挪威島嶼極光之旅歸來( Back from the “Norway’s Lofoten Islands” Tour)
走出父親過世的一年(2017)丁憂，今年(2018)恢復每年2趟的長途旅行攝影，首趟是在去年已規劃安排的挪威Lofoten群島極光及雪地攝影，我選擇美國有名的攝影團隊 “Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris” 的12人攝影團由Mr. Joseph Van Os 親自領隊
After the one year home stay for the pass away of my father, I started again my 2 times per year long distance photography tour, the first one is the Lofoten island in Norway, I join the “Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris” photography group led by Joseph Van Os,
the short blog “Before the Norway’s Lofoten Islands Tour” dated 2017/3/14 described the itinerary of this tour can be found in my website, the exact itinerary was more or less the same as it, but the difference is normally according to the weather condition, we have 2 vans for the transportation, so everybody can enjoy the comfort during the tour owing to the limit of participants as 12 people, I think it is the main reason of a successful tour management, the group leader Joe is an experienced professional photographer who leads the group in multiple prospects such as safety、shooting angle、image composition and camera setting etc., I have learned a lot of information from a pro photographer, I think a better photographer should remove the mistake through the experience and deal with the severe condition aggressively.
旅程簡述：此次行程含蓋的景點主要為Lofoten島的兩個地區，分別為Reine及Lekens，行程前4天以Reine地區為中心周遊其附近的景點，第一天由機場附近的旅館出發約4小時的車程來到入住的木屋，前方的峽灣和左邊入海處的拱橋是絕佳的拍攝景點，稍事休息驅車來到一處橋樑，開始旅程的首次夕陽拍攝，群山環繞的灣區和點綴在岸邊顏色鮮艷的木屋在寒冷的夕陽時刻透出一絲暖流，太陽西下後進入極地特有的藍色時刻(blue hours)，太陽餘光經天空反射出的藍色，使大地更加冷峻， Reine地區是一個歷史悠久的典型挪威小漁村，只有約300人口主要靠捕魚為生，魚種主要是鱈魚，包括黑線鱈(haddck)、綠鱈(pollack)、黑鱈(coalfish)及比目魚(halibut)等。
Tour itinerary： The itinerary concludes 2 areas of the Lofoten Island, that are Reine and Lekens, the first 4 days we stayed in Reine and took photos in the surrounding locations, day one we started from the hotel near the airport to a log cabin area by about 4 hours drive, which is facing a fjord and the outlet to the ocean at left with an arch bridge on it, after a short rest we started our first photography activities by a short drive to a neighboring bay area, where is surrounding by the serrate rocky mountains and the log houses, the amber lighting from the fishing villages by the shore offering a warm stream feel in the bitter winter twilight, the blue hours is the feature in the polar area, which are coming from the Sun light diffusion by the cloud after Sunset, the fishing village in Reine have a population of about 300, living on the fishing, the main fish are Cod fish, the species including haddck、pollack、coalfish and halibut etc..
In Lofoten island which located in the latitude around 67ﾟ~ 68ﾟNorth, the weather is altered fast, when it becoming cloudy or snowing then the temperature dropped low and windy, but in the Sunny days it become warm、 Sunshine and no wind, thanks to the gulf stream the overall weather are mild in the winter, we were lucky to have got most mild weather during the tours, it is also the season for viewing the Aurora Borealis, we have had 3 nights to shoot the Aurora Borealis owing to the suitable weather condition, we have been in 6~7 locations including rock shore、beaches and gulf etc., that offers us many foreground selections in the image compositions, the Aurora Borealis is so called Northern light, which is the collision between the electronic stream from the Sun and the upper atmosphere of the earth, and it can be frequently seen in the polar area because of the stronger magnetic field happened, except the Aurora Borealis, there are many unique landscape in Lofoten island, such as its serrate maritime mountains、fjords and gulfs which including inner and outer gulfs, there are many arch bridges and tunnels connecting between the archipelago, the rosy pink and also pink orange Sun light covering the snow mounted peak of the serrate mountains turn out to be an attracting color during the Sun rise, the other attracting spots are also the deep rocky cliff and fierce sea waves.
The second and last section of the 3 days tour is moving to the Lekens area, we were facing the worse weather condition, temperature has dropped and windy, I have had a difficult time when shooting the Aurora Borealis in the late evening, after the new settlement in the log cabin, we moved out again for the Sunset, the large rocks along the shore are as the foreground while the leaking Sunlight as the background for my composition, the slow shutter speed making the silky waves become possible, We had one more night possible to view the Aurora Borealis in the beach, the waves roars striking the sea shore while the dancing Aurora green lighting was reflected from the sand after the sea water withdrawing, the bright sky is connecting all the way to the ground with the northern light, the Sun rise of next morning we had a shooting of the gulf with scattered ice blocks, I set the camera in a low prospect, with the ice blocks as the foreground turned the images become more impact, the landscape of Lofoten island attracts the visitors by its unique character and the unlimited faces aroused by the variable weather condition.
相機(Camera)：Canon 1Dx MK II, 5D MK III
- Canon 2x extender
腳架(Tripod)：Gitzo GK2580 traveler tripod
- Gitzo G2272M,3D low profile Head
- Lee 0.9*Graduated Neutral Density
- Lee 0.9* Neutral Density Filter
- Gura Gear Bataflae 26L Backpack (Black)
Shooting contents： The serrate rocky mountains and the busy Aurora Borealis are the main photography items for this tour, the graduate neutral density and neutral density filter are the must have gears for the landscape images as my opinion, although others state that the bright exposure in the sky can be easily adjusted in the post process, but the original image quality normally born when you push the shutter, the post process can make an image look pretty but not the quality, so the camera setting of proper exposure on site are the main factor for a good image, and the long exposure with slow shutter is the other important one for a better landscape image, the slow shutter can invite more dynamic range of the light, the camera sensor is exposed with more color and contrast contents.
As to the shooting of the Aurora Borealis, you should be very familiar with the operation of your gears, so you won’t be panic in the dark environment, it is better to set your focus distance according to the lens you use before you get to the shooting site, because you can’t use auto focus function during the shooting, the shutter speed for getting a spot light of stars in the image is according to a rule of thumb, that is a “constant” divided by the lens focal length, constant number are between “1000-100” for the location of arctic to equator, we choose “600” for our location, so my calculation is 600 divided by 14mm (prime lens), the result will be around 40 seconds, then the exposure f/stop should be the widest that lens can offer, for example f/2.8.
For the other shooting aspect such as the seascape、waves and beach etc., the lower angle composition with deep depth of field is also one of the creative idea.
The highlights：The highlight of this photography tour is still the Aurora Borealis, also normally for landscape images, we will choose landscape mode, but sometimes the portrait mode are more compact can attract more viewers’ sight, especially in the shooting of seascape or sea waves.
Something inspired：I have experienced some different thinking in camera setting for shooting Aurora Borealis, such as the shutter speed and the idea to shoot the point light of stars, there are also the idea on how to lighting the gear carrying, and the camera backpack、camera strap etc..