Døråldalen, the colorful neighbor to Rondane national park
It’s a beautiful place in the fall time. The last time I was here was two years ago. You can check out my previous post En tur til Døråldalen (In Norwegian).
This time we wanted to witness the lunar eclipse that would occur around 4 in the morning. I got some decent photographs from this trip. So instead of cramming all of the keepers in one blog post, which would be messy, I will split the images into four blog posts.
How to get there
I got some questions on the last post about Døråldalen on how to get here. If you use Google maps, you can click this link, and choose the driving direction from wherever you are. If you are driving via Gudbrandsdalen, do a stop in Ringebu. We have a “Village photo gallery” on the walls in the street:).
Just remember to have some cash for the toll road. 50 NOK, no credit cards.
Update: The barrier has been updated, and now only accepts credit cards.
Earlier that day, I got a message from one of the guys from the local camera club that they would also be there. So I drove there early to met up with them. On my way there, the clouds were covering most of the valley. But there were some gaps in the clouds. The light would only shine for a couple of seconds. When I was coming around a turn, I got a glimpse. I stopped the car and hauled ass. Running to get a better view. I was just a few seconds late – the light was disappearing just when I pushed the shutter. I just managed to get an exposure reading before the trees were in the dark.
The cell phone reception is pretty much non-existent here, so I couldn’t reach them on the phone. So I just drove, hoping I would spot them on the way. And just when I reached the usual parking spot, Jon and Thomas came walking. They’d been here for a few hours already. We set up camp just beside the road, and made some simple dinner, and relaxed with a cup of coffee. The weather was nice. No wind at all and the temperature was alright. But the clouds blocked the sun.
The mandatory phone camera selfie. Sorry, Jon, for the not so flattering image :)
After dinner, it’s time for some sun
Later, we went to a nearby pond where I and many many others have taken gazillion pictures. But no wonder. It’s absolutely gorgeous there!
I recently bought a LEE big stopper, a 10 stop filter. Haven’t gotten around to try it out properly until now. It’s as dense as welding glasses! I had set the exposure timer for 3 minutes, but then I noticed the awesome colors just above the mountains. I wanted to get some close-ups before it was too late, so I stopped the timer at 148 seconds. Seems like that was just enough.
The nameless pond with the Rondane mountains in the background:
Up close and personal
I got to try out the new Nikon 200-500mm lens from Jon. I’ve always wanted to get some detailed shots of the mountains.
The part of the mountains in these photographs is several hundred meters tall and wide. The Rondane mountains all reach around 2000 meters above sea level. Døråldalen is around 1100 meters above sea level.
It’s awesome to get that close where you almost can feel the mountain. The lens is awesome. Plenty of sharpness even wide open at F5,6, which is the lens’s widest aperture. And the image stabilizer works really well. I can handhold it at 500mm and 1/80th even!
The sun is down, cue the moon
Opposite of where the sun sets, comes the moon. But the clouds covered its entrance, so we didn’t see the moon before it peeked from behind the clouds.
I find moon rises quite exciting. Watching it when it rises from behind the mountains. I got to borrow Jon’s lens again. 500mm, and I can’t get closer than this. Weird to think that people have walked up there.
After the moonrise, we made a fire. To keep us warm, and it’s cozy as well it looks cool on images:). Only 6-7 hours until the lunar eclipse now.
Part 2: The waiting game.