Frost in Muddus National Park

In late November I headed to Muddus National Park in the north of Sweden to continue my work to portray the old forests. The little snow that had fallen in the area had mostly melted away but I had something else in mind; frost.

The forecast promised cold weather and I was hoping for frost covered trees and maybe even fog … Well, my wishes came true!

A pine tree covered in frost in Muddus National Park, Lapland, Sweden.
Frosted Pine – Muddus National Park. November 2022.
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Muddus National Park consists mainly of marshlands which in summer is impossible to hike through. Now, in late November, the mires had frozen over and I got the opportunity to explore them on foot before a thick layer of snow would require skis and make it much more demanding to get about.

To photograph in the forest requires a completely different approach to what I’m used to higher up in the mountains. The compositions are found on a smaller scale and scouting for potential photographs on a map is impossible – one has to go out there and do a lot of hiking to find them.

I spent a week exploring Muddus National Park – searching for individual trees with character. Each day the layer of frost on the trees grew thicker. The temperature dropped down to minus 25 degrees Celsius and the cold brought with it some magical light.

Midwinter light and a lone pine tree in the forests of Muddus National Park, Lapland, Sweden.
Frozen Dream – Muddus National Park. November 2022.
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I really enjoy working in the midwinter light. The days are very short and the colours on clear days can be spectacular. The final two photographs in this post are long exposures captured during the very last of daylight. This is usually when the midwinter light is at it’s best.

Twilight in the winter forests of Muddus National Park, Lapland, Sweden.
Nocturne – Muddus National Park. November 2022.

In the photograph above – Nocturne – I didn’t have fog to create separation between foreground and background. Instead I decided to work with a large aperture (F/2 on the fantastic Fujifilm GF 110 mm lens) for an extremely shallow depth of field. I think it adds to the dreamlike quality of the photograph.

One of my long-term goals as a photographer is to portray the Swedish wilderness from the highest mountain all the way down into the lower terrain with its forests and marshlands.

On my recent adventures into the forests of Muddus National Park and Hotagens Nature Reserve I really felt inspiration flowing. I very much enjoyed the process of working with these smaller, more intimate scenes. Not to mention the stillness I find in these old forests.

I’m looking forward to continue the work!

/ Magnus

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