It’s funny how things work out. On my recent trip to Norway, I stayed in a little town called Flåm. It was this picturesque town right along the water. You could walk through it in about 5-10 minutes. In fact, here’s a photo of Flåm while I was looking back at it from an early morning sunrise shoot.

(click to see the photo larger)

The Photo That Almost Didn’t Happen
What’s interesting about this photo story is that it probably wouldn’t have happened if things worked out the way I planned. See, I rented a car for a day while in town. I went out one evening and photographed an absolutely spectacular sunset. I was psyched. BUt I didn’t know the area that well, so I figured I’d sleep for a couple of hours (the sun set at 11pm and rose around 4am) and then head back to the general area since I already knew what to expect. When I got back to the hotel, I parked the car and never looked at the sign that was in the parking lot that said the lot would be gated closed until 7am. Ooops.

So I woke up around 2:30am, grabbed my gear and walked to the car. Got in and drove toward the front of the lot only to find a gate there was closed and locked. So plan B needed to come in to effect. I wasn’t quite sure what plan B was at the time, but I was pretty sure at 2:30am the only thing it could involve was me walking.

Luckily, as you can see from the photo above, I happened to be staying in an extremely small town, located in an extremely beautiful location. Since the town was right on the edge of the water, I decided to walk down there to see what I could find.

My main goal as I walked around was to find something to put in the foreground. I knew that there were large mountains and lots of water that would look great in the distance. But I wanted something up close to give the viewer an idea of what it looked like from my viewpoint. I got pretty lucky and found some nice rocks and even a dock to put in the foreground.



Finding A Different Photo And A Tip To Help You Do It
I was just about to pack up my gear and looked to my right. I saw these small red houses right along the water in the distance. I tried to see what it would look like with my wide lens on but I wasn’t feelin’ it. So before I switched to my zoom lens, I used a great little tip I learned years back. I zoomed in on the photo in Playback view on the back of my camera to see if I liked the composition. I did! So I decided to walk a little closer. As soon as I got there I was like “Wow!!!”. The wind died down. The water was perfectly still and the contrast of the red houses and dark green trees behind them was perfect. I framed the photo a few different ways, zooming in on the houses, moving them around in the frame but this photo was the one I was happiest with.

(click to see the photo larger)

Photo Details
Camera: Nikon D800
Lens: Nikon 70-200mm
Aperture: f/8 (I had nothing in the foreground so I knew everything would be in focus at f/8)
Shutter Speed: 2 seconds
ISO: 100
Tripod: Really Right Stuff TVC-33 with BH-55 Ballhead

Thank God For A Closed Gate
Who knew? I cursed the fact that the gate was closed a couple of hours earlier, and it ended up being the best thing that happened to me. When it was all said and done, I walked 3 miles outside of town (which meant 3 miles back) to photograph the constantly changing scenery and light at every turn. I probably shot at least 10 photos from that morning that I was extremely happy with. Had the gate been open, I would have probably driven back to the place I was at the night before, and photographed pretty much the same thing I did the night before – just because it was familiar. But as fate would have it, I was forced to set out and foot and it turned out to be one of the most memorable and peaceful times I had while in Norway – just me and the quiet town at 2:30am.

Thanks for stopping by today. Have a good one!


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