Norway is a land of grandeur. Almost everywhere you look there is beauty. This was taken a short walk from the base on a nearby peninsula. Yes, this is the midnight sun, photograph taken at 11:45 pm.
A 1950's era boarding school is the base for the YWAM's operations in Envagagon. This is where we did our workshop training and instruction before departing to the island of Traena during the second week.
Norway's main industry is fishing. Fishing from all sorts of sources including small boats like these. They also have many beaches with wonderful coral colored water, but don't be fooled, this is not the Caribbean. The water is very cold!
One morning as I walked outside, after breakfast I was greeted with this scene... Minutes later, clouds covered the mountains and it was gone.
No matter what time of day it is, it is good for a hike and don't forget your camera. This 'sunset' lasted for over two hours. The prime shooting time with wonderful light - 11 pm to 2 am.
This part of Norway is very rural. In fact the Norwegian government encourages its citizens to live in the countryside. Consequently, the village of Engavagon is very small. Not many tourists venture here, which makes it great for all types of photography.
One day the group decided to take one of their favorite hikes. I was told it was easy....by Norwegian standards. 2,000 feet up in less than about a 1/2 mile. It was a challenge, but the view was in fact....spectacular.
Members of our group pose on a high ridge facing the bays and glacier near Engvaagon.
During the workshop we ate a lot. Here our host, Oystein Rykkelid, (He and wife Gro are excellent cooks) BBQs chicken, ham and sausage on a beach cookout for our group.
What would a beach visit be without a marshmallow roast? The team took a break from shooting ...but with 24 hours of daylight, the light quickly changed and we were all back out with our cameras a few minutes after dinner. That was about 10 pm.
Even when the sun does not shine there are wonderful images to shoot. The diffused nature of the light, the spectacular scenery and the freedom that Norway grants you to explore is wonderful. This scene lingered for about an hour an half as the sun, clouds and the water interplayed.
In this part of Norway people are either fishing, farming or have a vacation home. There are many small villages scattered around the countryside, but to shop, then it is a ferry and bus ride to Bodo, two hours away. Just outside the base is this small bay where farms around it are reflected in the amazing still and clear water.
One of the coolest things about Scandanavia is the clouds. They are changing constantly and interplaying with the light. Really makes photographing a lot of fun.
With its coral colored lake in front, the Svartisen Glacier makes for an impressive sight. It is the second largest glacier in Norway and when the light hits, the blue ice can be seen for miles.
Glacial ice forms colors from the refracting light through the clear water that are unique. The aqua color here, moves to a corral as the water melts and heads towards the lake below. A most impressive aspect of the glacier is the deafening sound of the water melting and flowing to the lake below.
Getting to the Svartisen Glacier takes some time. You have to drive, then take a ferry, and then another 20 minute hike. Then it is up the rocky granite slopes of the mountain to get to the tip of the glacier itself (Another hour or so depending on how good a shape you are in). Until you get on top of it....you just can't appreciate the size.
When you first arrive on the island of Husoy, which is where the festival is actually held, Traena looks like nothing more than a picturesque fishing village.
One constant thing in Norway is that the weather will change quickly. In the morning it can be hot, in the afternoon breezy, and later that evening, rain; or any combination of the above. The locals say there are two seasons in Norway, summer and winter and you can have both in space of one hour.
C Duncan of the United Kingdom takes the center stage on the first night of Traena Festival.
Swedish band Bob Hund, lead singer Thomas Oberg performs as one of the headliners for the first night. Their performance was the only one that restricted photographers to the first three songs.
On the third day of the festival, pop artist RY X (Australia) performed on the island of Sanna, across the bay from Traena in what is called the Cathedral Cave. This cave, said to be a sacred spot for the Vikings, dwarfs everything around it. The acoustics were amazing and contributed to a magical concert experience for about 2,000 people.
During the festival one event was a Gay Pride Parade from the staging area to the harbor. About a hundred people marched and held a small rally.
Workshop participants Annett Rek and Silje Mikalsen take a short break in our editing center during the festival. Most nights were we up very late editing concert and other photographs taken during the day. Some concerts continued until 1 or 2 am. Our photographs were then posted online and distributed to the Scandinavian news media. It is crazy few days of fun
On the Island of Husoy, there is a remote chapel dedicated to a priest who made the island his home. This rather unique building is built more like a castle with 2 foot thick walls.
With almost constant cloud cover, the midnight sun, when it appears is an event. On the island of Husoy one evening, it had been cloudy all day, when just as the sun touched the horizon it appeared.
The Summer Workshop in Norway was an exciting experience. The first week participants were instructed in visual storytelling at the base high above the arctic circle. The second week we traveled to the remote island of Traena to be event photographers for the Traena Music Festival. Our team covered events for 3 solid days of all types of music. See the gallery on the Storytelling page for more on the Festival itself. What is remarkable about this area is you are visiting a place most tourists outside of Norway never see. It is really unspoiled. Plans are being made for a possible 2017 workshop in conjunction with YWAM’s international. For more info contact me at Info@thomhalls.com .