Tonje Lilleås

Rondane in solitude

Photographing sunset in Rondane was a great experience. Here’s the images and the story that go with them.

We had been driving all day long. Stopping for dinner and some legos by the table at a local bistro was necessary even though we only had about half an hour left to our end point for the day. Our son had stated clearly that he was tired of being stuck in his car seat, he needed to be a child for a while. And the break was welcomed by me and my pregnant wife as well. But as we got back in the car to drive the last short part towards the hotel where we were staying at that night, I felt a growing impatience to get there.

You see, I had looked at the sky. And the sky told me that there was going to be light this evening. Not just light, but high quality, golden light. Since we were staying in Rondane, I felt eager to make sure that I did not miss a golden opportunity to see the sun setting from the top of a mountain.

When a boy wants his mum to be there

When feeling this impatience, this eagerness to get outside and spend some time alone in nature, I always feel a bit guilty. So I try to make sure that I make my family feel all my love for them before I let myself get outside. Mind you, I don’t always succeed. My son doesn’t always agree to me leaving him after a few hours of all the attention I can give. Explaining that the light won’t be there tomorrow, doesn’t seem to make any impression. When he wants his mum to be there, he wants his mum to be there. And therefore I do feel a bit guilty sometimes.

This evening however I got to tuck him in talking about the hike we were going to share the following day. He was tired and looking forward to what was to come the next day. I kissed my wife goodnight, cuddled our sleepy dog, strapped on my boots and headed out to find light and solitude.

The soundtrack of my experience

I had planned to see the sunset from the top of a mountain close to the hotel, but I actually hiked downward first. I had seen a couple of lakes further down the hill, and I wanted to shoot golden hour there before hiking rapidly to the top in time for sunset. And so I did.

People often ask me if I don’t get bored spending so much time by myself. I really don’t. I love just being in my own mind. Getting in touch with what the moment is making me feel. Really feeling all the highs and lows that I can truly feel only on my own. This particular evening I was feeling so lucky, so appreciative, so blessed.

When shooting landscapes I ask myself; what is the soundtrack of my experience right now? I let the music play in my mind, and I look for compositions and images to accompany that. I hope that when seeing my images people will be able to feel something similar to what I was feeling as I captured it. That our soundtracks might be somewhat similar.

As I tucked myself in that night, I felt high. The hours of solitude had been good to me. I felt eager to share the experience with my lovelies sleeping next to me, and eager to share new adventures with them the following day.




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