Trip Report Lofoten in winter and autumn
Guest blog by Ingo Schobert
Recently I had the great pleasure of travelling with Amazing Views to Norway’s Lofoten Islands, and not only once but twice within 4 months. The first time was for the “Autumn Colors and Northern Lights” tour, in October of 2019, the second time was just now, February 2020, for the “Winter’s Dream and Northern Lights” tour. Both tours were led by Jennifer Brühlmann, Founder and Co-Owner of Amazing Views Photo & Adventures Tours and by Cody Duncan, an American professional Photographer who visited the Lofoten Islands for the first time in 2001 and is living there since 2016.
Participants Photo Tour Lofoten Autumn Colors and Lofoten Winter’s Dream, October 2019 and February 2020
Enough reviews have been written about Amazing Views fantastic Tours all over the world, and these Lofoten tours are not any different, being well planned and beautifully executed, with caring leadership. Both Cody and Jennifer were going way beyond the normal requirements of a tour guide. No matter what the individual guest’s level of photographic knowledge was, they always had some helpful tips on how to improve even further. Accommodations and general needs, like meals etc., were the same for both trips, and well taken care of.
Instead, I will answer the question I recently was asked the most, namely which of the two trips, Fall or Winter, I liked more. And I give you the short answer upfront, it is “Both!”. Given that leadership and accommodations etc. are the same, the differences are mostly in the daily photographic activities and availabilities of accessible and photogenic locations.
Fall and Winter offer unique perspectives, the latter showing here with a storm approaching
In general, the Fall landscapes are more colorful, displaying the rich autumn yellow to red/brown tones, while the Winter shots bring much more structure to the snow-covered mountains. But, from the beginning! Immediately after getting off the plane in Winter the first difference to Fall becomes apparent; all is white! And it’s beautiful and exciting to just look at all these mountains in white. Right thereafter, after getting into the cars, the other side of snow cover, and Winter overall, becomes apparent, namely the snowy and icy roads. On some days in Winter we had gale force winds creating snow drifts on the roads. On other days we had white-out conditions, with incredible amounts of snow falling rapidly. Fortunately, Cody and Jennifer are excellent drivers! The weather in the Fall was much more moderate, with an occasional downpour of rain that resulted in beautiful rainbows.
The accommodations near Reine, during Evening in Fall and Daytime in Winter
After having spent a few days on the Winter trip, another difference to the Fall trip becomes obvious; the options of shooting locations. Some of the most beautiful locations that offer splendid reflections of the landscape in lakes and still waters are buried under snow in the Winter. During the Fall, these spots where the highlights of the excursions. OK, one of the highlights, at least. It is also much easier to reach the desired shooting locations when you don’t have to march through at least ankle high, if not knee high or higher, snow, possibly while wearing crampons. Interestingly, the number of times I fell on my rear-end was about the same on both tours, slippery rocks and slopes are present in the Fall as well!
Similar photos of the rugged coastline in their seasons
Lastly, I was surprised how many tourists, mostly photographers, where there in the Wintertime. I would estimate at least twice to three times the numbers I had seen in the Fall, making the latter an insider tip for people that don’t like to share shooting locations with other photographers. The temperature difference between the seasons was not very high, we dipped below freezing usually at nights in the Fall, in the Winter it was plus/minus two degrees Celsius most of the time. Oh, did I mention avalanches already? The chance that you will be in one in the Winter seems extremely slim, but you might feel the impact of traffic re-routing and such. The influence of the weather on traffic extends also to the air, a cancelled flight anywhere on the way to and from Leknes is more likely during the Winter, but the sight out of the airplane window makes up for it.
Sites that have only been visited in one season, for reflections and awe respectively
To sum it up, I was blessed to have been with Amazing Views on both trips, Fall and Winter, and I can only recommend this experience to everybody who likes rugged coastlines, dramatic skies, serene locations, rapid weather changes, and a professional and friendly leadership in Jennifer and Cody. I had a blast!
Northern lights in autumn and in winter
This guest blog was written by Ingo Schobert, participant of the photo trips Lofoten Autumn in October 2019 and Lofoten Winter in February 2020. We thank Ingo for this great trip report! Visit his website to get an insight into his photography projects: www.ingoschobert.com