Intimate landscapes…revisited

So…it’s spring again, and I’ll try to make time to be a little more active here on the blog. My apologies for lack of posting throughout the winter.

Green tranquility

The magic place

 

I have previously written about my love for intimate landscapes. I love a grand vista as much as everyone, and more or less plan my trips around viewpoints and with a more or less grand landscape in mind. But as I previously have stated, throughout the years I have drifted more and more towards photographing more intimate scenes. Not only do that type of landscapes open up for an infinitely larger variation of scenes and are more forgiving wiht respect to light, but I also find it more challenging and rewarding to work around a specific composition. Trying to figure out a small scene is pretty much like solving a puzzle or crossword. I particularly like to work with forest-scenes and although it can be extremely challenging to come up with a composition that conveys the mood or pass on a message of some kind, it is also very rewarding when I feel I achieve that.

I have a few inspirational sources, or favourite photographers if you will, when it comes to this genre. Besides the obvious Eliot Porter who probably first came up with the term “intimate landscape” with respect to photography (major exhibiton at Metropolitan museum of art and printed publication titled “Intimate landscapes” in 1979 – google it!) there are also more contemporary masters of the craft. I could name numerous, but photographers like Serkan Gunes, Hans Strand, G Dan Mitchell and Christioher Burkett stand out, in my opinion.

Misty spring

Misty autumn

Having worked dedicated on intimate landscapes for only a few years, I’m definitely a novice in the genre. But I will continue to focus on the small scenes as I find it extremely rewarding and great fun.

Lofoten road-trip

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Sunset from Flakstadøy (Nappstraumen). Looking north, you can see the iconic profile of the mountains near Utakleiv and Haukland beach in the distance.

Some of you may know that I was born and raised in the northern parts of Norway. Although I have relocated and currently live a little bit to the south, in Trondheim, I often visit “home” up north.

Every time I visit, I plan for some landscape photography. North-Norway has a very dramatic landscape, fabulous light and very unpredictable weather. All essential elements of a good landscape-image.

I spent one week in North-Norway this summer, and planned a road-trip to the Lofoten island well ahead. An old friend of mine and I were to take the ferry from the mainland (Skutvik) and over to the biggest city in Lofoten, Svolvær. Weather has been extremely wet and grey this summer, but as we sat in out car on the way to the ferry, skies started to clear. We had planned 2 days and nights of intensive shooting, mostly without sleep. We arrived in Svolvær late in the afternoon. The most photographed areas in Lofoten lies in the southern parts, where the mountains are most spectacular. This time we decided to head north from Svolvær and cover the island of Austvågøy the first night. Although the landscape is a little less dramatic here, It is still spectacular by most standards. And it is less covered by other photographers! We were mostly alone on the road this first night. We drove all around Austvåg and had a great time with a beautiful misty sunset and sunrise just a couple of hours later. After less that two hours sleep and a huuuuge breakfast we drove south to Vestvågøy, Flakstadøy and Moskenesøy. We had clear skies and the bright sunlight didn’t give us anything photographically, so we spent the day scouting for locations, eating and relaxing. When the loooong golden hour set in at around 7-8 in the evening we had found some great places and spent a few hours there. Coffee and redbull kept us going. Some skies emerged and promised for a beautiful sunset. We photographed the most iconic locations (Unstadvik, Utakleiv, Flakstad, Reine etc.) and a few lesser know all through the night. As morning arrived we were pretty much exhausted. As we waited for the mornings first ferry from Moskenes to Bodø, skies were all overcast and the magic was gone. Luckily enough we seemed to have hit the two only days in July with nice weather. Here are a few of the results from the trip. Visit my gallery on nordhaugphotography.com for more Lofoten images.

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The sun was setting, close to midnight, when we arrived in this location just north of Flakstad.

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A couple of hours later, the sun emerged from the ocean again and colored the landscape and the mist in a wonderful, warm hue.

Half Dome glow

Half Dome glow, Yosemite Valley, minutes before sunset, June 2014.

Yesterday I embarked upon one of the more strenuous photography trips of this year. I started out at 4am and drove for a few hours to catch the sunrise in the mountains of Trollheimen. After having parked and walked for about an hour in steep and difficult terrain, I reached the location I had planned for. Unfortunately the light did not play along. The sunrise was ok and the landscape there is fabulous, but you know how it is…. sometimes there are small things that preclude the composition. The skies were not top-notch, the contrasts were a little bit too harsh, the autumn colors were faded… and so on. Anyway, when I got back home 16 hours later I was pretty much exhausted after little sleep, little food, too much coffee and trekking and “climbing” in the mountains. Today, I have reviewed the images and processed a few of them. As always, I think they need to mature for a few weeks on my hard drive before I can conclude, but I was a little bit disappointed with the results. So therefore, I sat down and processed a few older images, e.g. from Yosemite. It feels good to release a good image (in my humble opinion) after having struggled with the elements yesterday. Hope you like it too!

This image pretty much concludes my California-portfolio for now. I have a couple of more images ready for publishing, but I am saving them for another rainy day. Visit my online gallery nordhaugphotography.com to see the rest of my California collection.

Dag Ole

Half Dome glow

The intimate landscape

Fern and cascade. Yosemite Valley, 2014.
As a landscapephotographer, I love a grand vista as much as anyone. However, as years has gone by, I find the more intimate landscapes more and more appealing. Working for hours in a small forest or by a waterfall can yield numerous rewarding compositions. Also, the light may be more forgiving, or at least not as crucial as with a grand vista, making it possible to make nice images also on grey and dull days. This is a composition from a day like that. Yosemite valley is always wonderful, regardless of weather, but this was my best image from that day. Hope you like it too!
This is a new release in my gallery nordhaugphotography.com Prints available from today!
fernandcascade