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A Short Trip to Kukkolankoski

Kukkolankoski, 22 o’clock. The alarm shrieks me out of my dreams and I realize that I napped at least a few hours in the front seat of my old and trusted Toyota.

In two days we’re heading out to the Lofoten islands and I used the day to get some missing items for that trip. As I’m already in Sweden I revisited this location, called Kukkolankoski. I have been here once before in bad weather on the road to Norway last year and decided to return today as I was already quite close.

I arrived a few hours ago and explored the location still hoping for the light to improve. I left home in beautiful sunlight, but the more to the north I came the worse the conditions got. It’s not an easy place to shoot, or better to compose. The main attraction, an old pier which was built for fishing purposes, is so low, that framing it in a dramatic way seems to be impossible. After some experimenting prior to my nap I think I found a decent angle though.

Also I found another composition featuring the shore line with an older house in background to be a pleasing composition. All I need now is better light and hopefully some drama in the sky.

A look into the rear mirror after waking up from my nap makes me optimistic about this evening’s shooting. The light is getting warmer and the previously grey sky has disappeared in favour of clouds which now only have to be illuminated nicely by the evening sun.

With all different kinds of more or less nasty bugs around me, I proceed to my previously scouted viewpoint. The sun is still at a slightly unfortunate position and I spent some time catching a few detail images of the old huts at this location. Especially the reflections in a window got my attention. The image is surprisingly difficult to achieve as I have to get into a higher position. A box which I found next to it gives me the angle that I was looking for.

By now the position of the sun has changed enough to make my previously planned image possible. Still, the dynamic range between the foreground and the sky behind the house is too big. It turns out that I will not succeed with filters on this image and decide to blend two exposures in Photoshop. An option of which I will have to take advantage of a little later at the desired pier.

Image done and I proceed to the pier. The setting sun beautifully lights the wood but somehow the shot is not working. I will have to merge images again. I take my images and proceed. I planned to leave the location and look for something interesting along the way home when I spot that house on the other side of the river. It is beautifully lit buy the setting sun and has wonderfully coloured clouds above it.

Quickly I set up my tripod, switch to my 70-200 lens, attach the filters and compose. A look at the preview on the back of my camera tells me that I managed to get a pleasing composition and exposure. I stay around, accompanied by mosquitos, and wait for the light to return and the clouds to move a little. But it’s not happening.

Satisfied I head home, looking forward to import the images into Aperture and see the result. The sky is beautifully lit by the midnight sun all the way home. Now looking forward to the next trip to the Lofoten in a few days.

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Photoblog

Scandinavian Summer

I left at home in beautiful sunlight and the conditions seemed to be perfect for landscape photography, sun and clouds. I needed to go over to Sweden and decided to use the chance to visit this location called Kukkolankoski.

The closer I came to my destination the worse the weather got though. But as I drove such a long distance I decided to stay and wait. Luckily my patience paid off and I got good conditions just in time.

I usually never take a lot of different compositions at one location and neither did I here. This is the last one I took there. I just like how the warm light of the setting sun lights the house and the trees. The light was slightly more intense a little earlier, but I failed to capture it as I was still setting up my gear while it happened.

If I find the time, I will hopefully by tomorrow have finished a short write up about this shooting.

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Photoblog

Little Cudden

Cornwall Spring 2009

It’s my second day in Cornwall. It was a 27 hour journey to get here and after a quick explore at dawn I fall into bed only to be waken up a few hours later just before sunrise. After all, I came to take pictures.

At sunrise the conditions are nice and I do some photography at St.Michaels Mount. The weather improves during the course of the morning and after a good breakfast and another nap I head out along the coast and explore the scenery.

At the end of my hike along the coast I take a rest at this beautiful bay. It’s in the middle of the day, a time I usually don’t do much photography but this scene was just too beautiful. Lovely clouds in the sky the light actually isn’t that harsh with the sun side-lighting the scene.

If you are interested you can read more about my trip to Cornwall here on the blog in my photo-journals. Also you are welcome to have a look at my slideshow from last year which I updated just yesterday and is now available here in HD.

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Photoblog

Arctic Beach #1

It was on our first day we spent in Tromsö. Even though the weather conditions were promising during the day they changed just in time for happy hour. Still I liked the cold, steely atmosphere of the light.

When we passed this beach I quickly pulled over the car, took out my gear and tried to make my way through the piles of snow which were covering the areas next to the next. The contrast of the warm colored beach, the blue light and the crystal clear water appealed to me and invited me to spent a while there composing a few frames.

After a few successful images, I pack and we continue our trip to the next location.

More to come..

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Photojournal

Rocks and Ropes

The forecast announced bad weather for the next few days which made me changing my plans and head out already today.

Originally I intended to go far up into the north but that was unreachable for today and I rather chose to explore a few locations which I scouted already during winter.

The first was a little rocky beach around 70km up to the north. The conditions were fairly well and that little island in the back was nicely lit from the side. It could have been a little more colourful in the sky but no can do.

After a few successful frames and multiple mosquito bites later I continue to a small harbour. There wasn’t much landscapes to shoot here but I explored the scene a little and spent some time doing detail images of ropes which are lying around here.

As usual I have also recorded some behind the scenes kind of video clips which will go live here on the blog by next week I guess.

I might continue now to the next place or return home. Let’s see. But either way, my break is over and off I go.

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Photoblog

Tide At St.Michael’s Mount

Another photograph of St.Michael’s Mount, isn’t it a wonderful location?

Back in Spring 2009 I spent a week in Marazion and passed the Mount every day, always hoping for the right conditions. It was on my last day in Cornwall, that I got the conditions that I didn’t even dared to dream of. The tide came in just in time at sunset and there were clouds and blue sky. Just perfect. A little later it started to rain ever so slightly causing two rainbows to pose for my last image of that morning.

I converted this in SilverEfexPro, which definitely is my favorite plug-in. You can read more about my trip to Cornwall in my Photo-Journals.

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Photojournal

Waiting For The Light

As time was limited only a rather close location seemed to be useful and I decided to return to that little island in the forest. I was hoping for warmly lit trees, nice colours in the sky and reflections in the lake. Sometimes it’s just doesn’t come together though. Too many clouds in the wrong place, too much wind and no reflections whatsoever.

I had to make a quick decision and decided to return to another location 20km from here at the beach. I haven’t been there since last summer, but I had a rough idea that the sun might be setting in a suitable angle.

I arrived in time, still 30 minutes before sunset and explore the beach a little. The alignment of a few rocks catches my eye and together with that small island in the background I have the feeling to get a few nice compositions. A first shot already shows potential but the light is still a little too bright. Even with a 3 stop ND filter I don’t get that exposure time that I was looking for, leaving the water not yet milky enough. Also I did expect the clouds in the sky to get a little more purple and red during the course of the sunset.

It takes roughly one hour before I get the light that I was looking for. The difference in the images is significant. The colors are warmer, and as the exposure times are longer I get the effect on the water that I was looking for.

At home I imported the images into Aperture and did a quick processing. Even though not perfect, I got more than I was looking for, and the conditions were such, that the camera could record the scene as it was and I only need little post processing on the images, mainly only levels and curves.

It usually pays off to stick around at location and wait for a while, not always of course but one’s patience might be rewarded with nice and beautiful colours. While I was waiting I tried a few different compositions and also used the chance to record a short video clip which should be up during this week I hope.

More to come.

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Photoblog

Lyngen Fjord

Isn’t this a wonderful location? Taken on our last day on the way home, we checked out a new location and what a reward and view it was. The sun was already high up in the sky but still the quality of the light wasn’t too harsh and it lit this scene for us, giving it a rather arctic feeling.

While I was composing this image we noticed a group of whales (which we confirmed in the meanwhile as killer whales) passing by. Don’t you just love landscape photography?

I take one round with the panorama head, 13 images, and we’re off to the next location, another panorama is waiting to be taken a few kilometers down the road.

I put together a short clip for this one as well. Please stay tuned..

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Photoblog

Vintage Boat

Old fishing boats have something mystical about them. Is it the structures of the wood which is revealed under the rotting paint, the shapes or are it the childhood memories which are evoked through a boat like this. I don’t know, but every time I run into a boat like this I can’t resist trying to capture it beauty. And this one is no exception.

I’m standing next to the tripod, hoping the layer of snow and hope it doesn’t give in during the exposure and ruin the perspective. The snow lasts and I take a few exposures with my trusted GND filters holding back the exposure from the sky. The shot comes out perfectly fine and I even got some movement in the clouds.

The sun already had set and this is the last shot of that evening. Back to hotel looking forward to the next day. See it in bigger in my Black&White Gallery. More to come.

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Photoblog

Blue Hour

Tromsö, Norway: The first day.

The weather proves to be unpredictable, while having a beautiful sky with clouds an sunlight during the day, lot’s of clouds appear just in time before before sunset and cover the sky with a layer clouds. Still the light has this wonderful cold, blue and steelish quality and there were many good photo opportunities on our way, ending with this one on our way home.

A pier was just in the right place giving me a good vantage point to this scene. Setting up and adjusting my panorama head, carefully aligning my trusted 70-200mm lens, takes time, but the effort was worth it. Photoshop merged the images without any mentionable loss, giving me the composition that I was looking for.

Additionally I would like to remind you that I finally launched my Facebook Fan Page. You are welcome to join me over there.