Lofoten Island Packing Recommendations
DSLR or Mirrorless Camera
A camera that can be manually controlled is ideal for this trip. Mirrorless cameras are typically more lightweight than their DSLR counterparts. Sony, Nikon, Canon, and FujiFilm all make great mirrorless cameras.
Wide Angle Lens
To make the most of the Lofoten Islands scenery a wide angle lens is critical. A common wide lens is a 16-35mm on a full frame sensor. Some manufacturers make lenses that go down to 12mm for full frame cameras, these provide an extremely wide angle of view that can create very dynamic images.
Mid-Range Zoom Lens
Wide angle lenses typically accentuate the foreground in an image and make distant objects (mountains) appear small in the frame. For this reason a mid-range zoom is recommended for those situations where you would like to bring balance to the image and maintain the grandeur of the peaks while not completely eliminating the foreground. A typical focal range for this purpose is 24-70mm.
This region has incredible mountain peaks everywhere you look, but sometimes they are quite far away. A telephoto lens is ideal for photographing the distant snow capped mountains and creating abstract images. A lens that covers 70-200mm is ideal for this.
During the expedition we will be shooting in low light and sometimes windy conditions. For this reason a good sturdy tripod is essential. I would recommend one with a ball head and made of carbon fiber.
These enable you to take photos without touching the camera. This can help when taking multiple exposures that will later be composited. It’s also ideal for long exposure photography where touching the camera can result in blurry images.
Polarizers are an essential piece of kit in winter conditions. They help cut glare on snow and water in addition to turning blue skies a beautiful dark blue. Neutral density filters are also handy. These differ from a polarizer in that they minimize the amount of light reaching your lens. This allows you to experiment with long exposures during daylight hours creating dreamy images with water that is perfectly smooth. These often come in 3, 6 and 10 stop variants. My favorite company for these is Breakthrough Photography.
Waterproof Hiking Boots with Warm Socks
We will be walking and snowshoeing quite often. I recommend that you get waterproof hiking boots that go above the ankle. Warm socks are also critical, there's nothing worse than getting cold feet in the arctic. To keep snow out of your shoes gaiters can be worn.
Winter Jacket and Warm Layers
Layering clothing in the Arctic is very important. I would recommend wearing warm layers underneath long underwear or a onesie for skiing. Wool clothing is nice because it stays dry and can be worn multiple times. The mid layer can be flannel or a nice sweater. The outer layers should be insulated and waterproof/windproof, if your jacket has a hood all the better. As we hike you may want to take layers on and off so planning ahead of time is important. Hiking pants with insulation make for a great outer layer, with zippers they can be opened if you get hot while hiking.
Hat, Gloves, and Neck Warmer
A warm banie is very handy for the Arctic. I typically wear a beanie with a neck warmer that covers my face. Minimizing exposure to the wind is my goal because it will make you cold quickly. For gloves I recommend ones that are multi layered. When taking photographs you’ll want to be able to use your fingers when needed, ideally not hidden in mittens. Mittens that open along the top are ideal, letting you use your fingers when you need them then hiding them away again.
A good backpack will save you lots of aches and pains after days of walking through snow. Peak Design, Shimoda, and F-Stopper all make excellent bags that are waterproof and will keep your equipment protected. We will be putting our bags down often to take photos, so make sure they are waterproof.
Laptop with Adobe Lightroom or Camera RAW and Photoshop
The seminars will be taught using a combination of Lightroom and Photoshop. Capture can be used as well if people prefer it. I find that Lightroom is a great tool for keeping images organized during expeditions. In addition, Lightroom has incredibly powerful editing tools built into it without needing to deep dive into Photoshop.
If you have any further questions about gear please don’t hesitate to contact us.