2 weeks hard work for the perfect picture

It all started with a dream of catching surfing under Northern lights. For the last three years, the photographers Mats Grimsæth and Emil Sollie made this an idea and in addition they got the world's best surfer, Mick Fanning, all the way from Australia.

Foto: Emil Sollie

Foto: Emil Sollie

FIRST MEETING

Foto: Emil Sollie f.vand Mats Grimsæth f.l

Foto: Emil Sollie f.vand Mats Grimsæth f.l

Mats Grimsæth and Emil Sollie met for the first time in Portugal four years ago at the surfing camp Lapoint. Both of them are photographers and have a passion for, among other things, documenting and taking pictures of surfing.

Emil had the idea that it might be possible to have a wireless flash in the camerahouse itself. But both thought this could be a challenge , but they decided to test it. They managed to light up a wave with the flash and snapped a cool picture of a surfer. This allowed them to discuss further, they launched the creative mindset and pictured themselves this picture surrounded by tall, steep mountains in Lofoten and northern lights. But would this be possible?

"This was something nobody had ever done before, and we were very unsure if this would be a problem," Mats Grimsæth says.

After looking at this, both became more and more triggered by the idea of aving this dream come true. Grimsæth never got this picture out of his mind, and they both went three years back and forth with discussion about how to do this.

In the end, they decided to do it, and they contacted Redbull as they both worked for them, and presented a pitch for them about the plan they had. Redbull bet on the first hook and started to contact different athletes. Grimsæth and Solli thought nothing more about which surfer they were going to get involved with in this project. So they suddenly got a big surprise when they heard.

The worlds best surfer on the team

Foto: Mats Grimsæth

Foto: Mats Grimsæth

Suddenly they got a call that the world's best surfer, Australian Mick Fanning, wanted to join the project. The dream immediately became reality and  the dream of catching  a picture of this surfer, under the northern lights, surrounded by steep high mountains in Lofoten was now a 

"We did not believe it at first, it was completely surreal. I knew who Mick Fanning was, everyone in the surf community knows who it is. The idea that he was willing to travel all the way from Australia to Lofoten to take this picture with us was crazy, says Grimsæth.

Mick Fanning though it was great to be in Norway.

-“Mick was so stoked when he surfed Lofoten's raw winter waves, underneath the red sky and the beautiful sunsets. But most of all, it was also sick for me, who layed in the water taking pictures with Mick Fanning, under a northern light that was strong enough to be able to shoot with a mobile phone”, Grimsæth says.

Lofoten
 

Foto: Mats Grimsæth

Foto: Mats Grimsæth

When they arrived at Lofoten, the tests started. If it was possible at all. They had two weeks to take this picture. The wireless flash in the water was a bigger challenge than expected, as it often disappeared under the water.

- It ended with swarming so hard I could, with the flash high above my head. My head was under the water, in order to get the flash high enough from the water. This made it difficult to meet the moment at hand, and the communication to land between me and Emil who was going to take a picture became a big challenge, "says Grimsæth.

Foto: Mats Grimsæth

Foto: Mats Grimsæth

Grimsæth and Sollie spent countless days studying. It was in the middle of  november and that’s a hardweather month in Lofoten. The weather and conditions were impossible to predict, and they had little luck in getting all the conditions to vote.

Their plan was to perfect swell / waves, northern lights, and clear weather - which happens rarely in November. After many days of testing, it was technical possible and a big swell was announced. But with the swell the storm also came, which made it impossible to carry out a picture. The storm came, and they began to become impatient and save that this could not be done.

The implementation  

Foto: Mats Grimsæth

Foto: Mats Grimsæth

Just over midnight that night it suddenly cleared up. The northern lights were dancing in the sky, and after waiting many days at this moment, the crew were fast in the water. They were not going to miss this moment. Although it was clear sky, it was still cloudy, which made it incredibly difficult with communication. Then they were three pieces that might have to communicate to make it happen. Emil on land with camera, Mick who was going to surf and mats that lay in the water with the flash. Both Sollie and Grimsæth had great trouble watching the surf in the water, which meant that Grimsæth had to take the chance that the flash would hit right. After three hours in the water, we did not yet know if we had a picture when we landed. It was incredibly scary.

The dream coming true.

Foto: Emil Sollie, Mats Grimsæth

Foto: Emil Sollie, Mats Grimsæth

After looking through the pictures, we found out we´d got it.

- "We were so stoked. It was not quite clear to us that we had made it. Then it was very important for us to find out how we were going to do everything in terms of publishing and everything. We had to hold on to the picture and do everything right."

The entire performance and the trip had been filmed and documented so it became a movie out of it. This movie was posted on social media when the photo was posted. And soon this was spread out worldwide. (Watch at redbull.no)

- This day was a big day for us. It was a big dream come true - it was when we realized we had acamplished something big. All the feedback, and just that it spread all over the world. Absolutely surreal, concludes Grimsæth.

Adventure paradise

29-year old Kristine Tofte from Stavanger is currently living on a remote island in the Barents Sea.

Foto: Kristine Tofte

Foto: Kristine Tofte

Kristine has a master’s degree in Meteorology and is currently working as a meteorologist at the meteorological station on Bear Island. Her main tasks include doing hourly weather observations, reading weather reports over the radio and releasing weather balloons.

She considers herself to be outgoing, funny, and maybe a little quirky. When she is not working, she is usually found on the beach preferable with a surfboard. Other hobbies include taking photos, travelling and meeting new people. She recently moved home after living five years on the beautiful island of Oahu, Hawaii, in the United States.

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What made you move to Bjørnøya?

- I was on the lookout for a new job after moving home from Hawaii. That is when I came across a job application as a meteorologist on Bear Island, and I remembered seeing Bear Island the movie a few years earlier. The movie was made by three brothers who explored the entire island by skiing, surfing, snowboarding, climbing and paragliding. The island looked like a giant playground surrounded by ocean. “I decided I was going to apply and I was fortunate to get the job" says Tofte.

Polar bears

Foto: Kristine Tofte

Foto: Kristine Tofte

The island life is pretty mellow. They all work, eat and sleep in the same building and spend about zero time getting to and from places. Their office is less than a minute away from their rooms and the gym might be slightly more than a minute away. There are two chefs working on the island and they order all the food and cook all the meals, so no need for a grocery store here.

"The nature is absolutely beautiful so we spend a lot of time outside. We have three huskies, Aki, Eerkki and Laban, on the station so they usually come with us on both shorter and longer hikes. The dogs are on the island as companions when hiking but also to protect against polar bears. We always bring a rifle with us every time we leave the station area. Even though there has not been any polar bears sightings since 2012, the rifle is mostly ment as a safety precaution.

Nine people living on the island

Foto: Kristine Tofte

Foto: Kristine Tofte

Tofte describes it as a bit challenging to live on an isolated island, but finds it to be a good learning experience.

"Living with only eight other people, I have learned a lot about myself and I have learned a lot from everyone. The hardest part about living here is missing friends and family, but luckily I know I will see them soon.”

The most exciting moment

Foto: Margrete Reinsbø

Foto: Margrete Reinsbø

"My most exciting experience up here was the second time I surfed a spot called Nordhamna. The first time I surfed, the waves were pretty small and not really surfable, but the second time was a lot of fun. The weather was perfect with no windy, sunny and good waves. I was also fortunate to have a photographer with me to capture the moment."

Foto: Kristine Tofte. The Weatherstation

Foto: Kristine Tofte. The Weatherstation

Foto: Kristine Tofte

Foto: Kristine Tofte

“This summer had a lot of visitors. A majority of the visitors came by sailboats and the rest came from cruise ships. The Norwegian Polar Institute had nine bird scientists on the island for a two-month period. We have also had a large number of geologists on the island, in addition to a few marine biologists, two architects and a northern lights researcher.

The Coast Guard deliver provisions every four to six weeks, and usually bring with them young privates eager to see the island. Everyone is welcome for some cake and a hot cup of coffee, and to join the “Bjørnøya nakenbadeforening” club. According to Tofte, the club consists of over 3000 members who have willing taken a swim in the cold Arctic water with no clothes on.

An adventure paradise  

Foto: Kristine Tofte

Foto: Kristine Tofte

Bear Island is an adventure paradise. One unique thing about the island is all the rock formations like Sylen, Perleporten, Engelskstauren and Kvalkjeften. There are also two visible shipwrecks and two aircrafts. One of the planes were blown up during WW2 and the other one crashed during a snowstorm in 1954, Tofte said.

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The island also has six mountains in the south. Here, large amounts of birds come every summer to nest. These birds include common guillemots, guillemots, arctic skua, little auk, skua, kittiwake, fulmars, puffin and many more. “It is a very special experience to see and hear the entire Bird Mountain covered with ten thousands of birds", Kristine says.

Foto: Kristine Tofte

Foto: Kristine Tofte

Foto: Kristine Tofte

Foto: Kristine Tofte


After living on Bjørnøya for a while, i`ve fallen in love with it. Being close to the nature, the beautiful attractions, and just the thrill and excitment of living her. I really recommend Bjørnøya- If you want to experience something different and uniq. 

 

Read how Norgesjakt takes care of their "team"

There`s many reasons Ole Morten and Irene from Norgesjakt loves to be outdoors- one of them is that they get to do what they love the most… Hunting birds with their four English Setters. The married couple has a great cabin in Steinkjer, Norway where they spend over 100 days and nights outside every year. In 2015 the outdoor enthusiasts left well over 600 miles in the mountains and they will love to share their tips and tricks with you.

Iréne og Ole Morten Rømo from NorgesJakt are happy to share their tips.

Iréne og Ole Morten Rømo from NorgesJakt are happy to share their tips.

1.       Make sure to have your equipment in order- and think about safety.

-          We allways choose quality over quantity when it comes to gear. We don`t bring more than necessary, and we make sure to have good shoes and clothes that fits the weather conditions.

-          Safety during the hunt is also important to us- we label ourself and the dogs in strong colours to avoid accidents.

It`s important to make time to relax and enjoi

It`s important to make time to relax and enjoi

2.       Good stamina makes the trip better for everybody.

-          We who hunt with standing gundogs, don`t sit still, but are in constant movement in varied terrain. We walk over 18 miles every day, while the dogs cover 100 miles. It`s self said that it`s important for both the dogs and the humans to stay in good shape, Irene smiles.

To create the best foundation for good expeditions, Irene and Ole Morten has clear priorities for their hunting team:

-          Irene and I do fitness training together every week, in addition to train the dogs every day. We start to train the puppy while in an early stage, that way we get to know the dog, and how he moves in different terrain – which mean we can easier cover a large area, when we`re out hunting. These precautions 

Hours of training pays of when the dogs behave exactly the way they should

Hours of training pays of when the dogs behave exactly the way they should

1.       Important to see all the members of the team.

         Our dogs are making it posible for us to hunt in the way we do. That’s why it`s important for us that they have a good time when we`re out in the forrest – I`t important that they get good food and have confidence that we take care of them.

Irène also means that a good team strategy contributes to the experience.

         A well trained dog is a happy dog, and it feels great when the dog does exactly as it suppose to! Predictability also makes it easier for us to enjoy nature – the small , lovely moment such as listening to the Black Grous play and watching the silhouette of your dog at a top towards the sunrise.

Join the professional mountaineers

The mountain tops of Jotunheimen has attracted Rune Haug since he was a little boy. Many years and countless mountaindays later he’s guiding turists and less experienced mountaineers in and upwards the mountain party where he has worn out a long line of hiking boots.

The Heat Experience team are really inspired of all the knowledge Rune has – and we’d love to share it with you.

1.       Do research – weather ahead

-          Figure out what you wan’t out of the trip, and be prepared that things can happen underway, Rune warns.

-          A repeater is that people are suprised by the thin air in the mountains. Breathing gets heavier, you move slower forward and often use more time than first planned.

Rune recomends physical preparation to be best prepared for your trip.

-          Some people are suprised that they are in poorer shape than they first thought, while others are suprised the trip went so easy, Rune smiles and adds:

-          It`s important not to take over your head. And if your not used to spending the entire day outside in nature, it might be a good idea to do a couple of test trips near home in different weather conditions – outreach bad weather under controlled conditions. This way you can feel how it’s experienced.

The experience might decrease by entirely unnecessary causes.

UPWARDS BESSEGGEN: It`s important to have the gear in order.

UPWARDS BESSEGGEN: It`s important to have the gear in order.

2.    Dress reasonable

-          Many people are suprised by the mountain weather and don`t think that it can be winter there even though it`s summer at home. At Galdhøpiggen (Norways highest mountain) you can often be able to sit at the top in your t-shirt one day, and you have to wear a down jacket the next day.

Rune mean that a basic knowledge about how to dress is important for the safety in the mountains.

-          Rescue operations because of bone fracture is rear, most of the operations are started because of poor preparations combined with bad weather conditions. People often go out for a longer trip In their sneakers, sandals or snowjoggers, and we have seen it all, Rune says.

He also warns about going in the opposite trap: believe to be secure, just because you have advanced equipment.

LISTEN TO EXPERIENCED MOUNTAINEERS: Remember that your most important equpment is your head.

LISTEN TO EXPERIENCED MOUNTAINEERS: Remember that your most important equpment is your head.

3.       Don`t belive that expensive equipment can replace knowledge.

-          We see it over and over again: people buy expensive equipment and head of without necessary knowledge about different types of snow and avalanche danger. This specially occur in winter time, Runa says.

-          People often sit down to have lunch right below a hill where it`s hi possibilities for avalanche or incoming skiers. It can potentially be life threatening.

Rune recommend to contact professionals if you are unsure.

-          “Better safe than sorry” is a great rule to bring to the mountains. You can never be entirely secure, but the old mountain rule about listening to experienced mountaineers doesn`t make the situation worse.

Become a better hunter with professional huntress Anette Dahl

Three reasons you can skip wild cameras and other «nips».

-          You don`t become a better hunter by making it simpler for yourself. You become a better hunter by challenging yourself, Anette Dahl says.

The 25 year young women from Stathelle, Norway, has been hunting since she was a little girl. Many years of hunting and outdoor life has given her valueble experiences- which mught give her the empression of being «old fashioned».

-          I try to avoid expensive and fancy equipment, nips and things that makes it possible to «cheat» during the hunt, Anette says. She belive this effects the hunt in three ways:

1.       A better hunting experience

-          Sleeping outside and interacing with the animals outside the hunting situation, helps me understand the animals behaviour better.

Anette is glad to bring the dogs out on training and sleepover trips in the forrest also when there`s no hunting involved. She belive knowing the animals, both her own dogs and the animals she hunts, makes her a better hunter.

Anette bring her dogs to overnight trips even outside of hunting

Anette bring her dogs to overnight trips even outside of hunting

2.       A better value

-          The value of setting a goal and work hard to achieve it, will allways be better higher than the value of getting something «for free». To accomplish something gives self esteem, because you know it`s hard work behind the achievement instead of shortcuts and easy solutions.

This philosophy is a concious choice for Anette.

-          It`s important for me not to simplify things for myself. When i put hard work in my hunting, i also feel that the prey is much more deserved.

Anette means that a well prepared hunt makes her appreciate the nature even more

Anette means that a well prepared hunt makes her appreciate the nature even more

3.       A better outdoor experience.

-          A good hunt is about being a part of nature. We might put to much into catching the prey and taking a photo of it, and not enogh in the hunt itself?

-          Preparing early by sleeping outside and seeking a connection with the animals outisde of the hunting situation, teaaches you a lot about nature. It`s also a great base for better nature experiences. 

Four travel tips for those who long for a cold vacation

Morten Brekke from Mitt Jaktblad (Norwegian hunting magazine is an experiences outdoor enthusiast that has been working with hunting, fishing and outdoors through 20 years. Here Morten brings you his best tips for cold destinations to visit.

Rib boating in Svalbard

The triangle Longyearbyen – Barentsburg – Pyramid is a great base for boat people. Combined with snowmobile and skis this route offers spectacular arctic experiences.

Traditional fishing on Greenland

The southern tip of Greenland offer extreme climate, but also unique fishing possibilities – specially for those who are interested in traditional fishing methods. The surroundings are filled with natural resources, but poor on infrastructure – rent a native guide and learn the old fishing methods.

Canoeing in Canada

Take a flight to Yellow Knife, Canada, and test your paddle skills and survival knowledge with long walks through rivers and rapids. Try also char fishing in Great Slave Lake, that can contain up to 1 year old fish.

Hiking in Yukon

Macenzie-mountains are for the experienced mountaineers among us – start from in the town White Horse, and use a couple of weeks to explore the massive mountain area protruding almost 3000 meters over sea.