie picture at the top. (My first selfie, haha) But any day I get to spend outside in the nature is a good day, no matter if I get a picture or not. 

Hopefully I will be able to get out more soon, so until then have a great time!