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Category: Norway

Drop Photography

Drop Photography

In March I joined a really fun workshop on drop photography, which took place over 2 (long) evenings. On the first evening, we got an introduction to the basics of this type of photography, and then it was time to try for ourselves! Taking photos of droplets works quite different from what I imagined. I thought you’d have to use bright light and fast shutter speeds, but in reality we used exposure times of 2 seconds in darkness that was only lit up by an external flash. So instead of using a fast shutter speed on your camera, you let the flash determine the shutter speed. The tricky bit is to get the flash to fire at exactly the right moment… It didn’t take long to realise that the most important thing for drop photography is PATIENCE and perseverance 🙂

Drop photography workshop: a first attempt

That first evening, our goal was to get a picture of the so-called “crown”, the splash when the drop has hit the water. After a lot of trial and error, we managed 🙂

Almost a crown And yes, here is our first proper crown image!

We also played around with dripping milk into our red liquid (water with food colouring), which gives quite neat results! As a sneak preview of what we were going to do on the second evening, they showed us the drop machine. The really impressive drop photos are the result of 1 drop hitting the water, bouncing back, and then being hit by a second drop, creating a sort of umbrella. This is very hard to do by yourself, so you can buy a drop machine (controlled by a computer), which enables you to set the size of each drop, the time between firing the drops, how many drops you want, etc… In the photo below we used milk dripping into a cup of coffee 🙂

Dropping milk into a red liquid A milky umbrella on a cup of coffee

The next evening we got to play with the drop machine ourselves. Turns out it’s still very tricky to get it set right. We struggled for quite a while to get the famous “umbrella” photo, similar to the one above.

After much fiddling, we managed to get our own umbrella Once the machine is set correctly, it will keep creating umbrella's

But it’s all good fun, even when the timing goes wrong…

Here you see the impact of the second drop on the (bounced-back) first one, this is just before the umbrella forms A failed attempt, but I thought this one was quite cool - it almost looks like a human shape stuck inside the drop

At some point we created a soap bubble over our glass. We tried to get an umbrella image within the bubble, which took some attempts before we got it right. But again, the failed attempts are just as impressive – and I thought it was really cool to see how drops can pass through a soap bubble!

A drop falling through a soap bubble! Here you can see that the drop is caught in its own mini soap bubble - how cool! And finally we managed the umbrella within the soap bubble :)

It was a really fun workshop! I’d love to do more, but I am a bit overwhelmed by the equipment you need (though they showed us how to build our own with cheap materials) and maybe most of all: how much patience is required. Patience has never been my strongest virtue 😉 But just take a look at Corrie White‘s to see where patience and perseverance can take you 🙂 amazing!



One of the reasons we went fishing on Sunday were our sore muscles from a ski/snowshoe trip the day before. Eelke and Roy invited us to climb Buren (802 m), and it was the perfect day for it! A fresh layer of snow, and plenty of sunshine 🙂

Sunshine! And pretty views along the way

I was a bit nervous as I was the only one on snowshoes, and this mountain was a lot steeper than what I’d done before. The first bit wasn’t much of a problem though, and on the steep bits it’s actually easier on snowshoes as the crampons help you to go straight up instead of having to zig-zag.

On the way up Roy on his way up, the views behind us are getting better

On the second half, the snow was quite deep and I started to struggle. Even though we were able to follow a well established track made by all the early birds, I was still sinking in a bit with every step, and that made it quite tiring. Still, I enjoyed the beautiful landscape and the sunshine.

It was great to start a bit later in the day, and find a well established track to follow Lunch break

After a short lunch break, I was tempted to give up and let the other three get to the top without me. It’s hard to give up though, with the top in sight and not much further to go 😀 so I just kept going. And I made it! Well, we never made it to the actual top as the last 20 meters are very steep and exposed, and we decided not to risk it.

Three others on their way up. Right above them you can see more people on their way to the top, on the far left the top The top of Buren on the left, impressive drops! Hollanderen to the right, and if you look very closely you can spot the cabin of the climbing club

We had a great view from our pre-top and enjoyed a long break 🙂

Nice break on the top, on the left is the top of Store Blåmann, hard to recognize from here I actually got a suntan from this weekend full of sunshine!

And heres a panorama of the great view we had:

Panorama from the top of Buren

Our shadows were getting longer and it was time to come down… Paul, Eelke and Roy went straight down, while I took the same route as we had taken up, to avoid the very steep slopes through deep snow.

Paul on the top, the island in the back is Håkøya Common view on the steep slopes: mini avalanches

I tried to end up underneath a slope to take photos of the others skiing down, which isn’t easy when you’re a lot slower 😀 but I did succeed in the end…

Roy - concentrating hard :D Paul pretending to crash into me - I actually got scared! Eelke smiling :)

It had taken me more than 3.5 hours to reach the top, but the way down was a lot faster: 1.5 hours. I was completely exhausted when I got back to the car though, this mountain was not quite in sync with my fitness level 😉 But it was a fantastic day!

For those who want to see even more photos (or read about the same trip from a different perspective :D) here is the blog post by Roy about the same day (in Dutch).

Gone Fishing

Gone Fishing

Last Sunday was a beautiful day – sunny and no wind at all. We decided to rent a boat from Maribell in Kvaløyvågen, about 45 minutes from Tromsø. It’s too cold to use our own inflatable boat, so we allowed ourselves the luxury of a bigger and more comfortable boat. We took the boat almost all the way back to Tromsø, to where Kvalsundet meets Grøtsundet. Almost immediately, Paul caught his very first steinbit!

A perfect day for fishing in Kvalsundet Paul with his very first steinbit/seawolf

He caught two more within half an hour 😀 Here is a video of him catching the biggest of the three, this one weighed over 6 kg! A steinbit or wolf fish/seawolf in English is quite a scary fish with lots of TEETH. Steinbit means “stone bite” and when we gutted the fish, we could feel several “rocks” in his stomach. They don’t actually eat other fish, they keep a diet of crabs, cockles, sea urchins… crazy!!! This makes the meat very firm and very tasty 🙂

(For best viewing, choose HD and watch fullscreen!)

My rod is not suitable to catch really big fish, so I mainly got small cod and haddock. The water was so clear that you could see what was on your line when it was still quite deep. I got a surprise when I looked at my line, and saw a cod on it – with a big halibut following it!! Paul is really keen to catch a halibut, but I knew my line wouldn’t be able to hold it. So while I was trying to keep the cod away from the halibut, Paul was trying to catch it with his own rod 😀 Unfortunately the halibut was too clever and swam away. Amazing!

Here I caught a haddock - what a pretty fish! Can't beat those views... and note the halo around the sun, it was there all day

Joking around, here is a fisheye photo of a fisheye 😉 I drove the boat back, which was lots of fun 🙂 It did over 40 km/hr, but that did make it feel very cold!

Fisheye photo of a fisheye ;) Speeding back after sunset

It quickly got cold after the sun disappeared behind the mountains. We kept catching (too) small cod, so we decided to head back. The owners of the boat rental place were really friendly and came to chat with us when we came back. They let us use their cleaning room so we actually filleted all the fish before going home.

Paul and two of his steinbit Four scary creatures ;)

After filleting, we had over 5 kg of cod, haddock, brosme (cusk) and of course the steinbit which made up almost 4 kg of the total. We drove home after 22:00, with the northern lights dancing around while it was still not dark. We dropped almost 2 kg off at Eelke and Roy’s, as it would take us quite a long time to eat that much fish 😀 We came home completely exhausted, I was really glad I had a day off on Monday to recover from the busy weekend 🙂