What Gear for Winter in Norway and Iceland

The long planned return to Iceland and Norway’s Lofoten Islands is drawing near.  Just 3 weeks away, and then four glorious weeks in the most inspiring and beautiful winter landscapes.  So, with all preparations made, flights and accommodations booked, hire cars rented and all my photographic equipment primed, I thought perhaps to share what gear I have to best capture these wonderful landscapes.

Cameras

Canon 5D Mk iv

Canon 6D Mk i

With freezing conditions, snow, rain, waterfall spray, gale force winds and all sorts of opportunities to do damage, it is important to have a back up camera.  My last trip, I had the Canon 5D Mk ii, so really looking forward to the extra resolution, the improved dynamic range, the better low light capability and the improved focus system of the Mk iv, and coupled particularly with my new 16-35 III f2.8 L series lens.  The 6D I bought for backup just for this trip.  In its own right, it is an excellent camera, great in low light, but hopefully not needed.

Lenses

Canon 16-35L III f/2.8

Canon 24-70L f/4

Canon 70-200L f/4

A highlight of any winter visit to the Arctic North is the opportunity to capture the Aurora Borealis.  Key to capture it is to have a fast, wide, lens.  The new 16-35 at f/2.8 should be ideal.  It will also be ideal for capturing those vast landscapes that Iceland and Lofoten offers.  The 24-105 is a great general purpose lens, and the 70-200 gives me scope to get tight when the opportunities demand.

Tripod

I have a fairly light weight MeFOTO A2350 Globetrottr aluminium tripod with its standard ball head.  It folds up compactly for easy packing and easy carrying.  It’s the first time travelling with it, so will see how it goes, but it has the capacity to easily manage my heavy camera and lens combo’s and deal, hopefull, with the strong winds we will certainly see in both Lofoten and Iceland

Filters

Lee Filter System, with ......

77mm and 82mm adaptor rings

2 stop soft edge GND Filter

3 stop soft edge GND Filter

10 stop “big stopper” ND Filter

105mm Landscape Polariser

A Filter system is a must for the images I hope to take, importantly to balance the wide dynamic range that I will find in Lofoten and Iceland.  The Mk iv has pretty good dynamic range, but I will still need to balance the bright skies against the foreground shadows that I will encounter, perhaps even stacking the 2 stop and 3 stop gnd’s In the same image.  The “big stopper” gives me a lot of scope to smooth out lakes, seas, and waterfalls even in the harsh light of midday, and the polariser is a must to cut through haze and harsh reflections particularly when capturing some of the stunning seascapes in Lofoten.

Storage

It is critical to have enough card storage for 4 weeks of travel.  I have a number of Sandisk 64gb sdxc and 32gb, and 16gb Compact Flash Cards.

Just as important is the backup capability.  I will have a 2TB external hard disk with my MacBook Air to routinely back up every days’s shoot too.

Other

Canon TC-80N3 Remote

Batter Charger with 3 or 4 batteries

 

A lots of gear, but all fit for purpose and enabling me to take the best images possible for this trip.

 

Next Blog.     My Itinerary for Norway and Iceland