Haukland Bay, Lofoten Islands, Norway by Jackie Matear

Picture Story

I took this image during a trip to the Lofoten Islands few years ago. The archipelago, which is in the Arctic Circle, is known for its dramatic mountains peaks, often rising straight from the sea, and sheltered bays and beaches. Due to the effects of the Gulf Stream, Lofoten has a much milder climate than other parts of the world at the same latitude.

That said, they had had a lot of snow in the Lofoten Islands that year, even by Norwegian standards, and there were daily snowstorms while I was there. Aside from making the beautiful landscape even more photogenic, it also meant that I was treated to wonderful light in between the storms.

This image was one such moment, taken at a snow-covered Haukland Beach. I had parked my rental car in a layby and started exploring the views from above before venturing down on to the beach. I came across these foreground rocks, which mirrored the shape of the mountain on the other side of the bay, and positioned my tripod so that they led the eye around the sweep of the bay. I used a 2 stop soft graduated filter on the sky to balance the exposure. I also used a polariser to reduce some of the glare from the water.

After I took the first few frames with a moody sky, there was a break in the clouds that allowed the late afternoon light to reflect in the still water below. I quickly checked my exposure and continued shooting. Not long after, the clouds rolled in and the next snowstorm arrived, obscuring the view.

The views from the beach were equally as good and I spent a long time there. Best of all, I had the entire place to myself. Serendipity!

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