Photo by Marcus Westberg

Behind the Shot with Marcus Westberg

Photo by Marcus Westberg

Behind the Shot
with Marcus Westberg

The rest of the world may know it primarily for ABBA, Volvo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but to me, Sweden has always been synonymous to wilderness. Having spent most of my life living abroad, this year provided me with an opportunity to rediscover the country of my birth – one that I wasn’t slow to latch onto.

North of the Arctic Circle, the landscape consists largely of mountains, forests, and water; Sweden has some 100,000 lakes, and countless streams and rivers. This far north, the variation and contrast from season to season can be extreme, and although each has its charms – the wildflowers of spring, the snowy vistas of winter, the balmy temperatures of summer – it was for the colours of autumn that I had traveled here.

Photo by Marcus Westberg

Photo by Marcus Westberg

Photographer:
Marcus Westberg
Jokkmokk, Lapland, Sweden

Camera:
Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 16-35mm/f2.8L II
RRS Gear:
TVC-34L Tripod
BH-55 LR Ballhead
Settings:
16mm
ISO 50
f/14
15 sec

I enjoy using filters as much as the next person, but I love photographing during that brief spell before total darkness when water and sky are perfectly balanced, and there is just enough light left for a few attempted long exposure shots. It is somewhat hurried work, moving around on slippery rocks without being able to see very well and adjusting settings to the disappearing light. This is one reason I like to work within the 30-second limit of manual mode rather than bulb: the exposure reading is (usually) somewhat accurate, and makes new adjustments less risky when time is of the essence.

Photo by Marcus Westberg

Photo by Marcus Westberg

Photographer:
Marcus Westberg
Jokkmokk, Lapland, Sweden

Camera:
Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 16-35mm/f2.8L II
RRS Gear:
TVC-34L Tripod
BH-55 LR Ballhead
Settings:
23mm
ISO 100
f/14
30 sec

It took me until the very last day of a three-week journey to find the spot I had been looking for all along: the perfect river, the perfect backdrop of autumn colours, and the perfect overcast evening. I love the way moving water is able to convey a sense of serenity and harmony, but also strength and power.

Photo by Marcus Westberg

Photo by Marcus Westberg

Photographer:
Marcus Westberg
Jokkmokk, Lapland, Sweden

Camera:
Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 24-70mm/f2.8L II
RRS Gear:
TVC-34L Tripod
BH-55 LR Ballhead
Settings:
61mm
ISO 100
f/10
30 sec
You can view more of Marcus Westberg’s work at www.lifethroughalens.com or on Facebook.
Copyright ©2013 Marcus Westberg. All rights reserved.

7 Comments

  1. Dan says:

    Wow, mesmerizing, simply beautiful. The top image shows a nearly perfect confluence of all of the artistic rules of composition along with obvious technical excellence.

  2. Tareq Alhamrani says:

    Nice beautiful shots!

    What filters did you use for those shots?

    • Thanks Tareq. No filters at all for these ones.

      • Tareq Alhamrani says:

        Oh really? How come you got long exposure and not blown out sky without filters then? I don’t know if it can be done properly, but either the DR wasn’t great or you used HDR or you processed good enough that you didn’t need filters on those shots?

        Thanks for your reply

        • No HDR. It’s just about waiting for the exact right moment – at some point before darkness everything will be more or less evenly lit, especially on an overcast night like this. That’s when I like to shoot. It doesn’t give you more than a few minutes though, so you have to work fast.

          • Tareq Alhamrani says:

            True, when it is getting to the dark time or say evening time and after sunset then i agree that you don’t need filters much, i remember i’ve got same that time shooting cityscape in New Zealand, without filters.

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