Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8
f/11, 1/3sec, ISO 64
When the 737 lands on a snow-covered runway, you know you are in for an exciting adventure. We set out the next morning with snow piling up by the hour for a day’s drive further north. As we drove above the Arctic Circle, an avalanche closed a tunnel blocking our way to our first planned lodging. Had we arrived a day earlier, we would have been trapped there for the week. It is in challenging conditions that having a local guide is indispensable.
The winter trip was timed when the days were very short, with only four hours of daylight. While my internal clock could not adjust, it is a landscape photographer’s dream to have two hours of sunrise followed immediately by two hours of sunset. So it was strange to sleep in late and then head out for sunrise at 09:00.
Slogging through fresh, knee-deep snow, we arrived at this scene only to have the mountain view obscured by low clouds. While initially disappointing, this allowed for plenty of time to relax in the crisp still air, enjoy the experience of a new place and experiment with various compositions.
We returned the next day with occasional breaks in the snowfall, revealing the mountain peak. Lying prone in the snow at the water's edge, I carefully framed the scene handheld, exhaled and tripped the shutter. It was a memorable adventure.
The icy water claimed two cameras from the group. Two members of our group fell through the ice on the coldest day. My tripod froze, and my lens iced over.
One night, it cleared long enough to see and photograph a fantastic Northern Lights display.
The food was great, and the Norwegian people were very friendly. I returned home pleased with several images despite the weather. I hope to return someday to this winter wonderland.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor