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The Lofoten Islands

 In March 2015 I was one of a small group that visited the Lofoten Islands on a five day photographic trip.  The islands are located north of the arctic circle on Norway's west coast and provide many spectacular settings, with sharp mountain peaks, fjords, bays and beaches.

 The weather during the trip was mixed and quite mild, and so in some respects not ideal for photography.  However snow still lay on the higher mountains and some lakes remained frozen, and it was possible to find good photographic opportunities.  In particular, the much hoped for Northern Lights made a spectacular appearance on the night of 14th - 15th March.  I have prepared twenty images that are a representative selection from the trip.

 We covered locations from Reine on the island of Moskenesoya in the south east of the Lofotens group, to Unstad on Vestvogoya, to the north west. The traveller in me would have liked to explore further, but time and no doubt suitability of locations did not allow for this.  Maybe on another occasion?...


Our first stop was at Hamnoya, where the traditional red fishing huts on the harbour were caught by a shaft of sunlight.



A road bridge nearby gave an excellent view of more fishing huts in a dramatic setting.


A little to the west of Hamnoa is Reine, in another a fine location with mountain backdrop.  The large peak rising directly behind the town is Klokktinden (Clock face mountain), height 863 meters (ca. 2830 feet).


The Lofotens is the centre of a major cod fishing industry, and racks for drying fish heads are a common sight; this one was at Sakrisoy.   Perhaps not an obvious or an attractive photographic subject, but most of the group were happy to try.



A view across the frozen Storvatnet to the mountains beyond. 




Evening light on Vareid Sound.

On the beach at Utakleiv some rocks had attractive colours and here a strip of sand lies in a valley formed within them.  The weather was overcast, and thus detail and close-ups were favoured.


The Flakstadpollen is a sea inlet beyond the Vareid Sound.  Here the mountains on the west side of the inlet are still well clothed in snow.


Other opportunities are offered looking towards the east side. On the evening of the same day, the mountains are reflected in the waters of the inlet.




Above the Flakstadpollen on the west side, a waterfall cascades down the mountainside.




One of the Lofotens fine beaches is at Yttersand.  The sky is reflected in the wet sand. 


Yttersand again, a wide expanse.



A view towards the Torsfjorden and the mountains of Moskenes?ya



Reflections at Sund.  




The Northern Lights photographed from Skagsanden beach.  Not the most obvious location it might be thought, with a tripod on soft sand, but it worked, and with the bonus of reflections of the aurora.   The perfectly clear sky meant that hundreds or perhaps thousands of stars were visible




The Ostadvatnet remained largely frozen although large breaks in the ice were forming.




Three shots showing different aspects of Unstad beach.  The beach is noted for fine surf and the waves were much in evidence on 15th March.




An unusual 'ring' of cloud formed above the beach.



It was hoped that a good sunset would occur.  In the event there were some quite good colours in the sky but also a lot of cloud.