Low Winter Sun


On it goes with photos from my recent Winter vacation to Northern Norway in mid February. Last time I told about some ice sculptures in the city of Alta, Norway. Today we are still in Alta, but this time on a hill enjoying the last rays of a beautiful low Winter sun.

20mm  f/11  1/320sec  ISO200
It was the day when we arrived in Alta. We were so impressed by all the much snow that we decided to get the maximum experience of it by climbing up a hill. First we followed some tracks which was quite easy. But when leaving the track you suddenly sank down into the snow up to over the knee. That was fun but difficult to get out again. The scene all around me was amazing. The low sun threw a warm, yellow light smoothly over the landscape. Trees were producing long shadows on the snow surface. The sun let the snow glistening. It was so beautiful. In addition to that mood there was no disturbing noise. All you could hear was the crunching of snow under your feet. It was such a peaceful situation.

20mm  f/11  1/400sec  ISO200
With my camera I tried to capture this amazing moment. Hiding the sun behind a tree created a nice scene. The shadows on the snow are forming lines which get together in the back just where the sun is. The sun is not the dominant, because partially covered by a tree and therefor not that bright. First I did not like the tracks in the snow. I chose a position and a focal length to get a little of it framed. But, today I like them. They are a nice contrast to the shadows. In the second photo I explicitly played with tracks. The one in the foreground leads your eye to right part of the background, where you can see the fjord. It is the opposite direction to where the sun is. Because the sun is very bright, it is another eye catcher. So, you eye has to wander around. With a relatively high aperture value the sun gets a nice star shape. But it also produces ugly lens flare effects.

18mm  f/10  1/250sec  ISO200
The last photo was taken when we already were heading down the hill. I liked the scene with that dead tree an the sun glimpsing through the other tree. The hill itself was producing a lot of shadow and the sun illuminated area is a beautiful contrast to it. The sky with those sunset clouds was amazing. Since the sun is quite low all the day, it is setting down very slowly during this time of year we could enjoy the peaceful scenery for some time. It was mid afternoon at around 3pm when I took the photos. Soon the sun was hiding behind the mountains and we went back to our hotel having all these amazingly beautiful pictures in mind and captured on camera.

I took the photos with my EOS 600D camera and the EF-S 18-55mm kit lens mounted. Camera was set into P mode and calculated aperture and shutter speed automatically. I have chosen an ISO value of 200 due to the low sun.

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