Waiting for the roof box installation

My ancient roof box, that fitted well on my Saab is quite incompatible to my Subaru Outback. Today I had an appointment with the car repair shop. While I waited for them I took a promenade and made some photos on the nearby property of the boat club Ursvikens Segelsällskap. Nothing special and – due to the dull light – in black and white.

Wintry still live at the coast

This image was taken with my iPhone SE, not with my Nikon camera that I usually take with me. I just forgot it home today. I don’t think, that the iPhone SE has or is a great camera because I’m quite picky when it comes to image quality. But it’s a great backup if you manage to keep it warm in the winter and some of the photos look quite nice.

More winter

Round 20 cm of new snow, still snowing / temperatures round -17 °C, still dropping – that’s a good start for a nordic winter in my opinion.

Two photos from today:

Four icy points of view

Another clear and cold day today with temperatures round -14 °C. This time I took the car to the coast of Fäbodarna near Burvik. The Baltic Sea was partly open, party covered with drifting pancake ice. Today I tried different approaches of taking (and editing) photos which the goal to only show water, ice, air and light.

Landscape

How to show landscape without showing anything other then the elements above. Well, I failed since I wanted the sun within the image and there were trees at the horizon. The only chance was to use a wide angle and go close to the motive to decrease the size of the forest line. (I had one foot in the water and had the camera so low, that I had to lift it up for every tiny wave rolling in.)

Architecture

I didn’t plan to make architectural photos but when I found this group of icicles I thought it looked like an old Greek temple or a portico. Again I had to lower the camera, the icicles weren’t so large.

Contrasts

Quite often I think, that I should make more black and white photographs. Today I started again. Especially when it comes to extreme contrasts I really like the reduction to black, grey and white. This type of photo however demands a bit more effort on the viewer’s side.

Abstract

Mostly I walked on different types of ice, each with it’s own structure and texture. Some where as clear as glass, others were composed of ice needles. I stood on the ice and tried to adjust the camera perpendicularly. This image became black and white as well and I increased the contrast a lot to make the textures more visible. After editing I started to see a cubistic figure in the photo. This was not intended but I guess that most people unconsciously try to see concrete things in abstract art.

Micromountains

After two weeks of cloudy and gloomy weather it started to clear up and the sun came out, glistening from a cloudless blue sky. I was out at 8 o’clock, sufficiently early to catch the sunrise.

The photo however I liked most was of the frost-covered tree stump which I developed in black and white.

 

The snow returns

I dislike thaw. When it’s winter I want to see white snow, not brownish slush and drizzle falling from low-hanging clouds.

The latter was the weather that we got for four days. The snow slid from the roofs and melted away and under many water puddles sheer ice covered the roads. But alas, yesterday the weather changed and it started to snow. Today it has been quite windy and it has been constantly snowing. The strong winds glue the wet snow to the houses, the cars, and the windows.

I guess, we got round 20 cm of snow the last 24 hours and it continues snowing. The thick brown half-frozen chunks of wet snow, that framed all streets start to get a fresh white snow blanket and small snow drifts cover the roadways.

Yes snow – that’s more my cup of tea. I hope however, that the wind gusts will stop soon, since tomorrow the Winter Swimming World Cup and Scandinavian
Championship 2016 will take place in Skellefteå and I guess it won’t be much fun for the swimmers standing in some kind of “snow storm” dressed only with a swimsuit and a warm cap. And neither for me, who is going to take pictures of this event.

Winter intensifies

Did I write about the “just normal” winter two days before? Well that changed a bit. Right after I wrote the last article the snowfall intensified and brought 10 cm new snow within 16 hours. It got both windier and colder and still snowed a lot.

Today¹ I took a walk round the small lake Rudtjärnen. Snow fell in thick, heavy flakes and made it impossible to look farther than 100 meters. The squalls whirled up the snow morphing the view into a grey-white nothing. And it was even windier on the slope by the lake. The trees on the 2nd photo were hardly 50 metres away!

That was a nice and not so long walk (which was intended since I don’t want to overstrain myself right after the infection), but it wasn’t enough. I wanted to go out again. And so I did. This time with food and drink, (of course) my camera, my new flashlight and my new down clothes for some testing. I already guessed that I couldn’t drive to the small boat harbour because the way wasn’t ploughed and snow was too deep for my car. So I decided to continue to the peninsula Näsgrundet. What a piece of luck!

I dressed up for cold weather, lit my new strong flashlight and went to the rocky beach. Normally the shore descends to the open sea but not tonight where – I couldn’t believe my eyes – the shore was an ice shelf rising up at least one meter before dropping into a black nothing. I could hear the sea behind but I couldn’t see it. Where am I? What happened? Then I heard a rolling wave and – SPLAT! – I could see water and foam rising high up behind the brink and clashing onto the ice shelf! It took a moment or two until I realised what happened: The brisk northern wind presses the waves ashore where they rocket up into the air several meters. I guess that the water and foam first landed on the rocks where it probably froze almost instantly – remember, it’s -15 °C  out there. The rocks became more and more ice covered until they vanished under a growing layer of ice. When I came to this place this evening some parts of the ice were already two meters above sea level! And still some of the waves managed to toss a lot of water onto the ice where it froze and enlarged the ice shelf. What a fantastic experience!

I was both happy to be out there and a bit disappointed that I couldn’t share this moment. If I at least could take a photo, but how to take pictures of waves when it’s so dark. Wait a moment – dark? – My new flashlight was described as extremely bright – Let’s test. I switched the flashlight to the brightest mode, laid it onto my backpack and adjusted the beam to the waves. Then I took tripod and camera and started to experiment. And that’s the result:

I’m impressed. The new Flashlight is really bright. So bright that I can take such pictures at night time. (For the photo freaks: 1/20 sec at f / 4.5, ISO 1600. 35mm)

OK. The flashlight succeeded the test. But what’s with the rest? I was curious how warm the new bought down parka and down pant would be. I just wore a single layer of woollen underwear and my thin but windproof Norrøna-jacket, mostly to test the fur under the down clothes, that was all. (Not mentioning boots and gloves, of course). I’ve been out more than an hour, first taking pictures, then measuring wind and temperature, than taking my frugal evening meal. And yes – the Marmot down combination is as warm, snugly and cozy as it looks like. Almost too warm when sitting although we had an average wind speed of 10 m/s resulting in a wind chill of  -27 C. That’s good to know.

Now I’m longing to sunrise. I want to visit the spot again and take some daylight pictures. That’s perhaps evan a reason to postpone my journey another day. I’m not in a hurry. But tomorrow, when I’ll visit the place again I’ll wear something less water-sensitive than down, because tonight I always expected a huge monster wave would flood half the shelf and soak me completely.

Finally just two selfies from today, one when I walked round the lake, the other when I sat outside after the evening meal.

Foot note:

¹ As a matter of fact: Yesterday. It will already be Monday when I publish this article.

Some vocabularies for my German readers:

squall – Windböe
down – (hier) Daune
foam – (hier) Gischt
flashlight – Taschenlampe
fur – Pelz

For equipment nerds:

Flashlight: Nitecore EA41 Pioneer
Down clothes: Marmot 8000M Parka, Marmot 8000M Pant. Older (or simpler) models.

Just for the archives:

Friday 2015-01-09 21:45 ca. 30 cm -4.6 °C
Saturday 2015-01-10 13:40 ca. 40 cm -7.1 °C
Sunday 2015-01-09 09:15 ca. 45 cm -8.6 °C
Sunday 2015-01-09 16:55 ca. 52 cm (47 cm backyard, 57 cm front yard) -15.0 °C