Give Me Shelter
Lofoten Islands · Norway
Nestled at the vertex of Kerkefjorden and dwarfed by the formidable peaks ringing the inlet, the tiny hamlet of Kirkefjord finds shelter from the elements as looming clouds glow like embers in the morning sun.
After trudging up through a steep and muddy trail and scrambling through a minefield of mossy trapdoor potholes capable of swallowing your boot (and leg) whole, I took up residence amongst some boxcar-sized boulders about two or three hundred feet up the flanks of Navaren, while Tyler Hamilton, Ron Holder, and Tommy Simonsen (if memory serves me correctly) gained another couple hundred feet beyond that. As the minutes ticked on past known sunup, though, the promise of taking in an exhilarating sunrise above the fjord seemed destined to be snuffed out by an expanse of brooding clouds to the east.
Out of the corner of my eye I caught sight of the trio high above me packing up and descending back down the mountainside. Not yet ready to admit defeat and rationalizing that I had bit more time before they’d pass me on their way back down, I left my camera out and blew repeatedly on my cupped hands to coax my fingers out of cold hibernation, hoping something a bit more camera-worthy might materialize. Perhaps the morning chill and sleep deprivation was making me hallucinate, but I could’ve sworn I was seeing the faintest trace of color developing on the clouds.
It was only after the trio had dropped below eye level that the clouds truly began to blush with the warm kiss of first light. Any guilt about possibly holding up the group by lingering behind slowly gave way to a growing fervor. I made several exposures here while the light remained good and ultimately liked this two-minute-long exposure best. And while I usually choose a symmetric 50-50 framing when shooting reflection scenes where the line of reflection appears virtually flat, I felt a slightly eccentric composition leant itself better to this view from elevation.
Taken about thirty minutes before “Life in A Northern Town”.
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Tyler Hamilton: https://500px.com/tyler_hamilton
Tommy Simonsen: https://www.instagram.com/tommysimonsenphotography/