Norway is seriously off-the-charts amazing!
As you may have read in my last post, I recently returned from a trip to Norway, which included a very strenuous hike up to Pulpit Rock, known locally as Preikestolen. That last blog post covers the hike up there (which was beautiful though bone-jarring in some parts), but I ended it with a bit of a cliff-hanger, so to speak - I never showed you any images of my hike's destination. So today I correct that.
I give you the mighty Pulpit Rock, with the majestic and beautiful Lysefjord below it!
There are a lot of beautiful places in the world, and they are often breath-taking in their beauty. But this place literally took my breath away, and that rarely happens. I stood here in awe of what Mother Nature created for us. I have been fortunate to travel to a lot of interesting places in the world, and I have seen a lot of fabulous spots. But this one was an exception. It really did cause me to pause and just chill out, like I was in a grand cathedral in Europe. I stopped in my tracks. I just stood there for a few moments to take it all in. I was quiet and reverent.
And then I got busy taking a million photos. You can't stand around and look at it forever. :-)
Once I arrived and took a few shots, I chose to just sit on Pulpit Rock (but not too close to the edge!) and relax for a bit. It was mid-afternoon and there were some great clouds floating by, but they were moving slow and I decided to do the same. Plus, I was freakin' tired from the hike. So I ate some snacks and rehydrated while just taking it all in. There were some (ok, many) people taking selfies of course, but no "serious" photographers that I could ascertain - not that it matters, I just like to observe that sort of stuff. Most people were just shooting with their phones. Everyone was in good spirits, and deservedly so. The place just makes you smile.
After my rest, I decided to climb some more and headed further up the mountain to an isolated spot up above Pulpit Rock, which gave me a commanding view of it, not to mention an interesting perspective. After shooting there, I rested again (as I said, I was pretty wiped out!) before starting another climb. This time I wandered off away from Pulpit Rock a bit and ended up climbing way up above it. From there I could see for miles, literally, in every direction. I felt like I could see halfway across Europe. It was amazing. And I had ALL of that to myself. I was out of view of Pulpit Rock and the tourists that were gathered there. I was off on my own exploring, and it was a vast, empty mountainscape that surrounded me on all sides. Yes, it was awesome. (Of course, I took another million pics along the way, and will come back with those at a later date.)
But today's post is all about Pulpit Rock and Lysefjord, and it was fabulous, people! If you ever find yourself anywhere near southern Norway and the town of Stavanger, make it a point to spend a day visiting Pulpit Rock. You will not be disappointed! And though the hike is demanding, the payoff makes it worth every grueling step it takes you to get there.
And yes, I shot all of these with my lovely and awesome new camera, the Sony A7II. It captures amazing detail and the dynamic range is off the charts great. I will be writing more about it as I use it more, but suffice it to say that I am very impressed! And all of these pics are 3 exposure HDRs that were merged into HDR in Photomatix, with some additional filters applied in Color Efex Pro and then final touch-up in Lightroom.