My first visit to the magical Lofoten Islands was in May 2017 when I joined a Wild Photography Holidays group. I was there with a view of getting to know the area well enough to lead subsequent trips, both in winter and summer. In February 2018 I was back to lead two trips with Dave “Cubby” Cuthbertson.
Cubby and I have always worked well together and the two trips that we lead in February were probably our best yet for Wild Photography Holidays. The winter trips stay in the small coastal village of Ramberg, right on the coast. Auroras were a frequent sighting during our two weeks there and guests were able to look out of their cabin windows, then head out when things came good. We visited other locations for auroras with less light pollution, all within a 20 minute drive. Wonderful!!
Winter in Lofoten, especially during February and March has a lot to offer the landscape photographer. Daylight is quite long, so you don’t need to get out of bed stupidly early for sunrises, or stay out super late for sunsets. Pre breakfast photoshoots were commonplace during our stay, so as to capture stunning morning light. A mid morning breakfast back in Ramberg re-charged the batteries well enough to be ready for more by late morning, allowing time for another two or three locations to be visited before dark. The change of light at the start or end of the day seemed to have a time frame of its own, never rushing to start, nor finish. This allowed for lots of compositions to be enjoyed, never needing to rush any of them.
The steep sided mountain that rise majestically from the fjords, especially in the Reine area are truly magical. In winter the snow sticks to the steep spires and frequently lays a blanket right down to the waters edge. The mountains are of volcanic origin, belonging to the mangeritic group.
Wildlife in Lofoten can be of interest in the winter. Cubby and I took a Sea Eagle watching trip on a day off. This trip forms part of the summer trip to Lofoten and I am pleased to say that it is a fantastic outing in both seasons. We also took a road trip to the lovely fishing village of Henningsvaer. We stop there for a night in summer, and visiting the village in winter allowed us to see some wonderful east coast scenery, sea ice formations and a chance encounter with an Otter. Sea Eagles are also a regular sighting over head!!
I will be back in Lofoten this coming summer, hopefully Cubby will join me. The days (and nights) will be full of light, animals and birds will be raising their young, buds will be on the branches and many of the wonderful locations we visited this winter will be on the cards again. I am really looking forward to going back, for many reason. Wild Photography Holidays attract some lovely people, all keen to enjoy some wonderful photography, but also keen to embrace everything new that comes with travelling in Norway in mid summer. Endless daylight, great food, rather ripe stock fish drying racks!, and a couple of unforgettable boat trips, one to see Sea Eagles and the other across the Maelstrom to visit a Gannet colony.
A few places still exist on the summer trip for this year. If you’re at a loose end, come and join us, it’ll be amazing!!