I’ve always held a fascination for landscape imagery and so much respect for the classics like Ansel Adams, Galen Rowell, or Sebastião Selgado, who can express such scenes so well.
There’s a challenge to it, I think — one that not many people appear to see or appreciate from the outside looking in. They didn’t experience a hike through the bitter cold; the wind; the rain; or experience the frustration behind some piece of gear failing when it was needed most. Each photographer deals with his or her challenges, some definitely more extreme than others, but the unpredictability of nature is one I always welcome. Light is always changing; weather is always changing; and how those elements, among so many others, are interacting with any given scene are constantly changing. It’s in a constant state of flux and almost always a guessing game.
Nevertheless, as with anything you love, you’d travel around the world for it — and that’s most certainly a bit of the reasoning behind why I spent a week in the Lofoten Islands of Northern Norway, just inside the Arctic Circle, in the middle of winter.
I don’t recall how I found this place, but I’m so incredibly glad I did.
The journey began early last year when I first discovered Lofoten. As autumn came and I started my new job, I had every intention of booking a trip. I just didn’t know when.
I knew it needed to happen sooner than later or, like so many other things, it would eventually fall by the wayside — just another something talked about but never seen through.
I began budgeting, and in late September made a call to see how far the sky miles I’d accumulated over the last couple of years could get me. For 40,000 sky miles and just $270, I could have a roundtrip ticket from Gainesville to Oslo and back in mid-February. It wasn’t long before I pulled the trigger on that ticket purchase, especially after finding out a couple of good friends would be joining me.
I’m still looking for a word or two that can sum up the emotion and feeling that Lofoten brought to life inside of me that week.
Wild. Humbling. That’s the best I’ve come up with.
Lofoten is a place that captures your undivided attention and doesn’t let go — a place that will breathe life into your spirit.
I’ve been home nearly three weeks and feel as if I’m still processing what I saw there. I don’t know when that feeling will pass, but part of me enjoys it. It’s left a desire to revisit my images as much as I can. And the more I do that, the more I can’t wait to go back.