Norway has a total area of 385,252 square kilometres (148,747 sq mi) and a population of 5,258,317 (as of January 2017). The country shares a long eastern border with Sweden (1,619 km or 1,006 mi long). Norway is bordered by Finland and Russia to the north-east, and the Skagerrak strait to the south, with Denmarkon the other side. Norway has an extensive coastline, facing the North Atlantic Ocean and the Barents Sea.
Attractive and dramatic scenery and landscape are found throughout Norway. The west coast of southern Norway and the coast of northern Norway present some of the most visually impressive coastal sceneries in the world. National Geographic has listed the Norwegian fjords as the world’s top tourist attraction. The country is also home to the natural phenomena of the Midnight sun (during summer), as well as the Aurora borealis known also as the Northern lights.
In western Norway conifers and broad-leaved trees abound in approximately equal numbers. The largest forests in Norway are found between the Swedish border and the Glåma River, east of Oslo. About half of the Østlandet region is forested. The region also has about half of Norway’s total forest resources and an equivalent share of the country’s total area of fully cultivated land. Nearly one-third of the area of Trøndelag is forested. North of the Arctic Circle there is little spruce, and pine grows mainly in the inland valleys amid their surprisingly rich vegetation. Wild berries grow abundantly in all regions; they include blueberries and cranberries of small size as well as yellow cloudberries, a fruit-bearing plant of the rose family that is little known outside Scandinavia and Britain.
Reindeer, wolverines, lemmings, and other Arctic animals are found throughout Norway, although in the south they live only in the mountain areas. Elk are common in the large coniferous forests, and red deer are numerous on the west coast. Just 150 years ago large animals of prey were common in Norway, but now the bear, wolf, and lynx are found only in a few areas, mainly in the north. Foxes, otters, and several species of marten, however, are common, and in many areas badgers and beavers thrive.
By the mid-1990s Norway had become the world’s second largest oil exporter (behind Saudi Arabia), and it remained among the world’s most important oil exporters in the early 21st century. The first commercially important discovery of petroleum on Norway’s continental shelf was made at the Ekofisk field in the North Sea late in 1969, just as foreign oil companies were about to give up after four years of exploratory drilling. Intensified exploration increased reserves faster than production. Nevertheless, by the mid-1990s about half of export earnings and about one-tenth of government revenues came from offshore oil and gas. Export earnings from oil and gas continued to climb into the middle of the first decade of the 21st century, when they tapered off somewhat. By the first decade of the 21st century, oil and gas revenue accounted for about one-fifth of overall government revenue. Oil production peaked in 2001 but remained steady into the second decade of the 21st century, while that of natural gas has continued to increase significantly since 1993.
There are so many more photos of Norway for you to enjoy. Just go to this website:
Creative photography is a mix of many ingredients: art and technology, skill and patience, cold mechanical know-how, and individual flair.
As a beginner, wouldn’t it be nice if the whole thing could be explained with a simple set of rules that were easy to understand? Surely someone could just tell you what aperture to use in a given situation, or how to structure a composition to get the best results every time.
Photography is a lot like learning to drive. With a car, you need to know the road rules, and you need to know the basic skills of steering, accelerating, and braking. These can be learned easily with a bit of practice. But even when you have mastered the essentials, you still need to get to know your car, because each car is a little different. Then you need experience with night driving, wet-weather driving, off-road driving…
What you must understand is that following the rules will only take you so far. In photography, you will find that rules help you in the beginning, and some rules will stay with you throughout your career. The trick is to understand when the rules don’t apply, or when you should choose to ignore them. This is the type of knowledge that can’t easily be taught. It comes with experience, and it’s what gives you individuality as a photographer.
Below are just a few of the rules that, for an experienced photographer, are made to be broken.
This is one of the first principles of landscape photography, and it can be applied to almost any outdoor photography. The softness and warm color of the sunlight at these times adds beauty and character to almost any scene. It also creates much lower contrast, allowing you to avoid harsh shadows and over-exposure of the highlights in your photos.
When can you break this rule? I can think of two situations immediately.
Black and white photography is defined by contrast rather than by subtle color, so you often want stronger shadows to create the best image. For this reason, black and white photos are often best taken closer to the middle of the day when the light is stronger.
Rainforest photography is also best in the middle of the day, but this time you don’t want bright sunlight; you want cloudy weather to create an nice even light throughout the forest. Otherwise the patches of light coming through the canopy will create ‘hot spots’ all over your image.
The rule of thirds is an excellent guide for a beginner learning about composition. In simple terms, it divides your photo into three parts, vertically and horizontally. The dividing lines are the best places to position long objects in a photo (like trees and horizon lines). The points where the lines intersect are the most effective places to position smaller objects for most impact.
Photos that are taken according to the rule of thirds appear balanced. They satisfy our natural sense of visual order and simply look “right.” Unfortunately, the world is not so easily organized as the rule, so it is impossible in nature to take every photo this way. Moreover, sometimes you may decide to ignore the rule, giving more impact to the photo by shaking up the normal balance of the composition.
When can you break this rule? Here is one obvious example, but I’m sure you can think of many more.
Sunset photos feature colorful skies and silhouettes in the foreground. If you have a truly spectacular sky, it doesn’t make sense to fill a third of the picture with empty blackness. You may choose to tilt the camera up to make a feature of the sky and reduce the area filled by the foreground.
Most of the time you can trust your light meter. If it indicates your photo is well exposed, it probably will be…but not always. When can you break this rule? When there is a big difference in the level of light between the subject and the surroundings.
You may be photographing a person, an animal, a flower, etc. in full sunlight, but the background is shady. This is a very effective way of making your subject stand out from the surroundings. In this situation, the different levels of light are bound to trick the light meter. In fact, if you take your photo on auto, your subject will most likely be overexposed. The best approach is to switch your camera to manual mode, and adjust your aperture or shutter speed until the photo is underexposed by one or two stops. This will darken your background and bring the subject into perfect exposure.
Can you see a pattern developing here? Rules are there for a reason, and your skills will improve in leaps and bounds if you learn them and practice them.
But having done that, you’re ready to take the next step. Start experimenting outside the rules and see where it takes you. Knowing and following the rules will make you a good photographer. Choosing how and when to break them will make you even better.
About the Author:
Andrew Goodall writes for http://www.naturesimage.com.au and is a nature photographer based in Australia. He manages a gallery in Montville full of landscape photography from throughout Australia.
I know I may step on some toes here with this article, because I have a lot of friends who take a lot of photos with their smart phone cameras. And, I agree that they take pretty good photos. I, too, have taken pretty good photos with my smart phone camera:
Of course the ones that come to mind are the ones that I recently posted from my recent round of winter photos. These photos turned out really good, and I was impressed. To me, these needed a little post production work to get the exposure right, and that is ok. But, there are still things in photography that you cannot do in a smart phone (for now) that you MUST have a “real” DSLR camera to do it right. And I think this is where the serious photographers will always come back to. Let’s review some of those important things about why a photographer will always get a real camera to do their work over a smart phone:
I mentioned this in a previous blog, but, I want to emphasize this even more here again. And a camera only does this right. A smart phone camera was never designed to add lenses. There are manufactures on the market now that have designed lenses to clip onto your smart phone now to do the work of some lenses, but, can I be honest? They are ”CRAP”. So, just to show you again the different amount of lenses that Nikon, or Canon, or Pentax, or Sony or many of the other camera manufactures have created you would go……
Every lens here was designed for a specific purpose in photography. Whether one lens was meant to be a special lens for wildlife, for sports photography, for macro work, for low light photography, for portrait photography, for portrait – low light photography, for an all-in-one zoom lens, for whatever, they create it for the photographers request.
I don’t know of a serious photographer who doesn’t have a collection of filters in their bag.
Shown above are just a few of the various types of filters, but, there are so many to choose from. It must be time to spend a session on filters. But, they can help the photographer in so many ways. And I know there are “colorization” helps in some smart phones, that totally change the color of the photos. That is kind of “hokey” to me. Filters weren’t meant to change the color, they were meant to help the photo. Not change it. Does that sound like I am contradicting myself? Well, let me explain myself a bit. The first and most used filter I have in my collection, and I use it all the time when I am doing scenery photography is a polarizing filter. A polarizing filter does not change the color of your photo. It’s technical purpose is to stop reflection of the light from anything that reflects the light, except metal objects. What could be reflecting light? Just simple things in the sky, like dust particles in the sky, and the leaves on trees, and grass, and dirt, and water, etc. Here is an example of how it will only improve your photo, not change it’s color:
Notice the sky gets more blue, the trees get greener, and the cement even got more richer in color, and the white puffy clouds got more white. Can your smart phone do that? NO. They do not make filters like that for your smart phone.
The second most popular filter used in the camera bag is the Neutral density filter:
The neutral density filter is a neutral color. Let’s start with that. It does not change color either. It only darkens your exposure for the lens. This allows you to cut down the light and force you to shoot slower shutter speeds (hmmm, sounds like something else you cannot do with your smart phone). And the results are breathtaking:
Almost anyone who shoots water will use a neutral density filter, along with their tripod, to be able to shoot at such a long exposure. Nice touch, right? Or of course, the famous waterfall photos are incredible too:
This important kind of creativity cannot be done with a smart phone.
This is another thing that I love about my camera that I know you cannot get on a smart phone. And, let me explain this one.
Without further qualifications, the term bracketing usually refers to exposure bracketing: the photographer chooses to take one picture at a given exposure, one or more brighter, and one or more darker, in order to select the most satisfactory image. Technically, this can be accomplished by changing either the shutter speed or the aperture, or, with digital cameras, the ISO speed, or combinations thereof.
I have often gone into a very contrast lighting situation, and totally did not rely on my light meter to give me the best shot. And I had one shot to give it my best. So, on my DSLR camera, I have a setting called: Exposure Bracketing. I can set it to shoot three shots all at once. One photo will be under exposed, one photo perfect exposed according to the meter, and one photo will be over exposed. And I can regulate how far over and under exposed I want it to be, like 1/2 over or under exposed. And when I get done shooting, the camera has given me 3 shots, not 1 of different exposed settings to choose from. I can then pick which one I like the best.
Your cell phone cannot do that.
Oh, is a tripod that important? If you are a serious photographer, it is. You cannot take all your serious photography during the day. And even if you did, take a look above at the information about the filters. Do you not see that one of those photos was taken in the daytime with a shutter speed at 30 seconds? ON A TRIPOD. Your smart phone cannot do that.
I need a camera that can shoot my kids sports games at a fast shutter speed, like 2 to 3 frames a second or even faster, without worrying about missing anything and have stop action so I can see their expressions on their faces. Yes, my DSLR camera shoots about 4 frames a second, and the autofocus will keep up to it. And it will not hesitate to give you perfect, sharp photos of your kids during the game. Your smart phone will not do that.
You know, I love my smart phone. Until I get outside in the sun. They only give me one option to see what my picture looks like as I take the photo. But, out in the sun, I can’t see what is on my screen !! It’s so bright outside, I can’t see a thing on that nice screen.
Sometimes I have the same problem on the back of a camera’s screen:
That screen on the back of the camera is the same type of screen that you have on your smart phone, so, I can’t see a thing on that screen either on my camera. But, wait !!! They thought of everything:
They have the option of looking into a regular viewfinder on all cameras, where I can put my eye up to this viewfinder, and it wraps around my eye and I can see everything that I need to see just fine. No worries at all. I can see the exposure information, and see if it is in focus as well. Plus, they have put a diopter on the back so I can adjust it for my eyesight as well. You can’t do that on a smart phone.
I have gone over this in a previous blog, but will go over this again. A 12 megapixel sensor from a smart phone camera is not as sharp as a 12 megapixel sensor in a DSLR camera. And in the same token, a 12 megapixel sensor in a DSLR camera is not as sharp as a 12 megapixel sensor in a large format camera. It is the same as film. For those who live through film: a photo taken by a 110 camera will not be as sharp as a 35mm camera. And 35mm camera will not be as sharp as a 120mm film camera. It is a matter of what happens to the pixels as you blow them up to a 30 X 40 Print. Here is the graph again:
The blue square is the size of the sensor in your smart phone. The orange color square (the APS-C) is the size of the sensor in a Canon Camera or a DSLR. And the largest one, marked 24mm, is the size of the new large format digital camera like the Hasselblad or Fuji Professional size camera. Can you see if you blow these up to a 30X40 that the image will be better on a larger sensor? Well, of course, in today’s market, the camera manufactures not only have larger sensors, they have been putting in sharper sensors now as well. So, the new Samsung S-9 Smart phone camera, has a sharp 13 megapixel sensor in it. Where the new DSLR camera from Canon or Nikon that uses the APS -C format not only is larger, but is around 24 Megapixel now. And of course the bigger large format camera from Hasselblad is now using around 70Megapixel in their cameras. So, the larger the format, the better the picture. PERIOD.
These are just some of the basic differences in the standard DSLR cameras vs. a smart phone camera. The professional DSLR cameras will have even more differences, but, those cameras are meant more for professional use, and are meant to have much more differences.
My point is: Even though the cameras seem to be getting better in smart phones, you are still very limited in what you can do with them. So please don’t think you can become a serious photographer with your smart phone….. YET.