Friday Inspiration: Erik ‘The Viking’ Aanderaa

Gadda Stack, Foula 2, Erik Aanderaa

The first time I came across Erik Aanderaa’s YouTube channel I must admit I thought it was some yahoo macho nonsense. I mean who sails solo in the North Sea in Winter? ‘The Algorithm’ at work again. Although how this was related to Sailing Zatara is beyond me.

The sailing was riveting ‘Encountering Storm Force 10’ and I quickly found myself having watched all the videos and eagerly waiting for the next one. What I came to appreciate was that Erik was slowly building up his skill set and taking slow steps towards a bigger journey. A solo circumnavigation of the Norwegian Sea.

Erik was trained as a professional mariner and currently works as an instructor at a marine safety center. He clearly understands the risks of being around the ocean and uses that experience to prepare for his offshore adventures in his Contessa 35, Tessie.

Between Jan Mayen and Iceland
by Erik Aanderaa

If you listen to interviews with Erik you will soon learn that his sailing adventures haven’t been incident free. In 2011 he ran aground just outside of his home port of Haugesund. Sailing in sub-zero conditions he became hypothermic and disoriented. He went down below to warm up forgetting how close he was to land. Tessie ended up on the rocks, sustaining damage that took six months to repair. That experience would have been enough to end sailing for some of us but Erik learned from the experience and was back out sailing as soon as Tessie was ready.

Erik’s winter sailing in the North Sea is epic but equally remarkable are the videos. He has some of the most amazing sailing footage I’ve seen – captured using a drone that he is controlling while sailing single handed! Stunning!

Erik’s epic voyage around the Norwegian Sea was completed just as the world was entering lock down. Check out the multipart series below. To learn more about Erik check out his YouTube channel and don’t miss some of his photos here.

Virtual Photo Tour: Nordic Edition

While I was going stir crazy and planning adventures I started thinking about a tour through the Northern Latitudes – Iceland, The Faroes, The Shetland Islands and Norway.

Of the four places the only one I’ve visited before is Iceland. I was in Iceland in 2014 but didn’t have as much time to explore as I would have liked. That time I was based in Reykjavik and took trips from there to photograph.

There’s so much to see in Iceland that I don’t want to try to do everything on this first trip. My plan would be to just focus on the coast around Reykjavik and then on subsequent trips see more.

To maximize my time in Iceland I have Michael Levy’s Photography map of Iceland, which will help me find great locations in and around the places that I want to visit.

First stop of the tour is Budir on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, about a 2 hour drive from the airport.

From the notes that I made I would stay at the Hotel Búðir which would be a great base for an exploration of the Peninsula. Impossible to go to Budir and not take at least a few pictures of the black church!

The Black Church of Budir as a Photography Location
The Black Church, Mads Peter Iversen

After 3 or 4 days in and around the Snaefellsnes Peninsula it would be time to move on to Vik.

I’ve been to Vik before and in fact the picture of the church in the banner for the blog page was taken in Vik. I didn’t have much luck when I was in Vik the last time, the weather was shocking, it was pouring and the fog was so thick that even though I knew there were sea stacks I couldn’t see them! I did manage to get a picture (sort of) of the black sand beach though.

After a few days in Vik it would be time to move on to Jökulsárlón and the Ice Beach.

The mouth of the lagoon in Jökulsárlón forms a bottle neck that traps Icebergs causing them to break up into small pieces of ice and to get caught on the beach. I think that this is now a very popular location, not unusual to be shoulder to shoulder with other photographers I’m told. Hopefully not on the day when I visit!

Jökulsárlón and the Icy Beach as Photography Locations
Icy Beach, Jökulsárlón Mads Peter Iversen

After Jökulsárlón it’s back to Reykjavik and home, but not before we stop at some waterfalls. First up Skógafoss, followed by the famous Seljalandsfoss and the nearby hidden waterfall Gljúfrabúi.

Seljalandsfoss, Iceland, Andrey Andreyev

Friday Inspiration: Michael Fletcher

Amberay from Michael Fletcher on Vimeo.

Michael Fletcher is the film maker behind the documentaries that support the Ninety Degrees Five projects. The twin brother of photographer Christian Fletcher he turned to film making in an effort to differentiate himself from the stills that he’s brother was making. I’m quite glad that he did since I really enjoy his style of film making. I wish that he had a fully fledged website of his own. Instead I’ll point you to the video section on his brother’s website here and to his page on Vimeo.

Enjoy a few of my favorite videos above and below from the over 70 that Michael has posted.

Lofoten – A Photographic Adventure In Norway from Michael Fletcher on Vimeo.

Born to Fly – Canon 1Dc from Michael Fletcher on Vimeo.

An Interesting Twist to the Image a Day Concept

One of the magazines that I read featured the image above as the lead in to an article in a recent issue. I was of course more interested in the photograph than the article. It was created by Eirik Solheim, a Norwegian photographer, and originally described in a post on his website here. Essentially what Eirik did was to fix his camera in place and then over the course of a year took 16,000 photographs from that same spot. Of these he selected 3888 images from which a strip one pixel wide was taken to build the composite shown above. Very cool effect and has me wondering about other possibilities.

He also goes on to describe how he made time-lapse videos showing a years worth of photographs in a minute or so. Check those out here and below.