Saved by the view

The view which saved my day
The view which saved my day – captured with my the camera on my cell phone.

Saturday this weekend I planned to spend capturing the essence of autumn – whatever that might be. As usually when doing this kind of work, my camera bag was packed with gear for film photography. So far I’ve been pretty much geared up with mechanical cameras – no batteries needed. This time I brought with me my GF670W to get those wide perspectives captured on film.

My plan for the day was to take a gondola ride first, and spend the rest of the day freestyling – meaning driving/walking around without any special places in mind. It’s quite amazing how coincidences shaped this day.

In the beginning of my trip I had to take a ferry to get across the fjord, and although it was blue sky and perfect weather it was quite cold wind out on the fjord. After capturing a few frames I headed back to my car to get some coffee. I poured me a full cup of coffee, took a sip or two and regained my normal body temperature. Today I brought with me a cup which wasn’t possible to put in the car’s cup holder, so when driving off the ferry with a full cup of coffee in hand I had to pull over and drink my coffee first.

While drinking coffee I discovered some great light and a nice possibility for a picture. After I was done capturing the scenery I headed back to my car, and then I stumbled upon an information sign about some ancient graves near by. Interesting was my first thought and I headed back to the car to get my tripod and a box of Kodak Ektar.

During the walk along the trail to the ancient tumuluses I discovered several great locations and perfect light. The early morning frost was still claiming it’s position in the shadows, and behind there was nice, warm sunlight and a forest in it’s autumn dress. Probably about an hour went by in this little seaside forest. Satisifed I went back to my car – totally forgot about the ancient tumuluses.

Morning frost and warm sunlight
Morning frost and warm sunlight – captured with my the camera on my cell phone.

Driving through the spectacular valley before driving over the mountain pass at Stranda mountains meant a lot of stops. Can’t wait to develop the film to see pictures – they sure looked great through the viewfinder.

About five minutes into driving up the steep hills on the mountain pass I saw a great view, so I pulled over and rolled down the side window of the car to hear the music outside while photographing the view. As I often do I took a snap with my cellphone first, then I got my GF670 ready and half pressed the shutter button to measure the light. Oh god – all the symbols in the viewfinder were flashing red. Got a real bad feeling right away – the camera just came back from Japan after having the lightmeter repaired. Remember I rolled down the side window to hear the music outside? Can you guess the lyrics of the song that started playing on my stereo? “I need a miracle, I need a miracle”. A song I haven’t heard in years – “Fragma – I need a miracle”. A miracle I needed.

Removed the battery, inserted the battery again. Same procedure a couple of times more. Still all these flashing red symbols. Maybe it was just the battery needing replacement. But in rural Norway a CR2 battery can be hours away, and saturday afternoon can also mean no battery before monday.

After searching online without luck I suddenly remembered a photo shop in a village about 20 minutes away. 14.10 I saw on my clock – and they close at 15.00. I drove straight back to the village and looked on my map to locate the shop. They replaced my battery and my camera was working again. This could turn out to be quite a special day. Photographer P. P. Lyshol in Sykkylven saved my day – so I bought an extra memory card for my cellphone just to support them.

About 30 minutes later I arrived at the gondola’s starting point – no cars in the parking lot – strange. Online they were advertising opening hours 10-17 Saturdays and Sundays. When walking back to the car I saw this nice little creek, partially frozen. And like this the day went on, and on and on.

The frozen creek next to the closed gondola - captured with my the camera on my cell phone.
The frozen creek next to the closed gondola – captured with my the camera on my cell phone.

Later that day, when the sun was just above the horizon, I got problem seeing the road due to a dirty windscreen. Had to find a gas station to get it cleaned. Operation clean windscreen was soon completed. The sun was soon going to be hidden behind the peeks nearby, and I decided to not drive back to the main road were I was originally driving in case I could find a nice place before the warm sunlight was gone for the day.

What happened?

Of course I found this absolutely fantastic place with a quite large river, and the riverside had lots of ice covered boulders. The camera was mounted on my tripod and I realized that I didn’t have time to get the tripod set up before the sunlight was gone. I released the camera from the tripod, quickly adjusted aperture, shutter and focus, composed my picture and pressed the shutter. 2 seconds later the sun went down behind the mountains and the river earlier lit by warm sunlight was now in the cold shadow. Hopefully this frame will look just as great on the roll of Kodak Ektar as it did in reality.

The riverside in the shadows - seconds earlier it was bright, warm sunlight.
The riverside in the shadows – seconds earlier it was bright, warm sunlight.

None of these pictures would have been taken if it wasn’t for all the coincidences – stopping to finish my coffee after the ferry, then going to this small forest to make some photographs, then stopping to capture the fantastic view on the mountain pass and finding out that the battery on my Fujifilm GF670W was drained after the previous stop, going back to Sykkylven to replace the battery, then coming to a closed gondola at Stranda and later having to clean my dirty windscreen.

It all started with the cup of coffee, two rolls of Kodak Ektar and then beeing saved by the view.

Now I just have to wait a few weeks while I get the rolls developed, it will be exiting to see how the pictures looks like.

6 rolls of Kodak medium format film
6 rolls of Kodak medium format film