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Lofoten Light-Bolt

By JamesAppleton  
This was an image ten days in the making. I arrived at the Lofoten Islands in Northern Norway at the same time as a bad-weather front, and spent nine agonising days shut-up watching rain trickle down my windscreen, occasionally rushing out during dry spells to try and make the most of the unbelievable scenery. No colour, no dramatic light, no blazing sunsets for a full nine days. Finally, as my patience began to wane and I considered packing up and calling it a day, the front broke for a brief few hours around 6pm, and some of the most powerful lighting conditions I have ever witnessed followed. I'd spotted this composition and potential early after arriving, so when the time came it was simply a case to rushing to the spot, setting up and fine-tuning the view, before savouring every second of glory.

Tags: Sunset Lofoten Landscape Colour Norway Snow Ice Waves Seascape North Sea Coast Ocean Rugged Drama Landscape and travel Arctic circle

Voters: SteveH63, conrad, Moj_o and 56 more

Highly Commended Photos are given by the team to photos that were good but not quite an editors' choice award. Readers' Choice Awards are given to photos that get over 30 votes

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6 May 2008 10:46AM
Lovely image, great depth and colours

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conrad 13 10.9k 116
6 May 2008 10:51AM
What patience did this require, but it was worth it. Great view, with a good foreground, blurred water, yet there's still movement in it, and a good sky.
lonely_oryx 10 61 55 England
6 May 2008 11:08AM
Very strong image
dmhuynh72 10 44 3 United Kingdom
6 May 2008 12:28PM
lofoten is a beautiful place and well done. great image
Richsr 11 91 223 England
6 May 2008 12:40PM
Like the details and lighting in this - well captured.
Regards Richard.
Lovely colors & light in a well composed image.
IanFlindt 13 740 21 United Kingdom
6 May 2008 3:03PM
A very striking landscape with impact throughout the scene. I was wondering if the bright part of the sky was perhaps a little too bright, but it's well positioned to accentuate the shape of that distant mountain.
JamesAppleton 10 38 6 England
6 May 2008 3:13PM
Flindt - I agree that the bright area is blown-out, but the contrast was so ridiculous I would have had to blend separate exposures to get a full range, something I'm not happy doing. A 0.9 ND grad did the best it could, and, to be honest, after nine days of darkness and grey, I feel that this light and its intensity is more like to what I myself saw, rather than perfectly exposed highlights and shadows. It was just so, so strong! In my memory, this is exactly how it looked, and that is one of the most fundamental concepts to my photography...
6 May 2008 4:17PM
Excellent!! You've captured the atmosphere very well. Personally I think the range of brightness and contrast is natural and to reduce the highlighted area may have compromised elsewhere. Works for me!
Dennis_Bromage 10 45 20 United Kingdom
6 May 2008 6:22PM
Outstanding shot of somewhere that I would love to visit. I also agree that the blown out highlight suits the shot perfectly and gives it that extra punch.

Coleslaw 12 13.4k 28 Wales
9 May 2008 8:12AM
I have always wanted to go to Lofoten!
9 May 2008 10:40PM
This is rather good. Now where is Lofoten.
JamesAppleton 10 38 6 England
10 May 2008 12:33AM
Hi All, many thanks for the comments and clicks!

Dhanakosa - It's in Northern Norway, above the Arctic circle, a long chain of dramatic Islands that literally crest out of the ocean. I first saw photographs from there in Colin Prior's book 'The World's Wild Places' and knew I had to see it for myself...

Norway in general is a fantastic country, just take my advice and don't go in October/November unless you've got tons of patience and snow-tyres...!
viscostatic 11 36 5 United Kingdom
18 May 2008 12:26PM
Dramatic and beautiful.

cassiecat 9 39 46 England
7 Sep 2008 12:16PM
love the light and tones in this one,especially the bright patch over the mountain.

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