"There are mountain-scapes and there are seascapes and then there is Lofoten in the Northern part of Norway. Huge granite peaks protruding from the sea blanketed with snow, ice and sometimes graced with an aurora above. Fjords and frozen beaches all await to be explored in a trip of a lifetime."
Starts: Feb. 23, 2020
Ends: Feb. 29, 2020
NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS
* price based on single room occupacy.
Lofoten islands located at the edge of the Arctic Circle are a cluster of islands all accessible by road dotted with traditional fishing villages. A very popular summer and winter destination with the latter being the favorite among landscape photographers because of the combination of great winter light and increased chances of aurora spotting. Driving around the fjords overhung by shear dark granite walls, through lakes and frozen valleys is an experience by itself. Adding numerous photographic opportunities and locations to the mix and we have created an opportunity of a lifetime.
The workshop will be based at the red cabins in Hamnøy. Establishing a base there allows us to explore the most picturesque locations the area has to offer. From the villages of Reine and Sakrisøy overlooking Vorfjorden bay and the impressive peak of Olstinden, to the rugged Skagsanden beach and all the way to the remote Uttakleiv area.
The Vareid area overlooking the jagged peaks above Flakstad and the small traditional village of Nusfjord with its red cabins hanging above the deep cold waters of the fjord are among the many places we will visit while we are there.
The weather that time of year is challenging and we might encounter completely white landscapes all the way to the frozen shores or black mountains with patches of snow. It is this changeable weather that provides a variety of photographic opportunities from winter wonderland to gloomy landscapes. This time of year there is also a high probability of seeing the northern lights.
The main goal of our workshop is to capitalize on all the chances we get to photograph and improve. We have taken care of everything, from transportation, lodging, to delicious dinners so all that is left for you to do is focus one eye on the viewfinder and the other one inside you and be creative. The main advantage which is unique to Light-Explorers is that we have a completely different approach to photography hence this workshop can appeal not only to people starting with photography but also to people who want a nudge to a different direction.
This is a standard overview but it’s flexible and which day we visit each particular location will be decided depending on the weather and conditions. We will, however, ensure that we visit all of the locations listed below. At this time of year, sunrise is around 7h35 and sunset around 17h00 with long periods of golden and blue hour during which we can shoot.
DAY 1 (FEB 23)
We will pick you up from Leknes airport and transport you to our cottages in Hamnøy after making a stop for dinner at Leknes so that we get to know each other. Discuss our plans and answer any questions you might have about the workshop.
DAY 2 (FEB 24)
Take advantage of our accommodation location and shoot right outside the cottages with the giant peaks rising from the sea in the background. Hamnøy Sakrisøy and Reine make for a fairly large area to walk and depending on weather conditions we will do some exploring.
We know the area and its secrets very well and we are prepared to share them. The session will end at a coffee shop for hot drinks and inspiring cakes or maybe a small branch to keep us going until dinner time.
For sunset, we will go to Skagsanden beach and the surrounding area making the most of the setting sun before returning to our accommodation and have dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 3 (FEB 25)
Sunrise photography session near the island of Fredvang. The stretch of land connecting the island to the mainland offers fantastic views to the south and the impressive mountain peaks blocking the horizon look majestic when lit with the first rays of the sun. Afterwards, we will move towards Ytresand beach photographing along the way. A fishing village with numerous colorful houses and a sandy frozen beach at the end of it.
We then meet at one cabin with our laptops and begin a post-processing session. We will go through your images individually and we will process the ones that stand out. We will cover from basic editing to advanced while trying to implant you our ideas towards its need, goal, and where to draw the line.
For sunset, we drive to Reine for an introduction with the area and photograph the impressive Olstinden mountain in golden hour and twilight with the lights of nearby Reine give some warmth to the moody winter landscape.
Dinner at a local restaurant and return to our cabins for rest. As always we will wake you up if the aurora forecast is strong and we will drive to a location to shoot it.
DAY 4 (FEB 26)
Drive all the way to Vareid for sunrise. We will deploy at the rocky shores with the mountains of Flakstad as our background. On the way back we will stop at Nusfjord to photograph the frozen lake nearby and the village. Flakstadpollen is also a definite stop before we return to our cottages to rest.
Light lunch at Sakrisøy and taking it easy for an hour before we head out again for sunset.
Drive to Uttakleiv beach for sunset passing by Haukland and Vik beach. The rocky beaches there provide for a stunning foreground with the rough seas crashing on the boulders and the high peaks playing with the clouds and the setting sun.
Drive to Leknes for dinner stopping at Altjonna Lake to photograph the reflecting mountains at twilight.
DAY 5 (FEB 27)
Depending on weather conditions the previous day we will decide which area we want to revisit to improve our composition or try new ones.
After a short rest, we will have our second post-processing session to review the photographs produced so far, and discuss with the whole group ways to improve them.
Walk around Hamnøy and Sakrisøy to experience the place at sunset. There are endless compositions to be made and with our guidance, you will acquire a complete understanding and the means to move forward with your photography in well-known places.
Dinner at a restaurant of our choice and then back to rest and be on aurora alert.
DAY 6 (FEB 28)
A choice of areas from the previous days that might look different depending on weather conditions. Fresh snow alters the landscape and new opportunities arise. We will be making stops along the way to our favorite places from the journey so far.
Light lunch in Sakrisøy and a small photo walk in the area
Drive to Skagsanden beach and walk around the village of Flakstad where some of our favorite buildings are located. Also, visit the beach behind the village. Weather permitting we will make another stop at Flakstadpollen trying to photograph the area at low tide.
Our final dinner at the restaurant that we liked the most. A hearty dinner and discussion about what you gained from us and what we gained from you along with your feedback for the workshop.
Return to our cottages hopping that the northern lights will grace us with their presence for another night.
DAY 7 (FEB 29)
A special sunrise occurring once every four years and we will be there to capture it. Our last photography session for the trip. Afterward, we will check out and head for Leknes to catch our flights back home.
What We Do
AND WHAT WE WANT YOU TO GET FROM OUR WORKSHOPS
We have been practicing landscape photography for more than fifteen years, we have seen beautiful parts of the world, met wonderful people, experienced different customs and this is what we want you to experience under the shield of landscape photography. We are strong advocates of the hands down experience so we tailored our workshops to make the most of the days we will be staying together. Two sessions during the most attractive hours of the day while also spending time walking the scene and the nearby places trying to expand your horizons and show you through our eyes how we perceive the landscape, how we experience nature and our overall attitude towards photography.
The group size is kept small so that we can focus on your photography needs in a one to one basis both while photographing outside and in our post-processing sessions. The workshop addresses people with varying levels of experience and two instructors mean each and everyone will have our undivided attention. What we expect from you is to take advantage of our distinctive photography characteristics, learn from them and incorporate them into your own shooting style.
Landscape photography is a lot more than just pretty sceneries and a workshop must be more than just outlaying techniques and guidelines. We firmly believe that if one wants to advance and go deeper into photography needs to find his own distinctive personal style and we can provide you the foundation to do just that. We want you to return to your home not just with beautiful images but with a rekindled interest in photography and eager to delve deeper into yourself in search for your photographic truth.
What to bring
A camera that you feel comfortable using. dSLR, mirrorless or anything that can be operated manually and be mounted on a tripod, it is up to you. There are limitations when it comes to certain techniques when it comes to simpler cameras but like you will find out, photography is irrelevant to the medium and has to do with the person yielding it.
A range from 14mm to 200mm is sufficient. Preferably one of those wide angle lenses should have a large aperture in the range of f/2.8 and bellow for night time and aurora shooting.
We will be shooting in low light situations and doing some long exposures so a tripod will be necessary. The weather also tends to be windy so a sturdy tripod will ensure that your photographs will be sharp and motion blur-free.
Allows operation of the camera without touching it reducing vibration and unwanted shake during exposures.
Polarizer and Neutral Density (ND) filters are always handy to have.
The key aspect for a successful photography session is to feel comfortable throughout the time spent in the elements whilst it is snow or rain. Warm boots are essential in Lofoten since we might find ourselves standing onto ice for prolonged period of time. Thick woolen socks also help though keep in mind not to restrict the circulation of the blood at the toes because this will have an adverse effect.
The real feel because of the wind might exceed at days -15 Celsius so be prepared. Weather changes fast and is very unpredictable so layering is key. If you have no experience or need advice for winter clothing don’t hesitate to contact us. In brief, insulated jacket, fleece, thermals, hat, beanie, gloves, and a waterproof shell are essential.
A backpack offers the best support system for hikes and releases strain from the shoulders keeping the experience pleasant.
Laptop with Adobe Lightroom or Adobe Photoshop
While image review will be made on a projector for all to see and participate, post-processing is something entirely personal and will be done on participants’ laptop where they will be able to keep their final product for study and review at their leisure afterward.
Request a booking
Beginner, amateur, enthusiast and semi-pro photographers.
Easy. Almost all of the locations are accessible by car.
- Landscape photography tuition
- Local transportation to and from all the shooting locations
- Post-processing sessions in Lightroom and Photoshop
- All accommodation in your own private room
- All dinners excluding lunch and breakfast
- Airport pick up and drop off
- Air fares
- Breakfast and lunches
Field Techniques covered
- How to “work” the scene. Understanding how light interacts in any given time and weather conditions
- Composition rules for creating a balanced photograph
- Understanding how lenses impact the final outcome and how to choose the appropriate
- Creating surreal compositions using long exposures
- How to handle the night sky and the aurora if it appears
- How to think “Black and White” in the field
- How to increase the field of view by making panoramas and the dynamic range with the use of multiple exposures or filters.
Processing Techniques covered
- In depth use of Lightroom from raw to final outcome
- Blending techniques to increase depth of field, field of view and dynamic range
- Introduction to advanced blending methods and advanced masking using Photoshop and luminosity masks
- Quick and “dirty” guide into black and white