Our partners in Andenes, North Norway have, helpfully, given us their thoughts on why they think that you should visit the region, why it offers great wildlife watching opportunities and if you want to capture the moment for ever, how you can get the best photographs while you are there.
The owner and main guide for our Orca Whale Watching and Ultimate Whale Watching Holiday itineraries, Marten, lives in photogenic Vesteralen, home to Andenes and he has a few words for people interested in visiting him.
"The Norwegian archipelago of Vesterålen is located north of the more famous Lofoten Islands and though the towns of Stø and Andenes have become famous for the whale watching (in particular the iconic upright tail pictures of the male sperm whales, who have foraged here for centuries, as they dive) many do not realise how fantastic and fascinating the other wildlife and in particular the birdlife is in these islands as well. Andenes, in particular, is a great base, providing everything that keen wildlife watchers and photographers desire; the Arctic light, the Aurora Borealis, fanatstic wildlife and breathtaking landscapes. Having swapped my office job, I have chosen to live here because of the amazing experiences I encounter every day. I've lived in this part of Norway for over 10 years now and I've learnt a lot, starting small, making mistakes, starting again, looking for something new, testing my limits and exploring the nearly limitless possibilities here. I am keen to share the opportunities and knowledge from my experiences with my guests, whether it be swimming with Orcas, a rib safari amongst the humpbacks or photographing the incredible birdlife."
In particular, we (The Mighty Fine Company) think there are a couple of reasons that we are proud to rely on Martens knowledge and experience for our whale watching itineraries: fistly his knowledge of the local wildlife and secondly his knowledge of the local light conditions.
Marten says about the wildlife and light, "It is important when watching and photographing the animals, to study how they behave, what they eat, how they do it, how they fly or dive, and when they are likely to do this. This knowledge is the most important thing when you are trying to watch or photograph animals. A simple example, a bald eagle sitting on a stone is fairly easy to photograph. But how do you anticipate when it will leave, how do you capture the explosion of power and it's imposing wingspan? In this situation, watch his tail twitch to make a stool, a few seconds later the Eagle will jump and that’s the time capture the shot. The light is equally important and presents many opportunities. There are still people who think that 69 degrees North means many months in the dark, but this is a fable! The light here is beautiful and the most colourful time of the year is 'mørke' or dark time. In clear weather the sky is pastel coloured, with the sun trying to break the horizon but just not reaching, not to mention the unparalleled Northern Lights. Knowledge is power and contrary to what many people believe it's not the sky but the blue sea that needs to be accounted for! Measuring the light and making small adjustments to the camera's balance can save hours of time on Photoshop and will be much more satisfying."
In the following posts we will be getting more insights into the wildlife opportunities on Vesteralen and top tips for photographing the wildlife there......