Lofoten Islands is a landscape photographers' paradise. Several thousands of people travel to northern Norway to experience the show of the Aurora Borealis, escape every day life and bring home amazing images. But what makes Lofoten so special? I have finally had the chance to find an answer to this question myself and want to share with you why I think every landscape photographer should visit Lofoten Islands.
1. The perfect Light.
If ever you had the chance to photograph far up in the North of planet Earth you know what I am talking about. Usually, photographers prefer the time around sunrise and sunset to take images. Up here it doesn't matter what time of the day it is - simply because the light is always good!
One thing has to be considered, though. During the winter months you can get as little as 5-6 hours of light - the rest of the 24 hour period is just dark (perhaps the sky is filled with some weirdly looking moving green lights -#7 in this article!). During the summer months you can basically shoot for 24 hours without a break because it just doesn't get dark.
No matter when you go to Lofoten, you don't need to worry at all about the light - it will be on your side, promise.
2. The unbelievable Mountain Peaks.
I have been to some of the most amazing mountain areas in the world - e.g. Nepal, South America, the Italian Dolomites and the Swiss & Austrian Alps. I can arguably say that none of them have impressed me as much as these incredible mountains in Norway. The combination of coastline, snow and one weirder shaped mountain peak after another simply left me speechless and would want me to return straight away without any hesitation.
3. The ever changing Foreground Elements.
As you probably all know there is more to an image than just a great scene. If you want to take a memorable shot you've gotta follow certain rules in photography to achieve something you can be proud of. Finding the balance of a good looking foreground, a majestic middle ground and a stunning background is not always easy.
Finding interesting foreground on the Lofoten Islands is easy - I would even say that you can't miss it. I would be very surprised if you would struggle to find something you like. Anyways, even if you have been shooting Lofoten Islands a couple of times you could always return and find something new - not just because the area is huge but also because fleeting moments occur regularly (change of light, season, temperature, water level, etc.).
4. The beautiful red Cabins.
If you are interested in traveling and you like browsing the internet for beautiful destinations around the world I believe that you have seen at least one image of these red cottages in front of these incredible mountains before, right? If not, here you are.
These cottages are scattered all over the Lofoten Islands and make for perfect subjects to include in your photos. I highly recommend you to visit one of the small villages away from the crowds such as Ballstad, Nusfjord or A (yes, the village is called A). Enjoy the peace and quiet and if you are into taking photos, get a shot or two.
5. The spectacular views
If there's one thing which stays in the mind of a traveler then it is for sure the most spectacular view one did come across on a trip.
Lofoten Islands hasn't just got one or two unbelievable viewpoints to offer. The whole area is packed with great scenery, nearly every mountain can be climbed and after every hike there's a new spectacular view to be seen. I personally like the one of Sakrisoy Village quite a lot. One can see the entire mountain range in the background, the turquoise blue water in the foreground and Sakrisoy with it's beautiful orange cottages completes the scene. Well, there are many different hikes to some of the mountains in the area which promise unbelievable viewpoints as well - better to be done in summer time I would say (unless you are an experienced hiker in wintry conditions).
6. The stunning Beaches.
There isn't just one beach on Lofoten Islands which takes your breath away. Your choice is pretty much "endless" when it comes to photographing seascapes. Uttakleiv, Skagsanden and Haukland are some of the well known beaches with the magnificent mountain peaks on either side. Unstad, Vareid, Rambergstranda and Kvalvika are other well known beaches and every single one is just breathtaking in it's own way.
If you would ask me which one of these is my favorite I am struggling to give you an answer because I simply love them all. Well, I would say I prefer Uttakleiv and Skagsanden.
7. The legendary Northern Lights.
I am not exaggerating when I am saying that the Northern Lights have been my personal highlight of natural spectacles I have ever seen. When people told me these magical green lights would be visible to the naked eye I hardly believed them. After witnessing it myself I can assure you: they are visible.
After pushing the shutter and waiting for roughly 6 seconds I couldn't believe that my camera can still see so much more than I and was super happy about the decision I have made to come up to Northern Norway to finally see the "Green Lady".
8. The unreal Aerial Footage.
A couple of years back seeing these aerial shots on the internet was a rare occasion because there was simply no way for the general public to get these shots. Nowadays, with the invention of drones we all have the opportunity to chase angles nobody has ever taken a photo of before.
After spending an entire week in the area I have spotted a lot of different places where it is worth sending the drone up to capture the scenery. I just didn't have enough time and the weather didn't permit flying a drone. The few times I have used it I was blown away - better than any postcard, really.
Be aware that flying a drone is something which requires practice and common sense.
9. The dramatic Weather.
Some of you might be thinking, why is dramatic weather a good reason to visit Lofoten?
Well, let me tell you something: my first ever trip to the Italian Dolomites was a desaster (photography wise) - just because I had good weather for an entire week. The weather in my Lofoten trip has been the complete opposite and I must say that I am much happier with the outcome of my images than I would have ever imagined - just because the weather was moody and dramatic.
10. The amazing Roads.
For those of you who ever had the pleasure to go on a roadtrip, you know what I am talking about when I say that driving along those windy roads with spectacular scenery makes you feel like a bird and gives you instant goosebumps when at the same time your favorite song is playing in the radio. For those of you who haven't had the chance yet I highly recommend you to go for an amazing drive - even if it's not the Great Ocean Road in Australia, the NC500 in Scotland or the spectacular roads through Lofoten Islands.
It's actually the most interesting of all 4 seasons but very few countries in the world still experience a proper winter. In Norway you can be sure to have snow, ice, cold temperatures and everything you like about the coldest period of the year.
Well, this is it. These are my personal top 11 reasons why everyone should consider going to Lofoten Islands - not only if you are a landscape photographer.
For me, the trip to Norway has been one of the highlights of my life.
If you have anything else what you think is a good reason to go to Lofoten then please let me know in the comments below.
I would highly appreciate if you like, comment and/or share the article - thank you!