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  • Writer's pictureGeir Helge Solevåg

Eagles and Waves - Day trip in western Norway

Updated: Jan 28

I was lucky to spend half a day this weekend at a nearby nature reserve far out on our coast side armed with my OM-1 camera, my 12-40 f/2.8 PRO the 300 mm f/4 PRO. With lots of cloths + the fantastic Jerven Hunter to keep me warm, and a bit of food, I was ready to spend the day in freezing cold wind and snow until the sun set (which is around 18 PM at this time of year). The area I visited hold lots of opportunities for bird photography, landscapes and marine wildlife, and this month most migrating species arrive out here, a few weeks before arrival further inland in our fjords.

The first part of the trip was a bit shielded from the wind. The lighthouse in the background semed to make an interesting element to the frame. This was shot with the m.zuiko 300 mm f/4 as a panorama merged from 6 image files.

As I set up my camera equipment, I couldn't help but notice the wild weather that surrounded me. The wind was gusting, whipping up snowflakes and sea weed, making it difficult to keep my camera steady. However, the intermittent snow and sun created a beautiful light that cast a stunning glow over the rugged coastline. I sight worth the trip alone.

It wasn't long before I had my first encounter with the local wildlife. While scanning the horizon, I spotted two magnificent white-tailed eagles resting on one of the many islets about 100 meters from me. With my camera already mounted to the 300 mm f/4 PRO I managed to capture a few shots of these majestic birds. They later also came flying in front of me, probably scanning the surroundings for something to eat.

Two adult white-tailed eagles rested on the rocky shore about 100 meters out. I was lucky to have them posing against the golden light from the sky behind.

A few minutes after capturing the birds against the golden sky, they flew past me. The two birds circled high above me for a while before they landed again, seemingly not so disturbed by me and a few others in the area.

Feeling energized from the eagles, I decided to explore an area known to the locals as "Lille helvete" or little hell. The name proved to be an accurate description, as the waves here would have been crashing against the rocky shoreline were it not for the low tide. The tide made it safe for me to enter the photogenic pothole like shoreline. As I set up my camera to capture the waves hitting the shore, I couldn't help but feel a sense of awe and respect for the raw power of nature. However, my awe quickly turned to "shock" as a particularly large wave caught me off guard and got my feet dripping wet. Despite the cold and wet, I managed to capture some photos of the waves. Not my best, but I’m keeping them just for the memories.

This place is really one to be seen. This day the light was harsh, and my photo didn’t turn out the best. Anyway I wasn’t aware of the salty mist covering the front element, so most of the images had soft spots on them.

As the sun began to set and the sky turned a stunning shade of orange and blue, I was just about to pack up my camera and start to head back home when i spotted the beautiful purple sandpiper. Though chilled to the bone, I had to try to capture this trustful little bird. Luckily it was easy to approach them and I got both still images and video.

Purple sandpipers feeding on bristleworms and other animals hiding in the sand. The image seems to be somewhat over-sharpened from using Topaz Sharpen.

As always after a trip like this, I felt grateful for the chance to experience wildlife and nature practically just outside of my home.

Do you spend enough time outdoors?

While the couch may be the most comfortable place to relax, I can guarantee that you will be rewarded 100 times over by immersing yourself in the beauty of nature. As amazing as shows like "Planet Earth" may be, they can never truly compare to the experience of being out in the natural world. In my next post, I plan to delve further into the positive impact that spending time outdoors can have on your health. It may be better than most medications, especially for some of the most common illnesses of our world.

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