Clearing summer storm, Geiranger

This is an iconic viewpoint on the road down to Geiranger in Norway. I have passed here many times, always stunned by the view. The steep mountains are impressive enough, but the small turf-houses really make the scene for me. They add a sense of timeless romance and nurture thoughts around how life could be when they were built, centuries ago.

However, photographing this in a way that brings justice to the scene proved very hard. I have tried dozens of times. After my first visits, some 10-11 years ago, I pretty soon came to the conclusion that the scene needed very particular conditions. One of the problems with photographing here is that the houses blend in with the colors of the surrounding landscape, so they can be hard to spot. Right light could help with that, and atmosphere in the valley below would help with separation and make the buildings stand out. Also, the scene is quite wide, but using a very wide angle-lens would make the distant mountains look too small and not very impressive. Stitching a panorama with a short telephoto would probably be better.

I returned to Geiranger in June 2021, in heavy rain. I spent a few nights here and it was raining constantly. Around mid-day on my third day, skies started to clear. I found myself on the other side of Geiranger, but upon returning to the lodging for dinner, I decided to rather drive up the valley and check the conditions here. Weather was now changing constantly and dappled sunlight was all over the valley. I parked my car, and knew that it was just a matter of waiting out until direct sunlight hit the houses. The dense rain-shower in the valley below added nice separation and the beams was an unexpected bonus! Landscapephotography is planning. And a lot of luck.

Hasselblad H6D-100c with HC 80mm. Stitched pano of 4 horizontal exposures, slightly cropped in post. Processing this was pretty straight forward, except for the colors. The skies and the rain had a weird blue-greenish color-cast, so I had to tweak this to get the right blue-tones. The resulting file has some 200mpx and has a pretty nice level of details.

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