8400 kilometers by car, many kilometers on foot in wild nature. Swamps, sand, stones or snow underfoot. Wind, cold, rain, heat, tons of sweat and sometimes wonderful midnight sunset. Tuna for lunch and for dinner as well. Simply one month in the north in a good company and with camera swinging on the shoulder.
As evening falls, heavy clouds come in from the west and raise hell over the summit of Nørdre Smedhamran. I like this peak, not only in the atmosphere of a snow storm. The gradual, snow-covered slopes contrast sharply with the black perpendicular wall that falls down to the east. The mountain itself is magically dramatic. I wait for the right moment when the clouds part slightly.
Evening by the Dørålstjørnin lakes
Most of the lakes on the Dørålstjørnin plateau are quite large and the opposite shores are far away. The most beautiful lake, small and hidden, needs a bit of searching. It will reward you with a line of trees on the opposite shore, in autumn with beautifully coloured crowns. With a bit of luck, the leaves remain on the trees, while the distant peaks are already covered with snow. The wind remains the greatest enemy then, brushing the water's surface and destroying the desired reflection of the dramatic mountains.
As evening approaches, the sun plays a game of lights and shadows on the Rondane peaks. It highlights the texture of the rock ribs and enhances the whiteness of the snow cover. In the late afternoon, it shines right onto the eastern summit of Midtronden.
Autumn in Rondane
Colourful autumn in the valley and winter on the snowy peaks. The Rondane mountains could not have put on a more perfect show. The distinctive Midtronden peak from the Døråldalen valley. An afternoon accompanied by a bitter cold wind that at least blew the clouds away.
Roots of Heimveitjønna
Where the single trees slowly give way to an orange grove, the blue-tinged surface of lake Heimveitjønna glistens. With the last of my strength, I force myself to snap a few pictures. At that moment, I still don't realise how perfect the blue hour is and what a magical melancholy the calm water surface creates. I click a few compositions that seem good enough and look forward to the tent. I like this one the best. The roots provide a counterbalance to the slopes of Mount Stor Svuku in the background, while the colorful treetops offset the dark water surface.
First sunrays on Stor Svuku
The morning is really cold for the first time, the birch trees around the lake are dropping leaves by the dozen. It's almost as if autumn had said goodbye the previous evening and winter had taken over Femundsmarka by morning. Just after dawn, the sun shows itself for a few more moments and even touches the summit of Stor Svuku. The surface of Heimveitjønna lake remains calm.
A bizarre and beautiful place in the middle of the tundra - Oasen. Two streams meet at one point and divide again at the same point. The twisted trees and red stands of blueberries. You have to wait for the light, but when it comes, the Nordic landscape is totally worth it.
Return to my dream place in the middle of Femundsmarka. An oasis in the tundra consisting of a small lake and a birch grove. Nothing but rocks and low bushes all around. Waiting for the light that miraculously comes and lights up the tree tops with bright colours.
Birches at Oasen
The weather calms down for once so there is an opportunity to explore Oasen and its surroundings. It's definitely not just about two most beautiful views. There are interesting compositions along the stream and especially in the lower part below the lake. Here, the thin birch trunks twist strangely and the ground is covered with a fluffy moss canopy. Paradise!
Fluffy moss canopies
The stream flowing out of the lake at Oasen cuts its way through a birch grove. Perhaps it is the presence of water that has here transformed the tundra into an idyllic place dotted with rounded green canopies. A big surprise on the most beautiful place in Femundsmarka.
Evenings in tundra
With just a little sun, Femundsmarka takes on a whole new character. The golden sunlight on the slopes above the Grøtåa valley. And endless freedom. There are trails here, some marked, but going straight without any path unless complete darkness falls brings a more intense experience.
Femundsmarka after rain
The slopes of the distant mountains disappear in the grey mist of rain with dramatic speed, after a while only the grey wall of water is visible. We set up our tent in an emergency. We make it just in time, no sooner do we get inside than a wave of rain sweeps over us. But in the end it is not as threatening as it seemed at first and within half an hour the rain leaves. And it leaves in style. Suddenly the sun peeks out - the first time we see Femundsmarka in the sunshine! Farther north, dark clouds are driving in, but the surrounding tundra is bathed in rays of light and a rainbow arches over it all.
Green mirage on Røvoltjønnan
Already from afar shines this exceptional place at the beginning of the Røvoltjønnan lake plateau. Like a mirage, the stream with luminous green mossy bed makes its way through the birch grove. An exceptional sight in an autumn landscape awash with orange tones.
Swamps at Røvoltjønnan
A moment without rain on the Røvoltjønnan lake plateau. Here, the tundra turns into swamps and the swamps into lakes. Crossing the plains with dry feet is practically impossible. With autumn, the swamps dip into muted tones of orange and brown. This also makes it seem somewhat gloomy. A lone tree in the distance catches my eye and I take this picture at the very moment the weak rays of the sun touch the slopes of the distant mountain.
Oasen at dusk
A place I dreamt of, an oasis in the middle of the tundra. We are greeted by heavy rain and strong wind. But fears that the line of trees behind the pond will be devoid of leaves are dispelled. The trees are still holding their colorful leaves, the timing couldn't be better. I just wait for a moment without rain, which comes shortly after dusk. Only the water surface remains restless.
Swamps on the slopes of the prominent peak of Stor-Svuku. Here the forest ends and the true face of the Femundsmarka is revealed: lonely twisted birch trees withstanding strong winds, ubiquitous lakes and tundra in autumn colours. I like this place, I would like to stay, but the best of this landscape barely starts here.
The perfect tree
On Gråvola hill, the tundra is bursting with incredible colours. Tones of orange and red are all around. The wind whips against the solitary birch trees and rustles in their crowns. This double-trunked tree must be the most beautiful far and wide. Dark rain clouds add to the remote atmosphere.
The first tundra plains of Femundsmarka. Autumn in peak colours. Here and there, a lone twisted birch tree rise from the plains, its crown sometimes coloured more orange and sometimes red. Underneath it all are dwarf birches and red bilberry trees.
The yellow treetops of the dense forest part for a moment and the water surface glistens between the trunks. Ristjønnan lakes. A place that hadn't seemed interesting according to the map, but one that surprised. Colourful trees all around and an eerie calmness add to the unique melancholic atmosphere.
Forests of Femundsmarka
Deep forests in the lower parts of Femundsmarka. Pines gradually give way to birch trees, whose golden crowns shine through the otherwise gloomy day. We cross a wild stream, forest here is full of blueberries and cranberries. The berries are good, which means it hasn't significantly frozen yet.
Main valley which leads from Spiterstulen hut into the heart of Jotunheimen National park. You can follow trails leading into both left and right valleys depicted in this shot. Up there everything was still covered in snow.
Best campsite ever
Our campsite (visible below the snow on the right side) with view over river Storåe towards Gjendebu. Strong wind made setting our tents quite hard but some effort was worth the view.
Land of giants
Cold evening in the highest mountains of Norway. We built our campsite in the middle of nowhere purposely on higher spot with nice view. This way once I got out of the tent I could immediately take shots as I already was on fabulous place.
Mountains over Gjendebu
Knutsholstinden and Mesmogtinden in last light around 10 p.m. Lake in the foreground is called Hellertjønne and the valley behind it leads to famous Gjendebu hut.
It was cold wind blowing that evening but I stayed looking for best views around our campsite in the heart of mountains. Waters of Langvatnet nicely reflected the brigth part of sky which seemed interesting enough to me to capture.
Clouds were moving fast and scenery changed in every minute. Sun shone only on the distant mountains and the rest of land stayed in cold shadow. Shot from viewpoint Dalsnibba, stitched from 8 original shots.
Lake Djupvatnet lies just 1000 meters above sea level but this year lakes remained frozen even at this altitude. Colors were exceptionally bright and vivid which prepared this shot stitched from 6 original images.
Walking in Trolls mountains of Reinheimen to the tallest vertical rock face in Europe Trollveggen we hiked along this small cold lagoon. Its color seemed so exceptional in the land of snow and stone. I tried to remember it to reproduce it accuratelly later on pc.
Even when the best part of this sunset was over the scenery stayed dreamy. It was not hard to imagine some troll walking down the mountains. View over Alnesvatnet lake to Bispen and Trollstigen road. 4 vertical stitched images.
I called this image after Norse mythology twilight of the gods as it was the best sunset I experienced in Norway. When mountains (specifically those on the right side of this picture) turned red I knew there is limited time to get to better location than was our campsite. We left our things on the spot and drove to higher place with view to Bispen and Kongen mountains.
Mountains close to famous Trollstigen on the way to our camping site. Sky was nicely colorful and river added some foreground interest. 5 vertical stitched images.
Main Lofoten islands one after another. At midnight colors started to get more appealing and distant islands slightly faded away.
Vassdalsvikka peninsula where we set up our tents offers nice view towards Reine. By the time we were enjoying our dinner, sun almost hid behind nearby mountains and only remaining soft light painted the cliffs.
In spring, Lofoten islands are covered in dried cods. Later you may encounter even more decadent scenery as only heads are left - those are later sold to Africa.
Red fishermans houses in Reine and warm evening sun. Resting after hiking can not be more pleasant.
Sunset on Lofoten islands in summer lasts for hours. It actually never ends - it just transforms into sunrise. View towards Kjerkfjorden and Helvetestinden over fisherman village of Reine.
If you decide to visit Horseid beach you can choose an easier path from Kjerkfjorden or an harder one crossing Fageråskaret pass. The latter one will lead you 500 vertical meters up and straight away down and will reward you with wonderful views if you are lucky enough to experience good weather.
Path from Selfjord to Markan leads along Fageråvatnet lake. It offers nice views towards near Lofoten summits but is occupied by tons of mosquitoes in summer. 5 vertical shots.
Lofoten island are probably not famous for its beaches but these seem to be one of the best places to visit. If you decide to overnight there, you will probably experience heavy winds as it is usually windy at night. However in the morning you are rewarded with one of the best wakeups one can imagine.
Rivers in Rago national park create pure wild scenery and steep rocky hills allow you to see it all from above. Tjønnmoa meander on the river Nordfjordelva as seen from way to Litlverivassfossen.
All from Rago
Rocky hills, forests, rivers, swamps, lakes and waterfalls, that is what is Rago about. Shot taken near highest waterfall Litlverivassfossen. You cas see small bridge crossing it close to the lake on the right side.
Storskogvatnet midnight sun
Staying at self-service Storskogvasshytta for night in the middle of Rago national park allowed me to shoot colorful sunset over Storskogvatnet lake. It was almost midnight when I took this photo as Rago lies beyond the Arctic Circle.
Landscape in Dovrefjell–Sunndalsfjella National Park during ascent to Snøhetta summit. Due to recent rains this hike ended early at some uncrossable river. Still it was an unordinary experience.
First and last sunset seen in Rondane mountains. Next morning our tent was trapped in heavy rain and there were no mountais visible at all.