All images by Felix Inden. Used with Creative Commons permission.
If moody landscapes are your thing, one of the best places to find them is up north, where nature is often both moving and intense. In his latest set, German landscape photographer Felix Inden showed us another destination to add to our must-visit list: the Lofoten Islands of Norway, which is home to some of the most magical landscapes of the Arctic Circle.
“When a place is as picturesque as any of the different fjords and mountainous islands that make the Lofoten Archipelago (the name of the islands means ‘feet of a lynx’ originally because of the shape of the archipelago), things become almost too easy as a photographer,” Felix said of how the Lofoten landscapes seem to be made to be photographed. “It’s almost as if nature created these places in the most photogenic way potentially possible.”
But, this statement means nothing without any photographic evidence so to speak, and Felix does not fail in showing us the splendor of the spots he was lucky to photograph. The set’s title, North Winter Fairytale at Lofoten Islands, is true in every sense. It’s almost like a fantasy land where the skies may be filled by eerie and ominous storm clouds by day, and lit by dancing colorful lights by night. Even the mornings don’t look ordinary, as the sunlight bathes the mountains in the distance with a golden glow. With the right conditions, even winter in the Lofoten Islands can be a pastel wonderland, too.
The islands, according to Felix, had a major influence on him as a human and especially as a photographer. During his first trips around ten years ago, he was simply content to go there for hikes and taking in the majesty of the place. But its charms were too breath-taking to resist photographing, so he ended up giving in to the urge to capture its beauty. “A few years later, I started calling myself a landscape photographer,” he added.
Since then, he has started to look for scenes and shooting conditions that allow him to capture unique and irreplaceable images. With more and more photographers going to the same places and creating the same “classic” look for landscape photography, the need to create something different has become an important goal for Felix. To do this, he chases short moments of light that add a different look or flavor to the scene. Or, he “hunts” for scenes that he has pre-visualized in his mind, made possible by different factors coming together.
“But sometimes, I also just simply react to what Mother Nature has on the menu on the given day at the given place,” he added.
If you do choose to put the Lofoten Archipelago on your landscape photography bucket list, there’s a couple things to learn from Felix’s statement and descriptions. First, be prepared to spend weeks or even months to take just a handful of unique photos. Second, look for different conditions to photograph; you may not get what you initially had in mind, but what you’re able to capture may surprise you. Lastly, be prepared to go back — again and again.