Wednesday, 12 December 2007

The Polar Circle in December

I drove from south to north in Norway last weekend. I had a magic morning when I crossed the Saltfjellet (a mountain). It was almost no traffic, It was blue light and I just had to stop at the Polar Circle to take this picture.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

White Sea - Russia

I was just stuck in a hotel in Moscow. Bad luck, but at the same time it gave me an opportunity to re-live yesterday. I had a memorable day on the Northern Dvina River. Together with my Russian friends; Olga, Vladimir, Jury, Natasha and Anna I had the pleasure exploring the borders of the White Sea. It made me feel like continuing an ancient tradition of keeping up the good relationship between the Pomor People and Northern Norway. Mayor of Patrakeevka; Petr Ivanovich Kopytov (you see him in the only portrait below) had a first class, number one welcome in his village, that's for sure. In excitement I took a few pictures...

Monday, 10 September 2007

Arkhangelsk Airport

Had this view at the Airport in Arkhangelsk today.

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Stetind - the ambolt of Gods

I just had a day of driving from south to north of Norway. The most spectacular part of the drive was passing (through) Stetind in Nordland. A couple of years back Stetind was nominated the national mountain of Norway and it's known for its majestic shape. The height of it is about 1350 meters (4430 ft) and as you can see, it's straight into the fjord. The fjord is an arm of Tysfjorden which is know for attracting killer whales hunting for spring spawning herring that pulls into here in the winter time. As you can see from the pictures, Stetind is subject to a rather interesting contradiction. It's illegal for climbers to drill holes in the mountain and mount bolts, but the Norwegian State has drilled a very large hole in it in the interest of motorists wanting to zoom through in high speed. Several philosophers in Norway have treated this issue. Climbing the mountain is relatively straight forward if you know how to belay. I did it many years ago and we had the first winter snow on the mountain that year. On the top it's a large flat area and it's quite thrilling glancing over the edge right into the fjord below.

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Hiking on a beach near Tromsø

I spent the first of May hiking along a beach for four hours. The weather was variable and the sky was changing all the time. This season is great for big backcountry skiing trips followed by some layed-back life on the beach, a bonfire and good food.

Saturday, 14 April 2007

Sleepwalker with Frost

Another interactive post on the blog. This time because I really like the video from Aggie Peterson aka Frost. Aggie is the grandaughter of Herta Grøndal, who photographed Svalbard in the pioner era when coal mining was the only way of life in Longyearbyen. In this music video you see footage captured in the sixties. You see historic events like when the first plane landed on the permafrost runway in Adventdalen. Aggie Peterson is from Tromsø, Norway.

Thursday, 12 April 2007

Where the hell is Matt?

Last year I met Matt on a trip to Antarctica on one of his travels to shoot dancing. I immediately fell for his concept and offered to be the man behind the camera. I did the footage of the two Antarctic sequences. I challenged Matt to come up to the Arctic and I would film him dancing on a lonley iceflake in the Arctic Ocean (Matt; if you read this...). Perhaps you could dance away global warming... This is one of the most viewed on You Tube. Enjoy!

Monday, 19 March 2007

Evening light in Tromsø

The light yesterday evening was so nice that I had to mount my long lens and go out on my veranda to shoot this picture. I thank the fisherman that conveniently came sailing in from Sunday overtime.

Sunday, 25 February 2007

About South Georgia in Islands Magazine

In the March 2007 issue of National Geographic Islands Magazine there is a story about a trip I attended as an Expedition Leader last year. The writer and photographer is my good friend Jad Davenport and the article is made available here with his permission. Download the PDF here or click on the Islands Magazine front page (to download). I know that many of my readers have been to South Georgia, so this may lead to many a recognizing nod. Enjoy.

Friday, 23 February 2007

In Arctic Air Space

The sun is almost back in Longyearbyen, Svalbard. These pictures are taken from the flight in yesterday and out today. The landscape is extraordinary fascinating in the blue ambient light from the sun below the horizon. The reason I was in Longyearbyen this time was to launch the Norwegian Polar Institute Cruise Handbook for Svalbard (sorry, only in Norwegian, coming in English by the summer), the project I have been working on this winter.

Sunday, 11 February 2007

Reindeer racing

The yearly Norwegian Reindeer Racing Championship on sprint distance took place in Tromsø today. This event is mainly driven by Sami people who have large stocks of tame reindeer to choose from. One of the outsiders was a team from Tromsø that competed with an animal that is bred at the University in Tromsø for recearch in Arctic biology. This is a niche sport, but never the less spectacular. The sprint distance is 201 meters or 660 feet. The fastest equipages (one reindeer and a skier holding two lines on skis behind) cover the distance in about 15 seconds. This is about 25% faster than Michael Johnson at his fastest on the similar distance. The longer distance is 1000 meters, there is another championship for this. At the present the 18 year old woman Ánne Risten Sara and her reindeer Ena II is the world record holders, but they did not compete today because of a new import rule for reindeers (Ena II is imported from Finland).

Sunday, 4 February 2007

Tromsdalstinden, Sálasoaivi

Conditions for skiing is better now when the sun is back in Tromsø. Today my dog, Pinga, and I went into the backcountry and we experienced being alone on the mountain. That is strange because more than 50.000 people live within a short drive or walk from this area. Pinga and I don't mind being alone in the backcountry and we had a really nice time seeing the landscape being partially lit up by the sun (because of some overcast) and the sun set creating beautiful pink skies and a blue snowscape. We were out a few hours but didn't get very far. Instead of covering distance we consentrated on having a good time and taking some pictures. On the first picture you see Tromsdalstinden, here also mentioned with its Sami name. The mountain is 1.238 meters high and is regarded a Holy Mountain for the Sami (indigenous people, also called Lapplanders).

Tuesday, 30 January 2007

Arctic Ocean Cathedral, Tromsø

The “Arctic Ocean Cathedral” is a famous landmark in my hometown; Tromsø. The building was completed in 1965 and is an example of the work of Jan Inge Hovig, a famous architect and husband of Ingrid Espelig Hovig who was the firs TV-chef in Norway. These pictures are showing fractions of the building in the landscape. I like the trees.

Architecture Svalbard

Longyearbyen is becoming a place where modern high tech and architecture goes hand in hand. The new university is an excellent example. The new part of the university building is designed by Jarmund/Vigsnæs AS and have been nominated to the prestigious Miles van der Rohe-price. This is the European Union price for best contemporary architecture.

Monday, 22 January 2007

The Sun is back in Tromsø

...Jippi!! The sun is back and I saw it for the first time today. Nevermind the dirty office window and the rubbish mobile camera the picture is taken with.

As you see, my solar charger from is charging environmental-friendly energy for my iPod and my mobile.

I will try go get some better pictures at a later stage of this planet (that we don't take all that much for granted up here in the Arctic).

From the 20th May to the 22nd July it is Midnight Sun in Tromsø. (doesn't set in that period.)

Sunday, 21 January 2007

TIFF '07

Tromsø International Film Festival ( is going on and it's peak season for cultural events in Tromsø. The Film Festival is the most influental Film Festival in Norway and it is a very inclusive event where northerners like myself can make "travels" to exotic places and cultures in the cinematic darkness. Close to 45.000 tickets are sold during the six days of the festival and between viewings it seems like everybody is drawn to the local waterholes to zip a wine or a caffe latte. Social life is booming and it's just a very nice and social atmosphere in the city. My personal favourites of what I've seen is the Mexican 'El Violin' directed by Francisco Vargas Quevedo and Tommy Lee Jones' 'The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada'. They both had a setting in Mexico - I think I have to go there some day...

Monday, 15 January 2007

Kattfjordeidet revisited

Sunday offered snow, low visibility, and wind. That's why Olof and I packed telemark skis and drove about 20 minutes out of Tromsø to go backcountry skiing at Kattfjordeidet. Conditions were quite good, but visibility was not much to talk about. Here is Olof struggling his way up while I just trail in his tracks behind. The shoot just above his head in the background offers good skiing when the snow has set later in the season.

Friday, 12 January 2007

Waiting for the sun...

Been lazy posting here lately. I'm working on a project at the Norwegian Polar Institute at the moment and they have been kind enough to supply me with an office with a magnificent view. I took this picture today. In about ten days I will see the sun for the first time tipping up from behind these mountains.