Lofoten, Norway: Wild, Unpredictable, Beautiful

Lofoten, Norway © 2016 Ryan Jones

I’ve always held a fascination for landscape imagery and so much respect for the classics like Ansel Adams, Galen Rowell, or Sebastião Selgado, who can express such scenes so well. Not to mention a number of incredibly talented landscape photographers I’ve been following on social media over the last few years.

There’s a challenge to it, I think — one that not many people appear to see or appreciate from the outside. They didn’t experience a hike through the cold, the wind, the rain, or experience the frustration behind some piece of gear failing when it was needed most. Each photographer deals with his or her challenges, some definitely more extreme than others, but the unpredictability of nature is one I always welcome. Light is always changing; weather is always changing; and how those elements, among so many others, are interacting with any given scene are constantly changing. It’s in a constant state of flux and almost always a guessing game.

Nevertheless, as with anything you love, you’d travel around the world for it — and that’s most certainly a bit of the reasoning behind why I spent a week in the Lofoten Islands of Northern Norway, just inside the Arctic Circle, in the middle of winter.

I don’t recall how I found this place, but I’m so incredibly glad I did.

The journey began early in 2015 when I first discovered Lofoten. As autumn came and I started my new job, I had every intention of booking a trip. I just didn’t know when.

I knew it needed to happen sooner than later or, like so many other things, it would eventually fall by the wayside — just another something talked about but never seen through.

I’m still looking for a word or two that can sum up the emotion and feeling that Lofoten brought to life inside of me that week.

Wild. Humbling. That’s the best I’ve come up with.

I began budgeting, and in late September of 2015 made a call to see how far the sky miles I’d accumulated over the last couple of years could get me. For 40,000 sky miles and just $270, I could have a roundtrip ticket from Gainesville, Florida to Oslo and back in mid-February 2016. It wasn’t long before I pulled the trigger on that ticket purchase, especially after finding out a couple of good friends would be joining me.

I’m still looking for a word or two that can sum up the emotion and feeling that Lofoten brought to life inside of me that week.

Wild. Humbling. That’s the best I’ve come up with.

Lofoten is a place that captures your undivided attention and doesn’t let go — a place that will breathe life into your spirit.

All images © 2016 Ryan Jones. Post was originally published on Exposure.  You can see more of Ryan’s work on his website and on Instagram at @rymajo.