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For years now, the French Riviera has been on the lists of the most romantic locations. One of the most exciting parts of the Cote d’Azur is Monte Carlo, which is also the most famous of the three municipalities in the Principality of Monaco. Even though Monaco is the smallest monarchy in the world, there is still so much to be seen.
Few Days or Few Hours? Depending on your travel plans, you will need to decide where to stay while in Monaco. Of course, if you are on a day trip, there will be no need for you to book a room in one of the luxury hotels. You should know that the Avenue Princesse Grace in Monaco is named the most expensive street in the world. The street is named after Grace Kelly, a famous actress who married Prince Rainier III and became the princess of Monaco.
Visiting Casino de Monte-Carlo One of the most recognizable locations is Casino de Monte-Carlo. This casino is over 150 years old, and it’s been mentioned in many movies and throughout pop culture. If you have watched James Bond movies, there’s a chance that you’ve seen this beautiful complex. Furthermore, with the help of WSOP (World Series of Poker), two tournaments were held last week in Texas Hold’em with no limits. The total prize for these two tournaments was over 1.2 million euros! But whether you like the thrill of casino games, real money prizes, or James Bond movies, the casino complex is one thing you shouldn’t miss. Besides, Casino de Monte-Carlo is the second biggest casino in Europe, so you should not miss the chance to visit it, even if it’s only for a drink.
Monte Carlo Grand Prix Of course, besides the casino complex, the second most recognizable part of Monte Carlo is Monaco Grand Prix. Circuit de Monaco has been home to annual Formula One races for almost 90 years. Furthermore, Circuit de Monaco doesn’t only run Formula One. The whole track is one of the most demanding ones due to several elevations, sharp corners, and that famous tunnel. The race is known as Monte Carlo since the majority of the track is in this neighborhood of Monaco.
Musée océanographique (The Oceanographic Museum) The next thing on the list, Musée océanographique, is a marine science museum in Monaco-Ville. The first floor of the museum is a showcase of the Prince Albert’s work (Prince Albert I, not the current reigning monarch Prince Albert II). Furthermore, it exhibits one of Prince Albert’s laboratories, L’Hirondelle, which was part of one of his yachts. The research made in this lab led to a better understanding of anaphylaxis, which further led to Dr. Charles Richards winning a Nobel Prize in 1913.
The museum offers a variety of sea creatures like sharks, urchins, seahorses, starfish, and many others. The basement of the museum holds an aquarium that is home to over four thousand fish species, and it offers a wide array of both flora and fauna. Interestingly, Jacques-Yves Cousteau was one of the museum directors during the ’50s and until the end of the ’80s.
Prince’s Palace of Monaco The palace is the official residence for Prince Albert II, who is also the head of the Grimaldi family. Interestingly, the family captured the palace during the late 13th century, and the palace itself is over eight hundred years old. In 1997, the family celebrated their 700th anniversary of ruling from the same place.
Of course, the palace is open to the public so you could visit and learn more about the history of Monaco, as well as the history of the palace through the ages. Furthermore, the courthouse offers Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra concerts from time to time.
Jardin Exotique de Monaco The Exotic Garden of Monaco is located in Monaco’s cliffside. Home for many succulent plants from Mexico and Africa, the Exotic Garden was officially opened in 1933. Interestingly, when building a footbridge in the botanical garden, Louis Notari, Chief Engineer, found a grotto. Since the ’60s, it has been opened to the public and served as a monument displaying prehistoric remains. Visiting the grotto is only available with specialized guides.
Staying Few Days in Monaco Is a Good Idea Monaco covers the area of 2.2 square kilometers (0.85 square miles), and while it sounds rather small, you will need time to visit everything. There are so many interesting landmarks, and the whole country is filled with history. From cathedrals to small amphitheaters, everything is worth your attention, and you’d probably miss a lot if you skipped something.
Walk the same streets as Grace Kelly, join James Bond in “casino royale,” or simply enjoy the view of this beautiful miniature country. Whatever you decide, one thing is certain; if you decide to visit Monte Carlo, your vacation will be unforgettable.
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Grand Resort Bad Ragaz has welcomed the reopening of Grand Hotel Quellenhof following an extensive refurbishment costing over £35 million pounds.
After a five-month renovation and just in time for the hotel’s 150th anniversary, the transformation of this Grande Dame is now complete.
While maintaining the property’s history and grandeur, the five-star hotel has proudly entered a new era, offering new innovative restaurants and bars, ultra-luxurious accommodation and head-turning interior design throughout.
As part of the renovation, Grand Resort Bad Ragaz has unveiled two new restaurants – Memories and verve by sven – both headed up by award-winning and previously Michelin-star chef Sven Wassmer.
The ground floor of Grand Hotel Quellenhof is the heart of the hotel and verve by sven blends harmoniously into the property’s public areas with an impressive destination bar and sleek glass wine cellar making the focal point of the lobby.
Guests can also come together around the open fireplace which is illuminated by hundreds of Swarovski crystals and boasts plush and comfortable seating to relax and unwind in.
Interior designer Claudio Carbone has centred the redesign around the hotel’s connection to the town’s thermal waters which were discovered in Bad Ragaz’s Tamina Gorge 777 years ago.
Carbone has erected three thermal water fountains throughout the property which will offer a continuous flow of fresh thermal water for guests to enjoy and consume at will.
The largest and perhaps most impressive homage to the thermal waters is the 16-metre-high chandelier which hangs in the lobby’s grand staircase and presides over all four floors.
Each glass fragment of the 2,5000-piece chandelier has been handmade by Czech glassblowers and is reminiscent of a flowing waterfall.
Those wanting to enjoy ultimate exclusivity can now book the new King Suite – an oasis in Grand Hotel Quellenhof boasting features such as walnut and marble flooring, hand-blown crystal chandeliers and furniture designed and crafted exclusively for the suite.
With a private fitness and spa area the King Suite offers unparalleled privacy.
Guests wanting to go all out can extend the King Suite into the King Floor, transforming the space into a 600 square metre, seven-bedroom hideaway – luxury at the highest level.
After 150 years of welcoming countless statesmen, celebrities and royal family members, Grand Hotel Quellenhof’s refurbishment ensures the wellness destination continues to be the crowning glory of the Swiss luxury hotel industry.
Speaking of the changes, Patrick Vogler, chief executive of Grand Resort Bad Ragaz, said: “We had a vision to bring our hotel into a new era of luxury hospitality, and we have succeeded.”
Grand Resort Bad Ragaz consists of two five-star establishments, the Grand Hotel Quellenhof & Spa Suites and the Grand Hotel Hof Ragaz, as well as the historic Palais Bad Ragaz.
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Travel inspires and delights us. Shouldn’t your travel accessories do the same? Waypoint Goods is a design studio focused on creating timeless, beautiful pieces that enhance your travel experienceIntroducing the Infinity Travel Scarf // Stylish. Secure. Unexpected.Travel made easier with a fashionable scarf to securely keep your phone, passport wallet, keys and other essentials safely concealed in a hidden pocket. VERSATILE // Can be used as a scarf, shawl or blanket to keep you warm on those long flights SIZE // A loose double wrap allows the scarf to sit naturally over your shoulders without being too tight or too long. Scarf is 22″ wide and 32″ long. SUPERIOR FABRIC // The light polyester fabric is soft and buttery smooth and feels great to wear all day. LARGE POCKET // The large pocket is 8″ wide and 7″ deep. Roomy enough for your Passport Wallet, boarding pass, phone, maps, bike lock keys and any other valuables. LINED POCKET // The pocket is lined with a lighter complementary color with a custom Waypoint Goods Pattern so you can see what’s in your pocket and provide a fun accent pattern SECURE // The hidden pocket blends into the wide folds of the scarf eliminating the outline of your secure essentials TRAVEL TESTED // Rigorous testing, sampling, revising and retesting were done to bring you the infinity travel scarf that is everything you need and nothing you don’t GIFT READY // Because first impressions do matter, we created sleek packaging with same attention to detail and design inspiration as scarf itself.STYLING TIP // Place the pocket loop closest to your body and use the other loop to drape over the top and hide the pocket and contentsThis is the one that you have been waiting for. After all of the searching, you have found what you are looking for. Now you just need to plan your next adventure! Washing Instructions // Hand wash cold with mild detergent and lay flat to drySUPERIOR QUALITY // While other travel scarfs are made from flimsy fabric that is sewn poorly, a pocket that is too small and simply aren’t made to be a fashion accessory, the Waypoint Goods Travel Scarf is made from a soft yet durable fabric meticulously stitched with a pocket large enough to fit your iPhone+ with room for a passport, keys and some cash. This means travelling just got easier for you to keep your belonging safe, secure and inconspicuous while being fashion forward on the go EXPERIENCE MORE // No more clunky purses or awkward backpacks to get between you and your travel experience. Our Travel Scarf frees up your hands to be able to peruse fruit in the market, take that once in a lifetime photo, and explore a world class museum. Focus on the art, culture and where to next instead of worrying about pickpockets. SAFETY FIRST & FASHION FORWARD // Enjoy the freedom of knowing your belongings are safe, secure and in an unexpected location while still feeling your best, expressing your unique sense of style all while looking like a local instead of a tourist. No more pulling sweaty euros out of a money belt, just unzip your hidden scarf pocket and slip out your cash, cards, or keys. WHO WE ARE // Waypoint Goods is a boutique design studio believing in creating quality products for a modern traveller with a contemporary lifestyle. On the plane, to the show or to coffee, we make products that you can take anywhere and will hold up to your bold, adventurous lifestyle. We are real people who design products we want to use and expect nothing but the best. We don’t settle for less and neither should you. GIFT WORTHY // You know that person who is impossible to buy for? Well, you’re in luck! This is it! Give a gift that is as unique and functional for travel as it is for everyday life. From Graduations to Birthdays, Anniversaries to Christmas, a Travel Scarf is the perfect addition to anyone’s wardrobe and travel arsenal. Don’t worry, you won’t let them down. Save the day this Mother’s Day and give her something she will love!
I was a bit apprehensive towards doing a big road trip in Turkey. It’s a country I’ve not really travelled much, and it’s a country that doesn’t speak English. So, I’d be lying if I said there was no stress to planning the trip. However, it didn’t take me long to realize that most of my stresses were fairly unfounded. In fact, I would put Turkey right up there with other great road trip countries like Iceland, The US, and South Africa. The roads are good, the views are beautiful, and the people are fantastic.
To save you a bit of time, and to maybe ease some of your stresses, I’ve put together a complete guide to planning a road trip in Turkey below.
Where to Go
Planning where to go, in a country that you know very little about can be a little bit overwhelming. I searched out some places, and then tied it all together. Below was my itinerary for Turkey, and it worked out really great.
Istanbul: You don’t need to start in Istanbul, but it makes most sense to. You can also fly into other places like Antalya if you prefer to be in that area. But, Istanbul is such a great city, you’ll definitely want a couple days here.
Cappadocia: I made the long drive to Cappadocia from Istanbul. It took me an entire day and there’s not all too much to see in between. You can also fly here, but the drive is nice, and it makes sense to get your longest day out of the way at the start. You probably need 2-3 full days here in Cappadocia, depending on how much hiking you want to do.
Antalya: From Cappadocia, I crossed south to Antalya. The city is beautiful, and definitely worth a couple days of your time.
Cirali: This beautiful little beach was a great stop. On the way here you can stop at the Phaselis Ruins and hidden beach. Then, just outside of town you can hike down the beach to the Olympos Ruins. If you’re around the right time of year, this is also a breeding beach for sea turtles. You’ll likely only need 1 or 2 nights here, depending on how much beach time you want.
Oludeniz: This was my favourite beach destination in Turkey. On the way here from Cirali, be sure to make a stop at the Myra Ruins. Also, the drive along the coast here alone is amazing. In Oludeniz, drive up Babadag Mountain, visit the Butterfly Valley, and spend some time chilling on the beach in the Lagoon. I spent 4 days here which was perfect.
Pamukkale: Another must-see in Turkey. I spent 2 nights here. I think that’s more than enough time. Spend an entire day exploring the geological site, ancient pool, and the ruins.
Cesme: Maybe my least favourite destination in Turkey, and you might be better off going to nearby Alacati instead. On the way here from Pamukkale, you should stop at the Efes Ruins which are some of the most impressive in Turkey.
Istanbul: Then, it’s a long drive back to Istanbul. It might be worth it to find another place to stop on the way to break up the long drive.
Ruins near pamukkale
Where to Stay?
One of the great things about travelling Turkey at the moment is there’s a really wide variety of accommodation options. In almost every destination you can find five star hotels, hostels, camping, and everything else in between. It really can suit anyone’s budget.
Personally, I think that the best value of accommodation in Turkey is likely found by staying at 3 star hotels and guesthouses. I stayed at plenty of boutique hotels along the way, as well, and feel like I got great value.
This, for example, is my favourite hotel in Istanbul. It’s right next to The Blue Mosque, and has a rooftop view of it. I mean, you really can’t get a better location in the city.
In Cappadocia, there are so many really cool places to stay. I recommend staying in Goreme. There’s a good mix of hotels, and some of them are really special. In fact, there are actually hotels and guesthouses built right into the caves.
Where to Get Your Car?
I partnered up with Auto Europe Rental Car for this road trip in Turkey, and I’m glad I did. They made things really easy, and their system makes sure you find the best price on a car. There are a lot of rental car agents at Ataturk Airport, but I’d highly recommend sorting out your rental car before you arrive so you’re not left with any surprises or struggles when you arrive. If you book on the AutoEurope.com system, you won’t have to do any price scouting, you’ll just need to plug in your dates and go.
Best part of having wheels in Turkey is being able to get to places like this!
What Type of Car Should I Get?
I had a Fiat Linea which definitely did the trick for me. The car was big enough to not feel tiny on the roads in Turkey, and also rugged enough to let me go off-road a bit. But, it also wasn’t too big to feel squeezed driving through some of the more narrow and packed roads through some of the towns. I think a mid-sized car like this is your best option. Lots of people in Turkey drive bigger cars that are like cube-shaped minivans, but I’d say the average car is mid-sized and it’s very appropriate for the country.
When’s the Best Time to Visit Turkey?
Right now, Turkey is struggling a bit with tourism. Conflict with Russia, and the global worry of terrorism has brought tourism down a lot this year. So, there’s not going to be that same massive high season in the summer. Still, I’d recommend the spring. It’s a bit rainier in April/May, but the weather is warm enough for the beach, and you’ll not have to contend with a lot of other tourists. Also, hotel rooms will be very inciting.
Best part of travelling off-season? Empty beaches.
What Happens in Case of an Accident?
If you get into an accident in Turkey, it’s required by law that you call the police. So, do that and you’ll fill out a police accident report. If you’re insured by your rental car company, it wont be an issue. So, be sure to get the insurance. It seems like the accident laws in Turkey come down to whom hit who, rather than who made the mistake. So, do take note of that. In a country like Turkey, I always recommend getting the proper insurance, it will save you a lot of stress.
What About Insurance?
I actually have an American Express card that covers my insurance on all rental cars – as long as I book the car with the card. So, check with your credit card to see if that’s something that you’re covered for.
And, if you don’t have personal travel insurance you should definitely have it to cover you in case of theft or personal accident. Personally, I recommend World Nomads.
Goreme at dusk.
Fuel is the least of your concerns on a road trip in Turkey. I was blown away by the number of gas stations along the road. It seemed like every 500m there was one. I never stressed about getting fuel, no matter where I was in the country. And, the gas stations are pretty fantastic. Most of them have a little market, and restaurant as well.
Do I Need GPS?
I’d say yes. But, I got around not having a GPS by using cell data. Upon arrival at Ataturk airport I went to the Turkcell stand and got a SIM card with 10GB worth of cell phone data, and then just used google maps GPS to get around. It was really easy, and I don’t think I could have gotten around without it. You can add a GPS system from your rental car company, but the costs are pretty high (like $8usd a day), so you’re better off just getting data on your phone.
Get off the highway and onto some of these beautiful back roads in Turkey.
How Much Distance Can I cover in a Day?
Most of the roads in Turkey are very good, and it’s easy to cover a lot of distance in a day. It is worth noting, though, that lots of their highways spend a lot of time in urban areas where there are traffic lights and places you need to slow down. So, you can’t always be driving 120 km/h.
I would say that if you’re willing to drive a lot, 600-700km in one day is a lot, but do-able. I’d say that for the most part you can average 90-100 km per/hour in Turkey, so keep that in mind.
What are the Costs of Travel in Turkey?
Price of Fuel in Turkey: When I travelled Turkey in April 2016, the price of unleaded gasoline was 1.35 Euros per liter. I had a car that ran on diesel and the price was a little less at 1.05 Euros per liter. The price varies a bit depending on the location, but those were about the averages.
Price of Hotels in Turkey: Again, tourism is low right now in Turkey, so when I was there the price of accommodation was very low. I stayed in nice hotels the whole way and spent about 20-30 Euros a night. I’m guessing that when tourism is up again, those numbers would be closer to 50-70 Euros a night. There are, however, lots of cheap options like hostels and guesthouses even in the high season.
Price of Food in Turkey: I was a bit surprised about the price of food in Turkey. I found it a bit expensive. The average meal was about 15-25 Lira, which is about 6-10 Euros.
Beware of turtles. I almost ran over this poor fella near Antalya.
Recommendations for Safe Driving in Turkey
Just some quick tips for driving in Turkey:
Shoulder check: Drivers in Turkey can come out of nowhere. Sometimes, to beat traffic they’ll try to squeeze through where they shouldn’t. So, even if it seems like a silly thing to do, shoulder check constantly before every movement you make.
People don’t stay in the lines: Drivers don’t stay between the lines, especially rounding corners. So, be conscious of that. And, there are a lot of distracted drivers on cell phones. If people are driving out of the lines, don’t be afraid to hit the horn to let them know you’re about to pass.
Don’t get reckless: It’s easy in Turkey to fall in the trap of driving as fast as some of the locals do, but that’s just not smart. You don’t know the roads, so drive within the limits.
Speed traps: There are lots of photo radar speed traps and speed cameras on the roads in Turkey. They are pretty easy to spot though, but just be on the lookout of them.
Police checkpoints: At the entrance to basically every town there is a police checkpoint right now. Usually, they just wave you through. But, be on the lookout for them, and be sure to drive through them really slowly.
Slow moving vehicles: Even on the big highways which have a speed limit of 120 km per/h you’ll run into slow moving vehicles in Turkey. They stay to the sides, but sometimes they seem like they come out of nowhere, and often just dart into the highway from seemingly nowhere. So, keep an eye out for them.
What’s Next on the Travel Photography Blog?
I’ve got a couple more articles from Turkey, and then I’m off to the US for a bit as I am joining the inaugural trip to the Dominican Republic with Fathom Travel. Stay Tuned, and don’t forget to check out my Vlog over on YouTube for daily content as well!
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Ever since I spent July in northern Norway a couple years ago, I’ve become obsessed with midnight sun photography. It’s just such a fascinating thing. I mean, the sun literally doesn’t set for about 2 months in the Lofoten Islands. And from a photography standpoint, the app PhotoPills says that at the end of June – the month we visited on this trip – golden “hour” starts at 10pm and runs until 3:30am. I’d argue that it’s closer to 8pm – 5am.
I mean, the light is just unreal basically all night.
What I love most about photographing the midnight sun isn’t just the light; it’s the absurdity of having these places to yourself.
In most popular travel destinations, the iconic locations are often swarmed with self-takers and tourists. But how many tourists decide to go out and take pictures at 2am?
The result is a perfect bit of solitude at some of the most visited places in the Lofoten Islands.
In this blog post, I’m going to walk you through some of the highlights of the photography workshop we ran in Norway. It was incredible.
Midnight Hike in Brensholmen
Before my workshop participants arrived, I wanted to scout out a photography location that I hadn’t been before. Brensholmen is a town basically straight west of Tromso. Just outside of town, there’s a small hike up to a beautiful view of the coast. I thought it would be the perfect place to watch the midnight sun hover over the horizon.
I wasn’t really planning on taking pictures. But, it was such a fascinating thing to be able to photograph into the sun at 1 in the morning that I couldn’t resist.
Directly into the sun. I used two exposures blended to fix the exposure issue.
I also go my drone up. And I know it’s getting old, but how often can you fly a drone and capture beautiful landscape imagery at 1am? At the end of it, I think my drone image of this boat heading out on a midnight cruise is my favourite photo of the shoot.
After taking some pictures directly into the midnight sun, I decided to take a longer lens out of my camera bag and try to capture some details of the landscape and sea. The next image was made using the Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6. I also used a hard grad ND filter to hold in the light on the sky.
Sheep on a Beach with James Popsys
After sleeping from about 3am to 11am, I woke up to greet the participants of my workshop.
I also scooped James Popsys up from the airport. If you don’t know James, go check out his photography channel on YouTube. He’s a character, great photographer, and just a good dude to have around. I asked James to join this trip as a space opened up by a cancellation. He was awesome to have on the trip.
With James and the squad, we rolled down the famous E6 highway to the Lofoten Islands.
If you follow James’ channel, you know there are a couple running jokes. One of those jokes is that James never uses a tripod. The other is that he loves sheep. On our first shoot in The Lofoten Islands I did catch him using a tripod – so that might be an exaggeration. But, a group of sheep on the beach did seem to gravitate to him – so I’d say that theory has been proven.
As it was out first photo shoot out on the islands, we decided to take things pretty easy. I wandered around with some of the participants to make sure they were getting good images. And, honestly, the light wasn’t anything to write home about, so we were pretty chilled.
Eventually, though, we got a really brief window of good light and I managed to capture an image I really like. The below photo was taken at f/11, 0.5seconds, iso100, @34mm. I used a 4 stop medium grad ND filter.
An Epic Window of Light
Honestly, on these photography tours we often spend a lot of time driving around chasing light. Sometimes it works out really well, and other times you spend a whole day driving around in the rain. On the second full day of the tour, we were doing the later.
It rained for the first 2 or 3 hours we were out exploring, and it was starting to look like the evening could be a bust.
Then, almost out of nowhere, the light really started hammering through the clouds and left the whole Reine area of the Lofoten Islands bathed in soft light and colour. It was phenomenal. For a solid 2 hours we ran around capturing images. I think it might have been the widest variety of images I’ve ever captured in such a short period of time.
It all started with some moody light where I was trying out James’ skill of taking pictures without a tripod.
Then, just as I was prepping to take moody pictures to compensate for the lack of good light. This happened.
And from the same spot I photographed the above picture, I pulled out a long lens and captured the below photo. If you look at the top image, can you see the cabin from below?
Panning to the right, again from the exact same standing point, I found this beautiful scene and the light pummeling through the scene beautifully.
James had spotted a series of cliffs not far away that he was dying to photograph, so we popped in our van and headed just south of Reine. Sure enough, there was another photo to be made.
And, seriously, have you ever seen clouds like this?
After that, we thought that the light might die on us. And, as we drove back across Reine towards Hamnoy rain started to hit us pretty heavily. But, while we were there we thought it was probably clever to see if we could capture an image of the classic view from Hamnoy Bridge. And, as we set up tripods in the rain, that incredible back-light came back.
If that wasn’t enough, as we drove home the light decided to come out for us again at Skagsanden Beach. I’m not really a fan of the photo I made, but you can’t fault the light.
The Coolest Soccer Field in The World
With the weather not looking great for the next couple days, we chose to do some exploring.
In photography, it’s pretty easy to get hung up on the idea of “good light” and the right weather. I think we often get stubborn and choose specific places we want to photograph rather than just wandering. But, wandering often leads to the best images.
So, we wandered.
Eventually, our wandering took us to the town of Henningsvær which is one of the more popular destinations in the Northern Lofoten Islands for tourists. And while it is beautiful, the reason that we came here was for the football field. The pitch is stuffed down onto a small slab of earth surrounded by the sea. The only way to get a real appreciation for it is via some aerial photography. So, I got my drone up.
After leaving Henningsvær, we started to make our way back to Leknes in a light drizzle of rain. But, James spotted a cabin on the drive in, so we hunted it down for some photos.
And while this location isn’t obviously spectacular, it does make for some beautiful photos. I think all the participants got a really cool image here.
The Stupidest Landscape Photography Challenge in the History of Ever
I’m going to drop the video of this landscape photography challenge below because it’s a little bit ridiculous.
Essentially, I’ve started to find a lot of fun in these challenges. I think it forces me out of my creativity box and makes me re-work my thinking. However, a lot of the challenges I’ve done recently have been pretty basic. So, I asked the participants in the workshop to come up with something borderline means. And, yeah, I got one.
The challenge was to make a photo of a seascape with my feet in the water. Seems simple right? Of course, the kicker was that I had to do it with a 10-stop ND filter.
Of course, being the competitive person I am, it wasn’t really enough to just take a photo, I wanted a good one.
So, I painfully stepped down the rocks and into the sea near Reine to grab an image. I spent about 10 minutes in the water screaming like a small child. It was painful, but I do think the image kind of works.
What a Send Off!
On the 7th day of Christmas – err, the photography trip – we were rewarded with about 8 hours worth of golden hour.
It wasn’t perfect We did have to wait through little downpours of rain. But it was pretty spectacular.
As it was the last day of the trip, I basically asked all the other photographers which area of the Lofoten they wanted to spend their time in. They all chose the south. So, we headed down to the Reine and Hamnoy area once again.
I should have known we were in for a treat when at 630pm as we headed south we already stopped to take photos at a viewpoint near Ramberg. The light was sort of shooting through the clouds and hitting the hills in a really crisp and dreamy way. We couldn’t resist a photo.
As we headed south, we stopped in Sakrisoy which is actually one of my favourite places in the Lofoten Islands for photography. It’s right next to the classic views of Hamnoy, but I feel like there’s way more to work with from a composition stand point here.
And, again, the light didn’t disappoint.
There was a point, though, that the light almost got a bit frustrating. Not that it wasn’t beautiful, but it was just in the wrong place.
I found a beautiful scene of some cabins along the water, but there was a massive wooden fish rack totally blocking the scene.
So, I got a little bit creative and decided to use the structure to work as a frame for my image. I dialed down the aperture to about f/4 for this image to help blur hour the frame, and push the eye’s focus onto the cabins and the light.
And, it wouldn’t be a photography trip to Norway without going to the classic viewpoint of Hamnoy at least 3 times. So, once again we headed down.
I think I made the mistake on the last trip of believing that the only really powerful image of Hamnoy is from on top of the bridge. In reality, there’s a really beautiful couple images too be made from lower down. In fact, we climbed just below the bridge onto the rocks for the image below.
It works really well because of the direction of the lines on the rocks that lead the eye into the cabins and then up to the mountain.
While we were photographing Hamnoy, the weather turned on us and it started to rain again. So, we decided that with 3 or 4 really nice images in the bag from the evening we’d start to make our way home.
Then, on the way home, the light decided it wasn’t done being epic.
Somewhere near Ramberg, we pulled off at the side of the road and wandered down to the sea to capture one last seascape on the Lofoten Islands before calling it a trip.
If you’ve been following the YouTube channel you know that I did something crazy this week. Nothing’s finalized, but it looks like we’re going to be based in Portugal from next year onward, which is exciting.
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