For those of you who have been following the blog a little while you’ll know that I went to Norway back in 2015 and part of that trip included travelling from Bergen up through the fjords to Tromso. Since then the Norweigan fjords have remained one of the most spectacular places I’ve ever visited and in the spirit of celebrating the fact that I will be returning to get a glimpse of them in April (more on that later) I wanted to share a little bit about how to best experience this magical area of the world and capture it on camera.
If you’re passionate about photography then this one is definitely for you, but even if you’re just interested in making your friends jealous with your holiday snaps when you get home or for some reason need convincing to book a trip to one of the most stunning destinations in Europe then read on…
Taking great travel photos takes time…
If you’ve ever been on a trip with someone who takes MANY photos then you’ll know you’re never going to get anywhere quickly. My friends can vouch for this, when I went to Rome I think it took us three times as long to get to our destination each day because I had to keep stopping to take a photograph of “another fountain”… and this is just the situation with a casual hobbyist, when it comes to more serious photographers you have to factor in the time it takes to set up the perfect shot and adjust the settings on a DSLR! You might in fact classify any trip taken for the purpose of photography as slow travel.
I’m a huge fan of slow travel in general, which you might think is a little strange as currently most of the trips I take have to fit around my full-time job and are only a few days long. Whilst my itinerary can often seem anything but slow, I always aim to travel by the fundamental principle of slow travel, which is to try to immerse myself in the local culture and nature of a destination to experience it as authentically as possible… and of course I always slow way down to take lots of photographs!
…and the Norweigan fjords were made for taking it slow
Really when it comes to visiting the Norweigan fjords there is no way better than the slow travel way. Not only do you need the time to take more photographs than you could possibly imagine (best to just embrace the inevitability of this fact) but you also need sufficient time to stop and take in the wonder of your surroundings.
Slow travel is pretty big in Norway (you might have seen the Norweigan slow travel sleigh ride programme on the BBC at Christmas) and it’s not surprising because the landscape of the country really inspires it.
As I mentioned, we travelled by boat on our fjords trip but were I to revisit I would definitely choose to focus on one small region and spend more time taking in the scenery and doing some hiking in the area… there’s no better place in Europe to experience nature.
If you’re looking into this possibility, an option would be to take a trip with the slow travel company Inntravel, who run holidays in Europe that allow you to independently explore a region whilst transporting your luggage between stops on your walking route – they have a couple of trips specifically to areas of the Norweigan fjords that look particularly idyllic.
Do you really need more convincing to choose Norway?
Landscapes galore, the Norweigan fjords aren’t just cliffs and vast expanses of water, you’ll find stand out features such as houses and little towns dotted about the dramatic mountains, lighthouses, waterfalls and other boats to give your photos a sense of scale and a focal point.
One of my favourites, and one of the most popular, fjord locations is Geirangerfjord where you’ll have a chance to see the spectacular seven sisters waterfall consisting of, you guessed it, seven different waterfall streams.
The light in the fjords can work either for or against you and on our trip, despite it being the summer, we were plagued with a lot of white cloud, which plays havoc when you’re trying to get the contrast right on a photograph. However, sunlight and cloud coverage can also prove a feature, sometimes highlighting the tops of mountains or appearing in interesting formations across the sky. Another perk of slow travelling is that you’ll have more control over what time of the day you take your photos and also time to wait if you see the sun about to move into the perfect spot.
One final huge factor that makes the Norweigan fjords the perfect photography destination is the lack of people. You know how usually when you visit a popular tourist destination it’s a struggle to not have someone walk in front of your perfect shot wearing a bright red jacket? The likelihood of that happening in this area is almost none. However, I do sometimes like to add a little something else into my landscape shots and in the case of the photo above the result ended up being one of my favourites from the trip. I took two versions of this photo, one with and one without the boat in shot, but I actually ended up preferring this one… one thing I have learnt about photography is that it is always worth experimenting.
Where was your favourite travel photograph taken? Also let me know the most scenic places in Europe you’d recommend for a photography trip – I am always looking for recommendations!
This post was created in collaboration with Inntravel, all words and opinions remain my own.