Lofoten Coast, Norway by Marnix Van Marcke

The picture was taken during wintertime on one of the Lofoten Islands. It was around noon but in early February at this latitude the sun never rises high in the sky. Therefore, winter and autumn are my preferred seasons as then we have golden light almost all day long.

The sculpted rocks drew my attention but also the snow covered mountains in the background which were illuminated by the sun. The result was a scene with very high contrast. I choose to use a soft gradient filter to darken the sky but still then the contrast was too high. The solution here was to make two exposures with a different exposure.

I choose to put emphasis on my subject (the foreground) and to make use of the diagonal line starting in the lower right corner and leading to the sea on the left. Furthermore I used a 10 stop filter to flatten the sea and therefore to have maximum focus on the rocks in the foreground and the mountains in the back. Only two exposures with 1 stop apart (one at 15" and one at 8") were enough to cover the complete tonal range of the photo. These two pictures were afterwards combined in Lightroom to form an HDR image.

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