Waiting For Light: Jotunheimen


This is a companion post for my film "Waiting For Light: Jotunheimen".

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The Journey

It all started with a longing for something more. I had been growing tired of doing the same type of content over and over again. So I was looking for a bigger adventure and there is nothing bigger or more grand than mountains, and there are no bigger mountains than those in Jotunheimen here in Scandinavia. Thus I began my planning, in January 2018.

I decide upon Valdresflye as my gateway into Jotunheimen. Firstly it is a National Scenic Route in Norway. Secondly it is a good starting point for hiking into Jotunheimen National Park. I don't like making my plans solid, but I see the plan more as a recommendation and backup if I don't find anythings special of interest as I am exploring the area.

Having a general plan I started my long drive from Dalsland, Sweden all the way up to Valdresflye, Norway. The drive through Valdres all the way up to Valdresflye is amazingly beautiful. A real treat. Arriving at my planned location later than I had planned meant that I had to look for another location for the first sunset. I settled for a roadside camp looking out over Valdresflye with the mountains of Jotunheimen behind. It was truly beautiful. There was a small issue however.

First Sunset

My first sunset of the journey. Not exctly as I planned. But it worked out allright. 

When I finally arrived at the location for my camp I quickly noticed that the haze would make photography a struggle. So I started wandering around looking for good elements to use as to capture the interest of the viewers. The sound of water instantly peaked my interest, I confess to having a weakness for water in my compositions. The melting of the snow created a big river flowing down towards the mountains I wanted to photograph and I knew I had found my location.

I had to wait for the sun to go below the mountains so as not to create issues with overly bright highlights in the water. As soon as the sun dipped below the horizon I made my way down to the water again with my camera. The composition I settled for was using the water as a leading line into the biggest of the mountains "Besshöe".

Mixing my shutter-speeds during the capturing of the photo meant that I could blend different shutter-speeds in Photoshop. Creating a flow that is smooth but still conveys movement and direction.


The Mountain

The day after I spent the whole morning exploring the rest of the National Scenic Road. I found lots of beautiful waterfalls which made me decide I wanted to photograph a waterfall. More specifically a waterfall that incorporated the story of the ice melting during spring creating a huge amount of flowing water.

After I had finished my exploration it was time for the main event. Hiking up the mountain and photograph the second sunset.

I arrived at the top of the mountain in good time, had to wait 7 hours before the sun started to set. I spent most of the time listening to an audio-book, looking out over the mountains thinking about life and other things. It truly is something else sitting alone atop a mountain for hours.

As the sun started to set I started to set up my composition. I knew exactly how I wanted to frame everything. Starting with the river in the bottom left part leading into the mountains at the top right part. The biggest struggle during the sunset was the anticipation of whether I would get good color in the sky or not. With the mountains blocking the horizon I just couldn't be sure. And when the mosquitoes started to come I got worried. Would every thing be for nothing. 

But as soon as I started to see the color coming in the sky all worries disappeared and I knew I could endure the mosquito terror until the sunset was over. Said and done. As soon as the color started to fade I packed my things and started to hike down from the mountains. Arriving back at the car sometime in the middle of the night.


Spring's Story

With little to no rest I started the next morning, 3am. Looking again for the perfect waterfall to tell the story of the ice-melt during spring.

What I found was better than I would have hoped. A mountain in the background, lots of snow, a good looking waterfall and a little bit of green in the scene. It truly shows the story of spring in one picture in my mind. I am really satisfied with how the water starts up by the snow, which leads up to the mountain, and then the water flows through the image and envelops the whole of the bottom frame. As always with water pictures the flow of the water is really important, here I decided to go smooth with a faint hint of movement. It makes the image feel calmer and gives more room for the other elements withing the composition.


On a bigger scale all three of the images I created during this journey goes very well together in creating the story of Spring Flow. It was not my intention going on this trip to create a trio related pictures, but the conditions made that happen anyway and I am very satisfied with what I came away with. It was a very successful trip for me. Three images for my portfolio in one trip and a long form video for YouTube. That is really good. 

Now it is time for me to start thinking about my next trip, the "Fall Color 2018" trip. All the details will be found at the JOURNEYS section of my website. If you enjoyed watching this trip and want more, then please consider supporting me through PATREON or PAYPAL. Every Dollar makes the trip just that much grander.

That's all for me this time.

Yours truly


Felix JorgenfeltComment