Tonje Lilleås

Photographing soft fall light

I just spent a weekend all by my lonesome in the mountains around Savalen. The goal for the weekend was photographing the soft fall light and shooting some videos for my YouTube channel.

Getting around as a photographer without a car

Since the goal was to do a lot of creative work, the family figured it would be better if I went to the cabin by myself this time. I however don’t have a drivers license, so whenever I’m going somewhere alone I have to travel by train or bus. I quite enjoy the slow travel that is by train and bus. It gives me time to listen to podcasts or music and just think. Getting to the cabin is nonetheless a real project when traveling alone. I have to pack one backpack full of clothes and food for four days on my back, and one camera backpack up front. To get to the cabin I first travel by train for three and a half hours, then by bus for 40 minutes and then I walk the last 5 km.

And I have thought a lot about it; it really is a bit of a hassle to get around as a photographer without a car. However it is very much doable, and I’m not going to let the fact that I don’t have a drivers license stop me from getting out exploring with my camera. I focus on packing as light as possible, only bringing what is necessary. Even so, my backpacks tend to get heavy. However I always carry an extra 8L waterproof bag in my backpack. If my backpack feels too heavy, I repack some of my stuff into the waterproof bag, leave it along the road and walk back to get it later. I guess getting to my location is a part of the adventure, even if people shake their heads when they see me walking around with my two backpacks.

Up and out before sunrise

I don’t think there’s any feeling better than hiking before dawn. It’s the smell of moist air and damp ground. Combined with the sounds of birds waking up and chirping, water sizzling and your feet rhythmically hitting the ground. The light is shifting to very clear blue hue and you can feel it getting a bit colder as sunrise approaches. If I’m photographing a lake I like to be at location early enough to see the mist moving in before the sun rises. It’s pure magic, and really builds my anticipation for the shoot and the day that stands before me.

The sunrise light is soft, and in a way I find it even softer at fall than during the rest of the year. It might be the shifting colors of nature that helps make it even softer. I chose to hike to a place called Glefsa to explore the views there for my first sunrise shoot. And I was really happy with the images I got, showing Savalen from a different angle than I usually photograph.

And getting back out at sunset

I always try to have this rhythm whenever I go somewhere to shoot by myself; I hike to shoot images at sunrise, I shoot video, relax and edit during the day and I hike to shoot images at sunset. It’s a very luxurious way of life. Being able to take these breaks are essential to me, but I know I’m very lucky that I’m able to. I don’t ever take them for granted.

Sunset at Savalen is something I’ve shot so so many times before. This time around I wanted to make sure I got some new angles, some new subjects, some new locations captured. Finding the energy for a long evening hike can sometimes be the most challenging during these photography trips of mine. I’m often a bit beat after the morning hike and sometimes even a bit low on ideas as I have worked with editing during the day. However I know it always pays off to persevere.

Photographing soft fall light

My focus in the images is the wonderfully soft fall light and what it does to the landscapes it casts its glow upon. I wanted soft and warm colors, not making them too vibrant and busy. Focused on details and silhouettes in the landscapes, trying to show off the beauty that surrounds you at Savalen. Now I really hope you like the images I came up with!

If you found this post interesting, please leave a like and a comment down below. I would also very much appreciate it if you took the time to subscribe to my newsletter and follow me on Instagram or YouTube. And remember; there’s always more to explore locally!


  1. Reply

    Jill Morris

    September 30, 2019

    I really like the images you came up with.😀

    • Reply

      Tonje Lilleås

      September 30, 2019

      Thanks Jill, that makes me so happy🤗


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