Made-Up Bits

a personal blog, by Sven Seebeck -

A Short Trip to Kukkolankoski

Kukkolankoski, 22 o’clock. The alarm shrieks me out of my dreams and I realize that I napped at least a few hours in the front seat of my old and trusted Toyota.

In two days we’re heading out to the Lofoten islands and I used the day to get some missing items for that trip. As I’m already in Sweden I revisited this location, called Kukkolankoski. I have been here once before in bad weather on the road to Norway last year and decided to return today as I was already quite close.

I arrived a few hours ago and explored the location still hoping for the light to improve. I left home in beautiful sunlight, but the more to the north I came the worse the conditions got. It’s not an easy place to shoot, or better to compose. The main attraction, an old pier which was built for fishing purposes, is so low, that framing it in a dramatic way seems to be impossible. After some experimenting prior to my nap I think I found a decent angle though.

Also I found another composition featuring the shore line with an older house in background to be a pleasing composition. All I need now is better light and hopefully some drama in the sky.

A look into the rear mirror after waking up from my nap makes me optimistic about this evening’s shooting. The light is getting warmer and the previously grey sky has disappeared in favour of clouds which now only have to be illuminated nicely by the evening sun.

With all different kinds of more or less nasty bugs around me, I proceed to my previously scouted viewpoint. The sun is still at a slightly unfortunate position and I spent some time catching a few detail images of the old huts at this location. Especially the reflections in a window got my attention. The image is surprisingly difficult to achieve as I have to get into a higher position. A box which I found next to it gives me the angle that I was looking for.

By now the position of the sun has changed enough to make my previously planned image possible. Still, the dynamic range between the foreground and the sky behind the house is too big. It turns out that I will not succeed with filters on this image and decide to blend two exposures in Photoshop. An option of which I will have to take advantage of a little later at the desired pier.

Image done and I proceed to the pier. The setting sun beautifully lights the wood but somehow the shot is not working. I will have to merge images again. I take my images and proceed. I planned to leave the location and look for something interesting along the way home when I spot that house on the other side of the river. It is beautifully lit buy the setting sun and has wonderfully coloured clouds above it.

Quickly I set up my tripod, switch to my 70-200 lens, attach the filters and compose. A look at the preview on the back of my camera tells me that I managed to get a pleasing composition and exposure. I stay around, accompanied by mosquitos, and wait for the light to return and the clouds to move a little. But it’s not happening.

Satisfied I head home, looking forward to import the images into Aperture and see the result. The sky is beautifully lit by the midnight sun all the way home. Now looking forward to the next trip to the Lofoten in a few days.

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