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Lofoten and the Northern Lights

Explore Lofoten’s pristine snow-covered landscapes and hunt the Aurora

13 Feb 2022 - 19 Feb 2022

Price: 3895 EUR

Full Money-Back Return Policy During Covid-19 (Click for details)

General Information

Andy Mumford is returning to Terra Photography Expeditions to run  a photography expedition exploring Lofoten’s pristine snow-covered landscapes.  This expedition is designed based on our personal experience from years of running workshops in Lofoten to ensure that you get optimal chances to get the photos and time-lapses that you have been dreaming about.   We’ll be based in the heart of Lofoten so visits to the iconic locations like the villages of Hamnøy and Reine surrounded by fjords and mountains, and the rocky beach at Uttakleiv will be on the agenda, but we also aim to get a little bit off the beaten track and visit some less well known parts of the islands.


In February this stunning archipelago scattered between icy fjords and ocean beaches, punctuated by snow covered mountains and fishing villages is blanketed with fresh snow and breath-taking views are everywhere you look. With the low arctic sun giving fantastic light for almost the whole day, as well as unusually long sunrises and sunsets, Lofoten really is a photographer’s paradise.  The geography of the islands with coastline on both the north and south sides and long fjords that separate the different islands give us so many different angles and locations to shoot at different times of day, and wherever we are there’s always the backdrop of dramatic snowy peaks as a focus for the images.


The expedition will take you through snow-covered landscapes, (hopefully) experience the Northern Lights, and witness unforgettable sunrises and sunsets on this custom-made photography trip.

We only allow for a small number of participants who are joined by common interests for nature, photography and videography to make sure we can travel as friends, rather than just travellers!

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Guides

Jonas Paurell

Creative Guide & Expedition Leader

Jonas is the founder of Terra Photography Expeditions. He has been a photographer for well over 20 years. He is a certified International Mountain Leader (UIMLA) that has spent a lifetime exploring the world's wild areas. Jonas will be leading the expedition.


Jonas loves working with developing photographers to strengthen their technical foundation and support them to unleach their inner creativity. Jonas achieves this through engaging lectures, educative assignments and hands-on teaching in the field.


More info here.

Andy Mumford

Creative Guide

Andy is a Lisbon based professional landscape and travel photographer. He is also a passionate teacher of photography and has been leading groups and one-to-one workshops for over five years, while his images and photography writing have featured in magazines and publications worldwide. As well as workshops and travelling he also produce regular videos about photography and film-making on his Youtube channel.


Andy's YouTube & Website

Itinerary

The weather in the arctic circle can either be stable for weeks or can change rapidly one hour to the next, so even though we have a planned agenda, this will be open to revision on the day. Each day we will study the synoptic charts and the local maps over breakfast to plan our day. For fair weather days we will head into the mountains and for poor weather days we will stay low and pursue the bad weather fronts as these often provide great opportunity for stunning photography.

The winter in the arctic circle is dark and provides long colourful sunrises and sunsets, with dramatic light in between as the sun is low on the horizon. In February, the sunrise is approximately at 9AM, but the photography opportunities generally start an hour before this with the soft morning glow. Sunset is at around 3.30PM and allows for photography for a while thereafter. Aurora Borealis can happen at any time after sunset but generally it is seen on clear nights when the night is at its darkest between 9PM and 3AM


Day 1 | Arrival day 

The team from Terra Photography Expeditions will pick you up at Leknes (LKN) airport. We will get into our vehicle and head for the authentic fisherman village Ballstad where we will be lodging at comfortable Hattvika Lodge, which we will use as a base camp for the expedition. Ballstad is situated on one of the central Lofoten islands, which is perfect for exploring the areas of Vestvågøy and Flakstadøy. We will have some time to explore the area and have a pre-expedition briefing. In the first evening, we will have a first photography session.


Day 2 - 6 | Western Islands

Northern Norway is famous for its rapidly changing and unpredictable weather, so we will plan our days as we wake up each day when we know what the weather gods will throw our way. For fair weather days with limited snow we will head off to remote beaches Kvalvika beach.  If the weather is unsuitable for trekking we will keep to the closer beaches like Haukland, Uttakleiv, Unstad and  the stunning views across the peaks and fjord of the Tangstad area.


We’re also really close to the beautiful Skagsanden beach in Flakstad, and Vareid, where stretch of coastline looks southwest towards the Flakstadøya peaks.  Nearby is also Fredvang with it’s views of snow capped mountains above the Tordfjorden and the conical Volandstind peak.


Of course no trip to Lofoten would be complete without a visit to the villages of Hamnøy, Sakrisøy and Reine, and we’ll make sure to take in a sunrise in this iconic place as first light illuminates the cabins beneath granite walls of the peaks surrounding the Reinefjord, and spend a morning exploring this incredible area.


For poor weather days we may decide to hunt the bad weather systems as these often provides the best opportunity for photography.


Day 7 | Departure Day

Departure Day - The expedition will officially end at noon with transport to the airport.

Curriculum

All Terra Photography Expeditions follow a proven curriculum that aims to teach the theory behind photography in a dynamic way that directly translates into easily actionable processes in the field. As we move through nature we also go through an introduction to the skills and knowledge required to be safe in the great outdoors.

Photography Techniques Covered on the Expedition


In the field:

  • Understanding the light and choosing the best exposure

  • Composition. Balance and harmony, leading lines and creating depth.

  • Lens choice. From the wide-angle vista to shooting landscape abstracts with a telephoto lens

  • Shooting the night sky and the aurora

  • Shooting multiple image panoramas

  • Controlling light in scenes with a wide dynamic range using graduated filters and/or multiple exposures

  • Photographing snow

  • Shooting in the blue hour and overcast weather

Processing:

  • Deciding which direction to take post processing according to the mood of an image

  • Using Lightroom to apply contrast locally

  • “Shaping” the light using contrast tools in Photoshop and Lightroom

  • Different techniques for blending multiple exposures of the same image

  • Stitching multiple panoramas together

  • Finishing touches for processing to give images dramatic punch

  • Sharpening images

Outdoor Skills Covered on the Expedition


We are first and foremost out to enjoy the mountains and to pursue the art of photography, however, as we are moving toward our locations there is always time to share some outdoor skills.


  • Planning for a day out on the hills in winter conditions

  • Using safety equipment and emergency transponders

  • Map reading

  • Navigation with map and compass

  • Relocation with map and compass

  • Using sighting for fast movement

Additional Information

The Agenda, Weather and Daylight Hours

The weather in the arctic circle can either be stable for weeks or can change rapidly one hour to the next, so even though we have a planned agenda, this will be open to revision on the day. Each day we will study the synoptic charts and the local maps over breakfast to plan our day. For fair weather days, we will head into the mountains and for poor weather days, we will stay low and pursue the bad weather fronts as these often provide a great opportunity for stunning photography.


Northern Light

The chances that we will experience the Northern Light, or Aurora Borealis, are very good during the time of the expedition. However, we can never guarantee this. For us to see the Northern Light we need to have both Northern Light and clear skies so we will be monitoring the situation and be ready to head out at short notice throughout the entire expedition.


Food

This expedition caters for three meals per day. We will have a fully stocked fridge and make breakfasts together in the mornings. We will also make a packed lunch and flask of hot drink to sustain us throughout the day out shooting (during the Arctic winter the daylight hours are few and the light is often perfect from blue hour to blue hour so we will not want to waste quality light sitting in a restaurant). To make up for our packed sandwiches at lunch, we will enjoy a delicious meal prepared by a private chef at Hattvika Lodge at night.


Leave No Trace Policy

Terra Photography Expeditions has a strict leave no trace policy. This policy is also applied to how we share information about fragile ecosystems that we gently and respectfully visit. This means that we have withheld exact locations from the itinerary. This is because we do not want to contribute to large scale tourism. You are welcome to get in touch if you'd like to discuss the itinerary before applying to join. Thank you for your understanding.


Accommodation

During this expedition, we will be staying in apartments at Hattvika Lodge. Hattvika Lodge is well situated at Ballstad with great access to the many locations that we will be visiting.

How Challenging?

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This expedition has a Low Effort Rating. We can expect to be out around 7 hours per day with light trekking. Previous trekking experience is not necessary. More info about effort levels here.


Price & Details

Included:

  • Guided photography sessions in the field with two creative guides

  • Theoretical sessions

  • Guided treks by qualified International Mountain Leader or Mountain Guide

  • All accommodation during the expedition: 6 nights in a shared room

  • All main meals (evening meals prepared by a private chef!)

  • All transport during the tour


Excluded:

  • Photo equipment

  • Outdoor clothing

  • Transport (i.e. flights to Leknes airport)

  • Insurance. All participants are required to have their own insurance appropriate for hiking in the alps, such as health, accident, mountain rescue, repatriation, cancellation, personal liability, etc.

  • Trail snack to eat on the go

  • Alcoholic beverages

Price: 3895 EUR

30% deposit due to secure your reservation, remaining 70% due 60 days before the start of the expedition. A private room possible (depending availability at the Lodge), at an additional cost. Please contact us for a quote. Excl. VAT, where applicable.


Logistics

Start: Leknes (LKN) airport, 13 Feb 2022 at 2 PM

End: Leknes (LKN) airport, 19 Feb 2022 at approx. 11 AM


Participants: Minimum 5, Maximum 7

Please note: the expedition needs to reach the minimum participation to go ahead. Kindly do not book your flight until we have notified that the expedition is going ahead.


We reserve the right to change the itinerary without previous notice due to weather conditions, and unforeseeable circumstances.


This tour is governed by the Terms and Conditions