Norway Photography Travel

Scott @ Loftesnes

Scott @ Loftesnes

Back in Norway, my last name was spelled with one “s” on the end. Somewhere along the way, after immigrating to the US, my great grandfather decided to add a second “s” to the name – we suspect to make it “easier” to pronouce (ha!).

This is me – at a road sign at Loftesnes, Norway – shot in June 2002 with my first digital camera, a Kodak DC290 with a whopping 2 megapixel sensor. Tweaked a bit in Lightroom 5 and VSCO Film 05. Lots of memories from this trip!

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Memories of Sognefjord

Up the Fjord - Sognefjord - 2002

I was looking back through my Lightroom photo archive tonight and came across the original of this image – shot in June 2002 with my first digital camera – a Kodak DC290. I think I probably still have it around here somewhere!

The DC290 had a 2.1 megapixel sensor – and was one of the weirdest looking “cameras” ever made. But I was able to get some beautiful shots of Norway with it on a special vacation to our “hometown” – Loftesnes – just across from Sogndal.

When I came across this image tonight, I loved the composition. It had been sitting in my archive for fourteen years – with me ignoring it. The composition seemed ideal for a monochrome treatment – so that’s what you see here. A bit of platinum toning was applied and a border added.

Brings back memories of being on the boat heading to Sogndal years ago!

Living Norway Photography

A Look Back to Bryggen in Bergen, Norway


In June 2002 – some 11-1/2 years ago – we made a family pilgrimage to my Dad’s family’s home country of Norway. At the time, he was 81 years old – and this trip turned out to be such a delight for him – and for all of us!

We were in Norway that year at mid-summer (late June) when the days are long. I had a new Kodak DC290 Digital Camera along to take pictures. Looking back at my Lightroom photo master library, my earliest digital images (made in March 2000) were made with this camera. This camera – a true ugly duckling to look at – had a whopping 2 megapixel sensor – but I was able to capture some wonderful images with it.

I’m not sure what caused me to go back looking for this image tonight. I remember having such a lovely time in Bergen where we had an overnight before heading to the family homestead way up the Sognefjord across from Sogndal. This shot was taken of the Hanseatic buildings in Bryggen as we were departing Bergen on a high speed catamaran ferry that took us up the fjord. I’ve post-processed it in Photoshop CC to remove some camera shake, simplify the waves in the water, and add a touch of painterly effect to the buildings themselves.

Brings back such good memories – I can almost smell the salty air!

History Living Norway Travel

Happy Father’s Day 2012


Even though Father’s Day is one of those “Hallmark Holidays”, it got me remembering this morning that ten years ago, in 2002, we took a wonderful family vacation to Norway – and to the original Loftesnes (spelled with just one ‘s’ on the end over there) homestead.

On June 18, 2002, we took a high speed ferry from Bergen to Sogndal – about a three hour ride up the largest fjord in Norway. A beautiful trip indeed! This photo shows my Dad (age 80) and me out on the bow of the ferry after we docked in Sogndal. Brings back lots of great memories about what a great Dad (and proud Granddad) he was.

Over the next few days, we toured the area around Sogndal and he had such a great time – his first trip to Norway. One of my best memories is sitting out on the lawn at our hotel watching the bonfires around the Sognefjord burn late on Midsummer evening. Dad was in his element!

Dad passed away just over two years ago and we miss him every day! He was especially one from the greatest generation!

Norway Photography

The Monolith at Vigeland – Oslo – 2002

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Monolith at Vigeland – Oslo, Norway

In June 2002 – over nine years ago – several of our family traveled to Norway to visit the home of our ancestors on my father’s side. It was a wonderful trip – planned for us by a travel planner from Norway who knew her way around the country and gave us the insider’s guide on what to do, where to stay, and how to enjoy our travels.

Our first stop was Oslo – where we spent a couple of days before heading over to Bergen and then, via high speed catamaran, up to our family’s homestead at Loftesnes just across the bridge from Sogndal on the Sognefjord.

While reviewing my portfolio of digital images earlier today, I stumbled across this image of The Monolith in the Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo, shot using my first digital camera – a Kodak DC290. This camera had a sensor with 1.5 megapixels of resolution – “hot” for its day! When I re-discovered the image this afternoon, I loved the strikingly simple composition with, in particular, the young boy in the lower right hand corner with his hand raised toward the Monolith.

I post-processed the image using both the Nik and Topaz tools in Photoshop – striving for a striking yet smooth image. This version seems to work. It captures the beautiful work of Vigeland and his sculptures with just a bit of extra energy from that young boy expressing his delight. I wonder who that young boy is and where is he today – almost ten years later? I’m sure he remembers the striking impact of Vigeland as I do.

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Friday Night Jazz at Cafe Borrone

We joined Chris and Linda Gulker last night for a wonderful Friday evening adventure – first some early evening munchies at Cafe Borrone, then the William Gibson event at Keplers (he was reading from his new book Zero History), and, finally, back to Borrone’s listening to Clint Baker’s Cafe Borrone AllStars perform some great jazz. Truly a wonderful evening!

Chris was able to meet Gibson – one of his favorite authors. Here’s a shot of the two of them chatting just before the book signing – and another one taken by Linda!

The photo below I took with my iPhone 4 while just sitting at our outside table at Cafe Borrone – I used the TiltShift Gen application on the iPhone to generate the particular look/blur. It looks a bit “other worldly” – perhaps a scene out of a William Gibson novel?

Friday night at Cafe Borrone by Scott Loftesness

Living Norway

A Christmas Eve Juxtaposition

Today, Christmas Eve, was my grandfather’s birthday – Dec. 24, 1879 – he was born 130 years ago today at a place named Garretson, Dakota Territory (now South Dakota)!

imagesHis Dad (my great grandfather) was 57 when my grandfather was born. His Mom (my great grandmother) was 40 when he was born. Together with their children (but before my grandfather was even conceived), his Mom and Dad had emigrated from Norway on the Bark Columbus leaving Bergen, Norway on May 5, 1856 and arriving in Montreal on July 2, 1856. 137 passengers were on-board. They eventually settled in Garretson in 1873, six years before my grandfather’s birth.

Today is also one of my granddaughters’ birthdays – Dec. 24, 2008 – she was born one year ago today.

Fascinating juxtaposition. Makes me think of one of those “dinners you could wish for”. Wouldn’t it be great fun to introduce one to the other? Great-great-grandfather to great-great-granddaughter! What great fun they would have!

We shared a lot of those feelings at our family’s Christmas Eve celebration tonight. Yesterday, we shared a special treat as the Berkeley Rotary Club honored my Dad with a Paul Harris Fellowship.

Hope you also had a wonderful Christmas Eve tonight with your family and friends! And, a very Merry Christmas tomorrow.

Norway Photography

Exploring Photos of Norway

Stave Church – Gol, Norway

On a quiet Saturday morning, coming across this Flickr Blog post titled Norway, Sweden, and Denmark — then and now sent me off down a rabbit hole exploring both those photographs from a collection in the Library of Congress as well as more current photographs of the area around the Loftesnes home near Sogndal, Norway.

Heather set up a “then and now” topic to compare some of the old photographs with current views. This photograph is one I took at the stave church in Gol on June 24, 2004 during a wonderful, first-time family vacation to Norway.

That photo was taken with a Kodak DC290 – my first digital camera and one of the weirder camera designs ever!

It’s always amazing how you can get “lost on the web” – and suddenly realize, now, what was it I was starting out to do anyway!

Norway Travel

Ramblings from the Road

Seeing John Patrick’s post from Oslo tonight reminded me of the wonderful visit to Norway we has two years ago — at this same time of year. I’ll never forget our days exploring Oslo and Bergen followed by the Midsummer celebration at our hotel along the Sognefjord — what a night!

We spent this weekend in Mendocino, exploring a bit of the northern California coast we’d not visited in a few years. A wonderful getaway it was! Some pictures from the trip are in the newly uploaded Stanford Inn and Navarro Vineyards photo albums.

Tonight I’m in Minneapolis on business — where outside it was a delightfully sunny and breezy midwestern day. I’m liking how high speed Internet access is becoming so pervasive at hotels these days. Would make a very nice adoption curve graph, I’m sure. The Stanford Inn in Mendocino has recently installed free wireless access in its rooms and my downtown major chain hotel tonight has STSN Ethernet — still being among those who charge extra ($9.95) for the service. Dial tone or web tone — both should be standard equipment!

Meanwhile, it’s good to read about some tentative optimism coming out of Silicon Valley in Gary Rivlin’s Silicon Valley (Version 2.0). Also, congratulations to Andrew Anker on his move back into the real world at Six Apart.


Song of Norway

This time last year, we were wrapping up a wonderful family vacation to Norway and heading off for a couple of days in Paris. This article by Anthony Tommasini captures some of that Norwegian spirit!