Norway 2022

Norway 2022

In August 2022 I enjoyed a cruise around Norway. Whilst cruises aren't exactly known for being great photographically, with the limited shore time and mass of other tourists around you, with a bit of planning it can work. Back in 2017 I did pretty much the same cruise for my brothers wedding, and thought it would be nice to go again with my girlfriend (now wife!).


This was a place I'd been last time and again, I headed for the same red church but went for a slightly different angle this time, from within the churchyard with a tree dominating the foreground.

Olden Church. 1/25s @ f/10

Apart from the slightly ugly concrete block with garden tools in the foreground I felt this was an OK shot, if not great. The sky had a bit of drama and I liked the inclusion of the tree (but would have preferred it a bit further to the right, nature huh!), but I still think I prefer my previous shot. Oh and on the way back to the ship, those clouds dumped all their rain on us, so that was fun.

Lofoten Islands

I was thrilled that this cruise would see me revisiting the Lofoten Islands, an archipelago in the north west of the country. I visited back in 2016 on a workshop with Tom Mackie, and although this would only be a flying visit, I was determined to see as much as I could.

Gravdal, Lofoten Islands. Panorama. 1/80s @ f/14

First off was the view from the ship, which looked of Gravdal. This panorama captures a very typical Lofoten scene. Dramatic mountains, changeable weather and a small village with the classic red walled church sticking its head above the trees. There was even the slightest hint of a rainbow trying to break through.

The dynamic range of this scene proved a challenge and required quite a bit of post processing to try and balance it out, with some of the highlights and shadows still pushing themselves to the edge. It was still a nice scene though and worth the effort.

To try and see as much as we could in the short time, I did something I never thought I would and took a coach tour. It took us winding through all the great scenery and dropped us off at Reine, a stunning little village that is well photographed to say the least. It was a pretty miserable day though so the camera stayed in its bag!

Upon leaving the islands, I got a chance to see the area again from a completely different perspective, and quickly shot this panorama as we sailed past.

Reine from the sea. Panorama. 1/320s @ f/13

Whilst its far from the most dramatic image in the world, I did like the shapes of the mountains and the very oppressive clouds. Just don't look to closely at the details, this was shot from a ship.

A little later, as the sun was setting, the most beautiful light was hitting the cliffs in the distance, lighting up the low cloud and showing off the cracks and crevices along the coast.

Lofoten Cliffs. 1/250s @ f/8

This was somewhere towards the south of the islands, just past the last inhabited village of Å. I had to use my telephoto lens with a 1.4x teleconverter to capture this from the ship.


Our most northerly stop, well within the Arctic Circle, was Tromsø, a city right on the north coast. Whilst it was the furthest north we would go, it was also a gloriously warm and sunny day. We enjoyed a leisurely stroll around and a visit to a local aquarium, but I also had to stop to get this classic view taken from the main island of Tromsøya looking towards Tromsdalen and the iconic Arctic Cathedral.

Tromsø. Panorama. 2.5s @ f/14

To take this shot I had to peer my camera into a small gap between a British warship and Norweigan warship that happened to be berthed there at the time.

And that was about it for photographic opportunities. There were plenty of lovely views as we sailed through fjords and along the coast, but I made sure to just enjoy being there as much as I could.

Whilst cruises have a, perhaps not unfair, bad reputation, both environmentally and for the type of tourists they tend to disgorge, I still very much enjoyed it as it gave me a taste of many different places and was a very relaxed form of travel. Its certainly not something I would do all the time, but its a nice occasional change of pace!