A blanket of thick snow covered the entire island beginning of February, trees reminded of artful structures, their branches heavily burdened by snow, often touching the ground. Numerous fjords intrude into the island, dotted with beaches, fishing villages and framed by rigid mountains, the perfect photo-ops.
The island of Senja is a two-hour drive from Tromsø and the perfect place for a photography workshop. The light conditions in February could not be more favourable, especially the blue hour.
What could possible beat an aurora borealis reflecting in the waters of a fjord with the dim lights of fishing villages in the background? Such a place is near the village of Bergsbotn, from a viewpoint up the hill you have it all. Another great spot for photographing the northern lights was near Grylleford, a vast plain surrounded by mountains
Beaches and fishing villages on Senja offer great motives. In the very north of the island, the village Husøy, sits on a small peninsula. The most dominant building is a fish factory. We admired tons of codfish hanging from on wooden stalls, fish eyes staring into our cameras. The only shop, post office, coffee shop is the only place to socialize.
Opposite the fishing village of Senjahopen is a beach covered with bolders small and large. We played around with filters to blur the surf breaking on the beach, with the black round boulders protruding. The sandy beach near Bovaer kept us busy for hours, small dreamy house sits a few meters back.
Once we went out in a small boat to search for whales, in and out of fjords and around a group of small islands. The landscape was stunning, but no luck with the whales. As usually I got really seasick. But luck often strikes, when you least expect it.
Driving up to Tyngeneset, we saw all kinds of fins sticking out of the water. I was not too excited first, I had seen whales in Argentina and Canada swimming within a meter of the boat. But suddenly I got into gear, a baby orca was swimming with his mother right near the shores. It was unreal, how close it was. Lots of humpbacks were suddenly around…..
On the beach near Tyngeneset we settled our tripods on large flat boulders to wait for the sun touching a little chain of spiky mountain tops („Teufelszacken“), out-of-this-world imagery.
Our very comfortable home was Ham i Senja, an apartment-hotel. Each unit has three rooms, a fully equipped kitchen, living room, WIFI, everything you need. We had bought lots of food in a supermarket driving up from Tromsø. Together we cooked and enjoyed our meals within our micro-community.
I absolutely fell in love with Tromsø, a picturesque university town with lots of old, beautifully renovated houses and a great bar and restaurant scene. All in all one of the best trips ever.