WhosHU Landscape » Landscape Photography

What’s a Rorbuer? Where to stay in Lofoten, Norway



One unique sight that you’ll see dotting all over Lofoten island are these brightly colored houses. They are traditional fishermen’s cabins called Rorbuers. Once used during the annual cod fishing events in the winter, a lot of them have since been converted into cozy, modern, little cabins that sleep anywhere from 2 to 8 people.


I wondered why people don’t stay in hotels when the visit the area, as it turns out, there was only 1 hotel in the region. The Best Western in Leknes (old, but really good breakfast). Most people stay in a Rorbuer. Our Rorbuer had a full kitchen, big dining table, living room, two bedrooms and a bathroom. The kitchen is an awesome idea as restaurants are incredibly expensive here.temp_album_1-copy

We chose to stay at the Eliassen Rorbuer, located on the tiny island of Hamnoy. The reason is simple: the view! I took this shot below while sitting in a comfy chair by the window, with a steaming cup of tea next to me.norway16_0638-copy


And that famous mountain you always see from Lofoten is right outside of our cabin.

Staying right here meant that I can watch the constantly changing weather from the cozy cabin. It took only 3 minutes to walk to this vantage point.
ISO50 21mm F/11 6.0sec

On a few nights, when the aurora activities were strong, we turned off the lights and watched the northern lights dancing over us.norway16_0372-copy
ISO 1600 16mm F/4 8sec
ISO 1600 18mm F/4 8sec

ISO6400 17mm F/2.8 8sec

Getting that sunrise shot was easier thanks to the short walknorway16_0565-copy
ISO100 17mm F/11 30.0sec

After 2 days of nice weather, a huge storm blew in. The gale force wind shook the cabin and brought some heavy rains. Intermittently, the sun would break through and the rainbow would come out. When I saw this scene from our window, I grabbed my rain gear and ran out. The wind was so strong that it blew my tripod over as soon as I set it down. I couldn’t even breath when I was facing into the wind. I don’t normally complain about the weather because that’s part of taking the shot, but this is photography on hard mode. I only lasted 2 minutes out on the vantage point before giving up. The rain and the incredibly strong wind got the better of me.
ISO200 16mm F/8 1/250

I think one of the things that I’ll miss the most about Norway is that cozy cabin. Below is the last shot I took of this place before heading back to the airport. I used the Lee Big Stopper 10 stop ND filter for this shot. I saw a streak of sunlight peaking through the clouds. So I waited until that spot of light was almost on the cabins before starting the 137-second exposure. The light swept through the cabin during the exposure, giving them a very subtle glow. This technique is a variation of light painting by using the clouds and the sun. It’s great at softening harsh light beams.
ISO50 19mm F/16 137.0sec

Equipment used for most of these shots:

Canon 5D Mark IV
Canon 16-35mm F/2.8
Gitzo GT2542 Carbon Fiber Tripod
RFN-4 Wireless Remote Shutter Release
Lee Filter Holder
Lee Big Stopper 10 Stop ND filter
Adapter Rings for your lenses
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