Images: Andy Mumford
A photography expedition to by snowshoes to some of Lofoten's remote arctic beaches!
Join renowned landscape photographer Andy Mumford and Vagabond Expeditions on a photography expedition by snowshoes or trekking to explore Lofoten's remote beaches in winter. This expedition is designed to take you to some of the more remote beaches that are normally not often frequented in winter. If conditions require it, we will move by snowshoes to get to locations. Each day will have an element of movement (hiking or snowshoeing), but generally not more than 3-4 hours of movement.
In late February this stunning archipelago of islands 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 focus of this particular workshop is to connect more deeply with the landscape by hiking to some of lesser visited winter destinations like Ryten or Offersøykammen, or the beaches of Bunes, Kvalvika, or if we are really energised, the remote Horseid. The expedition will take you through snow-covered landscapes, experience the Northern Lights, and witness unforgettable sunrises and sunsets on this custom-made photography trip.
This expedition only allows 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!
Day 1 | Arrival day
The team from Vagabond Expeditions will pick you up at Leknes (LKN) airport. We will get into our vehicles 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 trip. Ballstad is situated on one of the central of the Lofoten islands, which is perfect for exploring the beaches 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 of the village of Ballstad.
Day 2 - 6 | Western Islands
Northern Norway is famous for its rapidly changing and unpredictable weather, so we will plan our day treks/snow shoe outings as we wake up each day when we know what the weather gods will throw our way. For fair weather days we will head off on snowshoes to remote beaches like e.g. Bunes beach, Kvalvika beach and if we are really energised, the remote Horseid Beach. If the weather is unsuitable for trekking/snowshoeing we will keep to the closer beaches like e.g. Haukland, Uttakleiv, Unstad and Skagsanden. 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
The expedition will officially end at noon with transport to the airport.
Environmental and Local Ethos
The entire expedition is delivered with a strong ethos for the protection of the environment where we will endeavour to leave as small a footprint as possible. We only use local suppliers for the expedition in an effort to contribute to local communities and economy.
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 great opportunity for stunning photography.
During this expedition we will be staying in two big apartments at Hattvika Lodge where we will also have access to sauna and hot-tub. Hattvika Lodge is well situated in an area with great access to the many great locations that we will be visiting.
Food is not included in this expedition. We can decide as a group whether we want to try the local restaurants or cook our food ourselves.
We will buy food for breakfasts and packed lunches together, to make sure that we can maximise our time out in nature.
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
Long exposures for blurring moving water and clouds and using neutral density filters
Shooting the night sky (and the aurora if we're lucky)
Shooting multiple image panoramas
Controlling light in scenes with a wide dynamic range using graduated filters and/or multiple exposures
Shooting in the blue hour and overcast weather
Using Lightroom to apply contrast
Using Photoshop layers to build up image adjustments
Photoshop masks for local adjustments
Using luminosity masks in Photoshop
Different techniques for blending multiple exposures of the same image
Using Nik Color Efex Pro, Silver Efex and Adobe Camera RAW on Photoshop layers
Stitching multiple panoramas together
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
Navigation with map and compass
Relocation with map and compass
Using sighting for fast movement
Snowshoeing techniques on flat, uphills and downhills
What it means to be a leader in the outdoors
Group management skills
We reserve the right to change the itinerary without previous notice due to weather conditions, National Parks regulations or notifications and unforeseeable circumstances.
This expedition is governed by our Terms and Conditions
Dates: 3-9 February, 2019
Andy is a Lisbon based professional landscape and travel photographer. He is also a passionate teacher of photography and have 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.
Jonas is the founder of Vagabond Expeditions, has been a passionate photographer for well over 20 years and has travelled extensively in the Arctic Circle. Jonas is also a qualified Mountain Leader and will be leading the expedition. More info here.
Price: 3,195 EUR
50% deposit due to secure your reservation, remaining 50% due 45 days before the start of the tour. Single occupancy not possible. Excl. VAT, where applicable.
Start: Leknes (LKN) airport, 3 Feb 2019 at 1PM
End: Leknes (LKN) airport, 9 Feb 2019 at approx. 1PM
The photography tour
Guided photography sessions
All accommodation during the tour: 6 nights in a private room, in a share apartment
All transport during the tour
Snowshoes and poles (if required by the ground conditions)
Transport (e.g. flights to Leknes (LKN) airport)
Insurance. All participants are required to have their own insurance appropriate for trekking in the mountains, such as health, accident, mountain rescue, repatriation, cancellation, personal liability, etc.
Trail snack to eat on the go - we recommend that you bring dried fruit, nuts or energy bars to last you throughout the entire hike (further info in the packing list)
Medium effort. Some days on this expedition will include 3-4 hours of snowshoeing. Previous trekking experience is recommended. If we encounter bare ground, then the effort level will be considered Easy. More info about effort levels here.
All levels welcome