#showwhatyoulove - A roadtrip North with the HUAWEI P10 Plus
Note: All photos in this blog are taken with the HUAWEI P10 Plus (except product shots)
The North - where rough and harsh climate dominates throughout the year over an ever-changing landscape which often seems to be out of this world. I can't remember a certain point in my life when I realized that I am having a great passion, a huge desire for the countries around the Arctic Circle in me. I love the cold bashing on my cheeks, the wind, the rain, the landscape and the people.
That's why in July 2017 I packed my bags again to head out North for 2 months. I modified my car with a mattress in the trunk and a basic camping setup and I was ready to go. The first stage took me on a 11 hours drive up to Hirtshals where I boarded a 38 hours ferry ride to the Faroe Islands. After almost a month on the Faroes I headed back Hirtshals to board a ferry to Kristiansand in Southern Norway. The plan was set - explore Southern Norway along the drive and be up North within 10 days to eventually drive back through Sweden and Denmark - a 12.000 km roundtrip.
Along on this trip I brought my HUAWEI P10 Plus to test it out in this kind of environment. These days smartphone cameras don't need to hide behind bigger system cameras and although I have been using full frame cameras in the past 3 years, I am super convinced about the quality of the P10 Plus. With its 20 MP + 12 MP Leica co-engineered dual camera and the capability to shoot raw it was the perfect companion on the trip when I did not want to carry my heavy DSLR equipment. The biggest advantage of shooting raw is that it does not affect my workflow in any way - I do the same import, apply the same preset and edit the same way as I was doing with my full frame camera raw files.
The Faroe Islands
The first stop on my trip - it took me almost 38 hours to reach this place by ferry. Once I approached I could only guess the beauty as it slowly emerged from the fog on arrival. Unspoiled, unexplored, unbelievable - that is the official slogan of the Faroe Islands. After being there multiple times I can only say that these 3 words describe it perfectly. No matter where you go, it always feels like there is something magical about the landscape and sometimes you even feel like discovering new places! The fact that many people don’t know where the Faroe Islands are located just shows that there are still new discoveries to be made.
The local name is Føroyar which translates into 'the islands of sheep'. And in fact there is 3 times more sheep than people living on the islands. Located half way between Scotland and Iceland in the North Atlantic Ocean lies this incredibly beautiful and breathtakingly unfamiliar land. 18 major islands form the country, 17 of these are inhabitant with a population of just about 50.000. The landscape is shaped of steep cliffs, deep fjords and high rising mountains - no matter where you find yourself in the country, you are never more than 5 km away from the ocean. And if, at one point, you can’t see the ocean you are probably in a fjord between high rising and rugged mountains. The highest point is Slættaratindur which marks 882 metres above sea level. One thing I still find fascinating about the islands is the lack of trees - to be precise - there are no trees except of some man made recreational areas in bigger towns.
Except from the stunning landscape, the Faroe Islands have one of the most cutest villages I have seen. Small, charming communities are spread over the entire islands and build with a love that you don't find in many places - full with colorful houses, cafés and many look like the old traditional way, with a rooftop made out of gras.
Most times I found myself on the cliffs photographing the spectacular coastline. Excluded rock islands, large drops straight into the ocean, and waterfalls falling down - that describes the coastline in a nutshell. Photographing in these narrow places can sometimes be quite a challenge if you want to capture the whole scene. Luckily the P10 Plus has a fairly wide lens and in most cases I ended up getting the frame that I wanted. If not I had to do a Panorama, which worked out surprisingly good as well. Only thing you should always have in mind when shooting Panoramas is to switch the camera into full manual mode - means exposure, aperture and ISO is locked in order to achieve an even exposure over the whole final image.
One major thing on the Faroe Islands is birdlife. Due to the fact that the country is the first bits of land they see when migrating over the Atlantic Ocean, makes islands such as Svínoy, Fugloy, Mykines and Suðuroy to some of the best hotspots for bird watching. The landscape is both helpful and challenging. With the lack of trees birds will often end up in gardens in villages which makes it fairly easy to photograph - even with a smartphone. I was able to take the photo above with my P10 Plus and the 12 MP RGB file gave me enough reserves to crop (and zoom) in afterwards.
40+ ferry hours later I found myself in Kristiansand on the southern tip of Norway, ready for a long drive! Although the drive is one of the longest I ever did, it was not boring at all. Driving through Norway is a jaw dropping experience - around every twist and turn of the mostly single-lane roads awaits another glorious photo-op. The drive through the southern part took me along the rugged coastline which is broken by huge fjords and thousands of islands, passing by the world famous tourist attractions like Preikestolen or Trolltunga.
A couple of tolls, ferries, (subsea-) tunnels and almost 10 days of driving later, I arrived in Northern Norway ready to take the bridge to the Lofoten Islands. To anyone who does not know this island - it's a place that could be a setting of some fantasy movie! Mountains cascading straight out of the ocean, a vast open sea with numerous sheltered bays, golden beaches and untouched lands - I have seen many beautiful places but Lofoten always blews me away like no other. If you are seeking the unforgettable nature experiences, Lofoten will definitely not let you down.
The rapidly changing weather and magnificent light conditions are one of main things I love about the Lofoten. One minute it might look like the biggest storm is rolling when suddenly the sky clears, revealing a magical light shining on the unreal landscape. Although I have to say that there were many times where only the storm came and the sun stayed away haha
However, these unpredictable changing light conditions, the Northern Lights and the midnight sun make this place fantastic for photography. As you might have noticed, most of my images are either taken in the morning or in the evening. Some are taken in the blue hour, some are in the golden hour but all share one thing - they were taken when there is relatively low light left. But even this situation handles the P10 Plus well - ISO capabilities are oustanding for a smartphone up to a certain level where it gets too dark to shoot anyway.
In the end I took the P10 Plus more than 14.000 km around, capturing more than 1000 images on it - and it passed the test, the P10 Plus turned out to be my perfect all time gadget on the trip, whether it was navigating, listening to music or taking photos.