The famous light in Skagen, Denmark

In the most northernly part of Denmark you find the small town, Skagen. At first glimpse it doesn’t look much different than any other small Danish fishing port but this is one of the most famous places in Denmark, perhaps second only to Copenhagen. In the late 1870s until the turn of the century a group of Scandinavian artists turned this sleepy summer destination into a world famous place for art lovers.

The painters was inspired by the light of the evening “blue hour”, which made the water and sky seem to optically merge and this was pictured in many of their landscape paintings. Skagen is all about long sandy beaches, sand dunes and the light. One of the most famous places in Skagen is the peninsula Grenen, a sandformation where the two seas Skagerrak and Kattegat meets.

The light in Skagen is still famous and these days the town has become a tourist destination but if you come here in the autumn you will find a quite place. Nowadays, I guess photographers are as common as painters in Skagen in pursue of the light. I had myself never been to Skagen until recently. My friend and college, Jan Pedersen asked me if I wanted to come along on a trip. Since I have been “locked in” in the office for quite some time I thought it was a great idea to get out and do some photography.

I try to photograph most things in nature. I love photographing wildlife, birds and flowers but its not really often that I travel somewhere for landscape photography, which this trip was about. I’m not saying that I don’t enjoy taking images of nice landscapes its more that I don’t feel that confident in that type of photography. So this was a good opportunity to get out there and shape up and get some new confidence.

Blue hour and strong winds

Our first morning in Skagen provided us with some fantastic photo conditions. We sat out in the dark to get to the beach in good time to catch the “blue hour”. It was overcast and windy so we wouldn’t get any sunrise. But the clouds instead gave us a fantastic blue light that lasted far more than an hour.

Harbor seals

The days in Skagen wasn’t all about landscape photography. One morning we came across some harbor seals resting on the beach. With the sand blowing in front of them and roaring waves behind them it was a perfect setting to try and get images with long shutter speeds in order to get the movement in the sand and the water. Said and done, no problem getting the sand and water blurred but it toke some images to get at least one of the seals sharp enough.

Even tough most of these kind of images goes into the rubbish its so rewarding when you get that one that works out just the way you wanted…

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