View Full Version : Shooting recommendations in Norway?

13-Jun-2005, 12:57
I'm planning a trip to Norway for this September, bringing along the 4x5, renting a car. Can anyone suggest places I shouldn't miss? I don't plan on going any farther north than Trondheim. This is my first trip to mainland Scandinavia; the closest I've been so far is Iceland and the Shetlands.


george jiri loun
13-Jun-2005, 14:58
Are you sure you got right the month?? If such is the case I strongly suggest one place you should not miss - under your umbrella... (especially going through Dovrefjell on your way to Trondheim.) Sorry, I couldn't hold myself ;-)

Armin Seeholzer
13-Jun-2005, 16:06
Ask Ole Tjungen he is from Norway!

Ole Tjugen
13-Jun-2005, 23:35
It's all very simple: Don't miss the west coast. Any time of year. But also remember that the "coast" goes 200km inland, and the climate changes all the way!

Just about any place between Bergen and Trondheim is a "don't miss". Midway between the two is Nordfjord: The innermost village there is Loen, where I shot the following picture last September:

www.bruraholo.no/images/Lodalen_GF.jpg (http://www.bruraholo.no/images/Lodalen_GF.jpg)

Home page www.bruraholo.no/tomler (http://www.bruraholo.no/tomler)

Struan Gray
14-Jun-2005, 00:48
September is great. What do you like to photograph?

Between Trondheim and Mo i Rana is nearly a thousand kilometers of coastline that doesn't get a single mention in any of my guidebooks. That's where I'd go.

14-Jun-2005, 08:50
What I normally shoot is cityscapes and urban decay; on vacation, I look for something different, like dramatic scenery and weather, and ancient architecture.

Given George's crack, maybe I'll try to move up my date a bit, maybe to mid-August...

Ole Tjugen
14-Jun-2005, 09:56
Dramatic scenery and equally dramatic weather - yep, you're coming to the right place for that!

Give me a call/email when you have decided on a date, I might be available to give you a tour (and desperate for another LF'er to talk to)!

tor kviljo
14-Jun-2005, 11:38
If You intend to travel also somewhat in from the coast, september is just perfect. Going into the mountain-range of Dovre (along the road from Trondheim to Oslo - and also the area where the musk-ox lives) you will usually have had sub-zero temperatures and the most perfect colors in the birch-dominated upper woodlands. Just south of Dovre (hjerkinn - start noting names...), You will be able to travel more to the east, to get in touch with the rather dramatic central mountain-area of Rondane - THE favourite autum-spot for norwegian nature-photographers-club (Bio-foto). Exceedingly beautiful - and much more so in autum than during summer. Vegetation is birch & rypebŠr (grouse-berries - direct translation...) = entire hillside dominated by strong yellow & strong red colors - mountain range grey - snow typically about 6000 feet - aaaaahh - beautiful spot to visit in (late) september.

Traveling in september: priority on the interior & mountain-ranges - colors is later & never as intense in the coastal area (color intensity of decidous in Norway is a factor of "chilliness" - the more intense cold the first cold nights is - the better yellow on birch & other decidous - in coastal range - the high water-temp due to the gulf stream retards the temp-change from summer to autum). Most accomodations in the mountains have their last service in september/late september, usually end of the reindeer-hunt, so check out. Ugly, expensive motels have year-round service.... Tenting: allowed everywhere - year round as long as You are not in the potato-field or on the lawn... Mobile homes: off-season you can have them for down to 1000 NOK ( US $$ 160 a day) ..... Rent-a-wreck: luckily found here & there in Norway (I have just reserved a small car at Rent-A-Wreck in Troms° for a week - for this years "sub-arctic - deserted houses" hunt with 5x7...) - typically NOK 200 a day (US $$ 30) + NOK 2,- pr. km. Since Dovre is along all-year open mountain-road - accomodation on venerable "Kongsvold fjellstue" or Hjerkinn tourist-home is all-year round, and the nearby small-cabin let on the ajactent camping-grounds is probably working out september as well.

Travelling in august: mountain-range nice but without the extras of september - coast nice & august one of the better monts for stable good weather (vestern part of Norway is generally RAINY....) Outside of trondheim & along coast southit's easy to travel with own car or local bus combined with fast-boats to the different islands. Some of the most interesting, i.e. Titran all the way out towards north sea with fast boats to small but habited islands of Sau°ya & Halten fyr ++ Further south Runde with colonies of puffin & bobeys (unsure about the writing: laaaarge all-white bird the size of large cormorants - stuka-diving fish-eater) beautiful scenery - easy accomodation (since the germans have discovered the place (& created the marked) - You can buy Deutche allgemeinte zeitung or whatever they call it...) . Get at least one tour on the fjords - Sognefjorden with add-ons contains most of the spectaculars - fast-boats from Bergen (city size of Trondheim but further south) . From Bergen - the train bring you over the mountain-range of Hardangervidda, so jump of at Finse (alt. 4500 ft) and spend a day or three here: two all-year accomodations, but the turistforeningen-hytte (trekkers association) is better located with view towards the glacier of Hardangerj°kulen (simpler & much cheaper accomodation but still all services + beer & vine). The expensive hotel is just along the rail-track. The railway-line from bergen over the mountains is a major attraction, and you should afford the trip even if you do not decide to stop at Finse, but 1 hr. walk to reach inside the blue glacier "blaaisen", very nice lakes, streams & waterfalls + rent a bike & travel along the railway-builders trail is good reasons to stop there - scenery si beautiful, although not as alpine/dramatic as the Rondane massif. Why train? - there is no road there - just the railroad-track... Leave your car in Bergen for the Finse & Sognefjorden trips.

Sorry for messy layout - just back from long days work - but head might be working better later (soon holliday) - don't hesitate to ask for info on areas & practical things if You think I can help. By the way - me & my friends autum-tour to Rondane region & vestern mountains is sceduled for one of the two last weeks of september, so if You are there at the same time - beer & map-guiding is within reach. A little nort of Rondane is the nicest accomodations though - renting one of the summerfarms at Vingelen: http://www.vingelen.com/tekst/t_o_ikkef.htm

Oh yea - forgot: Yes - I live in Norway - but all the way to the south - so I am a tourist myself when I go north to visit the central mountain ranges, the west-coast, Lofoten or the fjords - but I do it all the time (but it's killingly expensive up here - be prepared - & for heavens sake - bring Your own film! - 4x5 color is probably found in less than five shops in the whole country, & B & W is even scarcer. 120 film is readily available in bigger cities, but most stock only color neg's - velvia & other rev. stuff only in a few shops.)

So long!

george jiri loun
14-Jun-2005, 12:13
CXC, if you can don't hesitate to go mid -August to mid September. August is the month for connaisseur turists unlike July which is for the foreign turists. The weather is often bad for long periods of time, some areas are so unpredictible that the local folk doesn't even bother to care about it (Lofoten) but you can have nice some surprise too. The colors as tor says are a function of cold, but the weather in September is not at all as steady as in August. You must play it day by day and in the worst case be detached from it all... Sunndal (all the road from Oppdal to Sunndals÷ra) after you have passed through Dovrefjell is a charm - in good weather, sure. I know Norway from about more than 10 vacations there (for months under a tent) as I'm a Swedish citizen. It can be as incredible as you see on postcards and the clever Norwegian turist propaganda leaflets or just an endurance trip. And yes, I climbed Sn÷hetta, and both Nordre and S÷ndre Knutsh÷ in Dovre... (tor and Ole, did you?) And yes I got that bug that calls you back there to be lost on mountains as nowhere else in Europe. Good luck with your weather and let us know after!

george jiri loun
14-Jun-2005, 12:29
Oh, I forgot to mention - Sunndal is just what you like (the architecture). Once I was making a portfolio with different windows you can see on houses there. It's not known by many turist as they go right to Trondheim instead.

14-Jun-2005, 16:28

Thanks for the good info, especially about autumn colors in September. Here in California there is no native colorful autumn foliage, so I hadn't even considered that possibility. Exact departure date is dictated by external forces, but I still ponder the choice between less rain and more color.

Just one more question for you Scandinavians: which is your preferred marque of Aquavit?


Lars ┼ke Vinberg
14-Jun-2005, 23:35
I'm hoping to take a week in September as well to pop over the hills to Norway, thanks for all the tips!

tor kviljo
15-Jun-2005, 01:06
Hello CXC

((Best aquavit (is latin for "water of life".....) : L÷ytens linieaquavit ("linie" = crossed the equator: have been transported by ship for some monts from norway to australia & back, washing about in oak-barrels previously used for port-wine to gain it's special smoothness - still pretty strong taste, but not as strong as the danisk karveaquavit of Aalborg jubileum). For the evening: Gilde non plus ultra (no, it's not a new color-slide film - but the most exclusive of the norwegian aquavits...))

For the trip: there is produced a relatively rarge chunk of some useful & some not so useful tourist-info in english about the typical tourist spots to visit. Info on accomodation & maps etc. is quite useful. Start here: http://www.visitnorway.com/templates/NTRarticle.aspx?id=28715

So long!

Lars ┼ke Vinberg
15-Jun-2005, 01:24
Norwegian aquavit is, well, not bad...

Struan Gray
15-Jun-2005, 03:22
I once bought a packet of Nowegian whisky. Yes a packet - designed to be added to pure grain spirit to produce a true Scotch, indistinguishable from the real thing, and much cheaper. For a smooth taste it recommended filtering through a coffee filter. For a really smooth taste - as good as a malt - use two coffee filters.

The beer is worse.

The two areas I know well are Telemark and Lofoten, but having driven the length of the country a couple of times I can honestly say that you will find interesting landscape and small-town photographs everywhere. The big spectacular views are in all the guides if you want to go trophy hunting, but the entire country is gorgeous in a classical landscape sort of way.

I've never seen too much urban decay, except for whaling stations and they are mostly further north than you want to go. Oslo is a lovely city, with a lot of interesting early C20th architecture. Then there are the Stave Churches ('How do you stop them rotting?', 'We paint them'.) and somewhere out on the West Fjordland is a simply magical town, rebuilt after the fire completely in Art Neuveau style and mostly untouched since. Of course, I've forgotten the name.

As I and others have said, September is a great time, albeit sometimes wet. Personally I love taking rainy landscapes, but some people can't see the fun. The youth hostels are a great place to stay if you get sticker shock in the hotels. The tourist offices are fantastically helpful if you need local info. Do NOT drive a car if you have had any alchohol at all. Steer clear of the brown cheese.

george jiri loun
15-Jun-2005, 06:35
CXC, google out met.no in English and you will get all the data you want to know about weather - scientifically.

Per Madsen
16-Jun-2005, 11:44
Try O.P. Anderson. Mellow and with a nice aftertaste.

Ole Tjugen
16-Jun-2005, 14:37
Akevitt is best avoided, IMO. Bring a bottle of good malt instead - I'm partial to Laphroigh! Along the west coast we tend not to bother with the "inland stuff" when Scotland is a short boat trip away ;)

Remember that not even the Kriegsmarine managed to stop smuggling between Scotland and Norway!

Eirik Berger
17-Jun-2005, 01:51
If you are un the northern part of the country you have to visit Lofoten as allready mentioned. But also Senja (island) and the Lyngen area is worth a visit. The area around Troms° also attracts a lot of landscape photographers.

As Tor said, bring your own film. Here in the northern o Norway it is impossible to purchase large format film in shops. 120-film is also rare to see. I order my film from USA and Japan.

Eirik Berger
Vikran, Norway

Julio Fernandez
19-Jul-2005, 08:07
TIA: What to photograph in NORWAY? Everything. Just remember, you will see a landscape and you will think to yourself this is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. Wait, 10 minutes down the road you will be thinking the same thing and throughought you will be repeating yourself endlessly. Norway is endless beauty. Go, don't wait.

As for film, you will face repeated X-ray scanning of your film and in Europe security people are not as accomodating as in the US so your film will get many many scans. I'd order the film from somewhere in Oslo to your starting point to avoid carrying it with you if you can not fly directly to Norway and then have your film processed there before coming home, or at least have it mailed back to you. Surely the local LF friends will tell you how to do that.
Bon Voyage