It would be quite easy to consider the island of Senja to be an extension of the landscape of its more southerly cousin, Lofoten, but it is not. There are some similarities, but Senja has a unique character of its own that offers very different photographic opportunities.
Norway’s second biggest island is approximately 450 kilometres further north into the Arctic Circle and is affectionately know as Norway in miniature. The southern part of the island and the areas surrounding Stonglandseidet, Vesterfjell and Vangsvik boast low lying gentle hills interspersed with long fjords populated by small fishing settlements and villages. As you venture further north in Senja the landscape changes dramatically and it is this area were will focus our attention during this incredibly exciting winter workshop.
We will be based in the ancient fishing village of Hamn, and from here we will explore no less than nine peninsulas that exist tightly together, accessed only by mountain passes and a series of tunnels. Around each bend, and through each tunnel you experience a different environment consisting of stunning fjord views with jagged mountains that rise out of the sea, and often nestled at the base of the mountains are traditional Norwegian hamlets with old red wooden huts and jetty’s from which small fishing boats are launched.
During our workshop we will visit Skaland with its views over to the mighty mountains of Bergsoyan, Stienfjord and Ersfordstranda with its open beach that offers a perfect vantage point to photograph the distant mountains. No trip to Senja would be complete without exploring the platues of rock at Tungeneset, were in the distance we will see the ominous craggy spires of Oksen, Staven and Ramnen as they jut-out of Erisfjorden, commonly known as “The Devils Teeth”. Another ‘must-see’ is the view above Bergsbotn from the switchbacks of the steep mountain pass. Here you can walk out onto the 44 metre viewing platform that show the vast scale of this island and its interlocking fjords.
Further south we take the road from Hamn across the high open plateau and over the mountain pass above Gryllefjord where the almost vertical sides of Sturen and Bukketinden drop abruptly into the waters below. To the north our journey will take us through the small town of Senjahopen and the tiny road that hugs the side of Mefjorden ending at Mefjordvaer. As we continue north we explore the old fishing hamlet of Husoy where all its inhabitants are perched on this tiny island with an array of different coloured houses and breath taking views north and south of Oyfjordan towards the grandeur of the Ytste Kongen and Skultran mountains.
Along with the high mountain views and intricate series of fjords, the other quality that makes Senja so different from Lofoten is the vast swathes of stunted and weathered trees that occupy the southern flanks of the mountains. High in these mountains, snow is often pristine and these trees offer countless opportunities to explore minimalist photography in a landscape that is not dissimilar from Hokkaido in Japan.
The aim of this workshop is to experience the very essence of an Arctic winter with all is splendours but also seek out how you as an individual photographer reacts and ‘sees’ this wonderful landscape. Of course there will be many clacks shot to be celebrated, but there will plenty of opportunities to go beyond this and we want to help you develop you own individual expression from being here.
If you have visited Lofoten and want to explore a landscape that we believe is as equally awe-inspiring, deeper into the artic regions, and in the grip of a beautiful winter, then Senja will not disappoint.
Residential 7 day workshop
DateWed 9th - Tue 15th Feb 2022
HotelHotel Hamn i Senja
and Michael Pilkington
The price includes extensive one to one tuition during the workshop, travel during the workshop. Transfers to and from airport. Accommodation on a bed, breakfast and evening meal basis. No single occupancy supplement. Accommodation will consist of apartments. Each person will have a private bedroom with en-suite facilities and shared living room. Accommodation will be based on same gender sharing.
Travel to and from the location and personal bills such as bar bills, meals not listed. Travel and camera Insurance.