Tenting and photographing at the unique Gygrestolen in Telemark
A couple weeks ago, a friend and myself decided to go photograph a rather unique mountain in our "local" area. We had been there the week before to do some scouting, exploring different angles and figuring out the angles of the sun. Since we were aiming to shoot both sunset and sunrise, we chose to camp up in the mountain rather than taking the steep hike in the middle of the night.
On our scouting trip I had noticed a open spot in between all the trees and cliffs, that might give a good view of Gygrestolen from below. Even though this was a complete shot in the dark, I decided to go off the trails on our hike up, looking for this spot. After walking through marshland, bushes and over some rocks, I found it! It seemed to give a pretty good view of the cliffs, somehow reminding me of a very famous scene in the Yosemite Valley.
After getting a little lost for a brief moment, I made it back to the path and met up with my friend at our planned campground. We decided to take a chance and head back to the spot I found for sunset, in hope of the light reflecting off the cliffs.
Sunset did not quite turn out as I hoped. Sure the sun reflected nicely on the cliffs, but all clouds were gone from that area, and I was struggling to find a interesting composition. I tried exploring some different foregrounds, but nothing worked well with the background. Seeing that the clouds were gathering in the horizon and getting more and more colour for every minute, I discovered a distant farm laying completely by itself in the mountainside. Now I found my shot!
We finished what I will call a successful sunset session, and hiked back up to our tent. Since sunrise it at 4 am, our alarm was set to 2.50 am, giving us enough time to hike up the the plateau where we would photograph the sunrise and prepare our shots.
According to the forecast, we were in for a cloudless sunrise. According to the weather, we were in for a grey sunrise. At 4.30 am, we were still to see any colours in the sky, apart from a tiny dot of red that never grew. Negativity started to sneak upon us, but I kept my hope up and we stuck around for a little longer. Boy am I happy we did so! Out of nowhere the clouds loosened up and turned into a soft and fluffy pink sky. Since I had already set up my camera with the desired composition, all I needed to do was turn on the camera and start snapping! With the amount of movement of the clouds, I was never in doubt about bringing out the Big Stopper and doing some Long Exposures. It's been a while!
I always enjoy a sunrise a little extra when the weather is a bit challenging, but at the end rewards you for hanging in there and waiting. Maybe I've just learned of my previous mistakes and now thought myself to remain positiv and calm. You won't always be rewarded for sitting tight with your fingers crossed, but every now and then you will, and thats the moments who makes up for all the hours spent waiting without results!
There is no doubt that I will go back here to photograph many more times in the future, and hopefully catch different types of light too! Even tho the hike up is rather intense and steep, it is quite enjoyable. Walking through beautiful scenery with small ponds and lakes, who could say no just because it's a little steep?
Heres a collection of my favorite images I took during the sunset & sunrise session from the cliffs and area around Gygrestolen: