Lofoten Reminiscence - Rocks and Cabins

As it happens to happen every summer, I did not manage to do much photography related stuff over the last two months. Way too many things have been going on in my other lives that kept me very busy but eventually also let my eyes rest from looking at images, my mind from creating them and my legs from walking for getting them. So I guess I'm checking in fresh and with a long to-do list. To start with, I have been browsing through some older photographs from Lofoten made last winter. I got attracted by the below two that I thought the comparison might have been interesting. Both were shot from the bridge over the bay near Hamnoy, with the difference of few hours, couple of hundered meters and the media used (here, because I process digital files other way and time than film, I only now realized the two were created one after the other).

And, most importantly, they differ in the reasons that made me push the trigger.

It was the spectacular contrast between flashy red cabins and almost monochrome rest of the frame, including the sky. Otherwise quite ordinary lighting that has been randomly flashing through various parts of the scene, which I also found interesting enough to set my tripod up. I could feel deep peace and cold from virgin fresh snow and deserted fishermen' village. Choosing my Phase One with 1.3 crop factor, I have put tight crop around the subjects to eliminate any possible distraction from too many other elements, emphasizing the closest cabins by size and placement within the frame. Perhaps a tad tighter than desired on the bottom but one cannot move much on the bridge with a high fence when using prime lenses. Also, as there were virtually no vibrant colors to capture and I was looking for the true interpretation of hues, I thought digital was the best medium to convey what I wanted without unnecessary hassle (with correcting potential color shift or scanning and stuff).

Caption: Cabins & Rocks, Camera: Hasselblad H1, Lens: 35mm, Digital Back: Phase One P30, ISO: 100, Exposure: 1/100s, Aperture: f/11, Filters: No

As I was walking back on the bridge couple of hours later, the surroundings have been in completely different mood. Heavy skies, dramatic wind, storm light - now much more about the atmosphere and feel of a place as oppose to the pure contentual and color contrast business on the previous one. To underline and give it a little more push, I chose Fuji Velvia (happy with the bluish snow) and if I remember correctly Lee ND Grad 0.45 Soft. Also, my 35mm lens with no crop factor and slight more walking up the bridge allowed for much more space of the main subjects although I excluded one cabin on the very right - because it's now less cabin shot as well as because it got too far right and I was losing the rhythm amongst them. I now had the composition that suited the purpose better: it contained more space for the sea and sky to convey more of mood; different perspective made cabins smaller while having kept the rock optically the same so the relationship between the two went more dramatic; more sea on the bottom and descending mountain ridge in the right back part of the frame (and breath of storm thereof, too) added some spontaneous touch of space...

Caption: Rocks & Cabins, Camera: Hasselblad H1, Lens: 35mm, Film: Fuji Velvia, ISO: 50, Exposure: Unrecorded, Filters: Lee ND Graduated 0.45 Soft

I believe all went quite right on both of the images (at least as I expected it to go) but perhaps because I favor moods more than descriptions (it's always easier to mark what you see than to convey what you feel), I think that the second one has sort of a stronger impact even though it may not be as well balanced colors-wise as the digital one. And maybe that's the actual reason. And maybe for you who were not there, the first is better because I might have failed to convey feelings on the second. Who can say actually?