Hamnoy, Lofoten Islands, Norway by Michael Thomas

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Picture Story

For several years I have wanted to visit the Lofoten Islands. The iconic images of those teeth-like mountains rising straight out of the sea and the rustic rorbuer just drew me to the place. So in the winter of 2018, my wife and I spent a week in Reine and Leknes before proceeding to Iceland. And it’s not easy to get there from the east coast of the United States. We had to fly to Reykjavik, then to Oslo, to Bodo, stay overnight there, before finally flying to Leknes.

We arrived in Reine to a wonderful sunset but then had constant rain the next day. All of the snow on our rorbu had melted along with what was on the ground. Luckily, there was still a good amount on the surrounding mountains. I decided to aim for a sunrise shoot looking down on Sakristoya. After photographing Sakristoya, I went to the bridge for the classic view of Olstinden with the Eliasson rorbuer in the foreground. I then followed the shoreline to, as they say, see what I could see. There were a number of cod drying racks, mercifully bereft of cod. Near one of the drying racks, I was able to compose an image of a nicely lit foreground rock, the racks in the mid-ground and Brynliskartinden across the bay. In looking at many of my long exposure images, I often instinctively gravitate to scenes with granite rock foregrounds. These serve to anchor the image. The cloud or water smoothing provides the sense of motion or time that makes the technique appealing to many of us.

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