“Winterscapes”

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As much as I love a day on the beach, I must admit that few things can compare to a photo-session in a freezing cold, snow-clad landscape. I’m fortunate enough to live in Norway so winter is all around me this time of year. Days are short, but when the skies are clear, the light is beautiful. This image was captured in late december near Mayavatn in central Norway. I was driving home from a visit to friends and family up north as I passed this scene. I stopped the car, parked and ran out in the snowy fields, having snow up to my waist. The thermometer showed -24 deg celsius and I was dressed for driving in a warm comfortable car, not fieldwork. Suffice to say, I got cold and wet, but I think it was worth it. Hope you like my image, have a super Wednesday!

River aurora

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I haven’t been able to post as much here as I hoped or planned for this month. My apologies. I have been out travelling (and still am, kind of..) for 4 of the last 5 weeks. And as always, travelling makes some logistics more difficult, e.g. access to image archives (which are locked down in my safe when I’m not home) internet access, editing images on laptop screens etc. Well, enough excuses. Here is my first christmas-posting this year.

I’m currently in the northern parts of Norway, visiting friends and family. Where I am right now, the sun is below the horizon these days, but will be seen again in early january. Furthermore, the skies have been clear and the moon mostly invisible. This means that nights are long and very, very dark. Couple that with a latitude that often sports aurora borealis, and it is given what I have been up to every night this so far this christmas.

Shooting the aurora is not very challenging, technically. I basically use the same settings as I do for starry-sky photography, maybe a little lower iso, as the aurora lights up the land somewhat. Iso 1600-3200, f 2.8-4 and an exposure-time of 10-20 sec mostly give nice results. I prefer to use a very wide-angle lens to capture as much as possible of the skies. The challenging part is to find an interesting foreground and wait for the aurora to appear and match the foreground. Although I am born and raised in this area and more or less know it like my own pocket, it is still extremely challenging when it is so very, very dark. Also, handling the cold may be a problem. Using live-view for hours when temperatures are below -10 deg c may be a problem. And good, warm shoes and clothes are a must!

Anyway, I got a few images, both of aurora and deep starry skies. This particular image was captured at around 5 am in Valnesfjord, Norway, dec 22nd. I used one of my d800 bodies and the nikkor 14-24 @ 14 mm. Exposure setting were iso 2500, f 4.5 and 10 sec. Hope you like it, more will come!

I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and hope for peace and prosperity for all of you!

Dag Ole

To publish or not to publish…?

Watchtower and Virgin, evening glow

The Watchman and the Virgin river. Zion Natinal Park, Utah, June 2014.

 

…thats the question!

The American Southwest is a landscapephotographer’s paradise. Beautiful dramatic land with high mountain peaks, deep valleys and narrow canyons. The wonderful red-orange hue of the sandstone and a beautiful light just adds to the perfection. And it is very accessible! As a photographer, could you ask for more? Yes – that you are the first person to capture this! The only problem as I see it, is that the Southwest has been thoroughly photographed, to say the least. Of course, some places more that others…

Zion National Park in Utah is truly beautiful Рand very popular among photographers. The landscape on my image above is arguably the most photographed scene in Zion. Therefore, as I planned my trip to Utah, I was determined NOT to photograph this exact scene, as it has been done so many times before by excellent photographers that it has unfortunately turned into more of a clich̩. Every day I spent in Zion, I passed this location several times, and I could not help but to study it and be mesmerised by the beauty of the scene. On my last day there, I finally gave in and had to stop and make this capture. Ok, so thousands of other images very like this one exist, but so what? This one too shows the beauty of this wonderful place, and what the image lacks in originality it compensates for in scenic beauty Рor? The question is, should I use it in my portfolio of fine-art prints as it is not very original? Hmm- still thinking about it.

Feel free to comment and let me know what you think!

Dag Ole