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✧♡✧ Highlights of 2020 ✧♡✧

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posted by alias Ranveig Marie Photography on Friday 1st of January 2021 11:07:23 AM

(One photo from each month, starting top left. You can read more about these photos and each month of my 2020 below.) What a year this has been, in all ways. Lots of cancellations of everything I looked forward to due to a certain virus, and then health issues for the rest of the year. But all this has made me doing more of some of the things I love, that I normally don’t use that much time on – like enjoying nature and birdlife nearby, learning so much more about it and also getting to know lots of new people because of it, and also buying all the camera gear on my wish list with lots of time getting to know it. You can read more about each month of my 2020 below if you’d like to: 1. (Top left) Sweetest Dreams JANUARY: The year started with wind, rain and floods, and my only nature photos are from one nice sunset in the middle of the month. We never got the nice winter weather we usually hope for to set a nice mood at the start of a new year, and we never went on our traditional January bonfire and night photography trip to Eigerøy lighthouse. The fact that we also didn’t have a dog anymore that needed to go out every day, made me spend less time outside. But I filled the days with work and several spare time assignments – like singing in a jubilee, photographing several adorable newborn babies (one of them on this month's photo), having a concert with my choir and the Norwegian singer Solveig Leithaug who I’ve listened to since I was little, and photographing lots of rabbits and cats for The Norwegian Society for Protection of Animals. My boyfriend Richard and I also started attending several of the meetings of the local club for The Norwegian Ornithological Society (NOF - the bird protection society of Norway.) It’s inspiring to see all the nice bird photos that people use so much time on getting, and nice to get to know more people with that interest. It made us both getting even more interested in bird photography as well, and during the year both of us would buy better telephoto lenses for bird photography. I celebrated my birthday in the first part of the month by going to the town where I used to live, to by a flash for my new Sony camera (after recently starting the process of replacing all my Nikon gear with Sony). Then I also bought my second Sony camera (a9) and the Sigma 24-70 f/2.8 Art lens. It feels necessary to have two cameras – both for portrait assignments and travels where I need several lenses. 2. A weekend of nice nature experiences FEBRUARY: Started with a really nice reunion for my choir’s trip to Israel, together with friends and family of the choir, four months earlier. As usual, I got the fun job of making a slide show of photos from the trip. The wind, rain and floods continued, and the few days with nice weather I didn’t have the time to go outside. I photographed a beautiful kitten for The Norwegian Society for Protection of Animals and a wedding on Valentine’s day. I also photographed my adorable neighbor on her christening day, and when she turned 4 months. It’s nice that her parents let me test my new cameras and lenses on her and use them for advertising. My choir also had a concert together with the awesome American gospel singer Jason Nelson this month. We finally had some nice weather during the last part of the month, and we finally went on several hikes along the coast of Jæren and at home. But the wind was still present, and for the first time we experienced that the foam coming from the sea due to the wind, prevented us from walking on the only possible trail above the sea where we live. It made us get some unusual photos though. I only had one day off during the winter break since we had one student with special needs left at school. But my friday off luckily was the only one with lovely weather and that night also brought the year’s first snow. We had a nice road trip photographing nature, reflections and snow that day, and I also photographed the year’s first lovely spring flowers. The rest of that leap year weekend was bad weathered again, so I’m glad I had that one lovely day off to remember for a long time. 3. Angry Bird ッ MARCH: On the first day of the month and spring, I went outside between the showers of rain for the year’s first bird photos - of some of the numerous seabirds where we live. Little did I know that this was the activity that I would spend the most of my time on and learn so much more about during both the rest of the month and the whole year. (It really made up for spending much less time in nature that I would like to during the year’s first two months.) The big change came when covid-19 arrived, the country shut down and I realized that my spare time wouldn’t be filled with the normal, busy and fun activities of singing, photography assignments and traveling for a long time. I had lots of singing and photography assignments during spring and summer that got cancelled or moved – most of them to the next year. It made me buy the Sony 200-600mm lens earlier than planned, to have an exciting spare time ahead anyway. It would be so much better than the one I used for Nikon, and so much faster together with the perfect partner which I already had bought - the Sony a9 camera with 20 photos per second and a fabulous autofocus tracking. I was lucky doing so, since all photography equipment became even more expensive after shutdown. Even though most of my colleagues and students spent the next months at home, a few of us had some students with special needs at work. From the shutdown, the weather stayed nice every day for a really long time, and I started cycling the long way back and forth to work on my electrical bicycle every day, with the new lens and the a9 on my back. I cycle by the sea all the way, and also have some nice forests for bird and spring flower photography close to work. I actually found it that exciting to get so much better bird photos than before, that I woke up one or two hours before I had to, to have lots of time to stop on the way when I saw or heard interesting birds. On still mornings I also brought the Sony a7III and 24-70mm lens with me to finally capture the nice morning and boathouse reflections that I’ve only dreamed of while passing by by bus on early mornings. But I found it most exciting to get my first nice photos of so many familiar small birds that I hadn’t been able to photograph before, and to also find and get to know so many birds that I even didn’t know existed. I also photographed charming seals several times, that enjoyed themselves on the skerries close to our home. But one of the absolutely best nature experiences this month was the day that the largest number of oystercatchers I’ve ever seen returned to our neighborhood (tjeld in Norwegian - my favourite sign of spring). There were nearly 400 of them around me and out on the skerries during one lovely afternoon, making the loveliest long-awaited sound. I also had a fun dog photography assignment on the beach where we live, and photographed a newborn girl in our neighborhood this month. My choir was supposed to go on a Norway tour the last weekend, but of course we had to cancel that due to covid. 4. (Top right) ٠ Reminiscing Spring ٠ APRIL: Started with Easter from the first weekend, and I had the whole week off. Our original plan was to go on a Norway road trip, hiking and photographing landscapes like we normally do – but due to travel restrictions we stayed home. Luckily the weather was nice almost every day, and we spent much time on garden work - planting a dozen fruit trees and setting up new bird feeders, insect hotels and bird boxes. We also had several nice hikes in neighboring municipalities and made good food. I also photographed and had fun with some neighbor’s dogs – still longing for a new dog myself (but there were really many wanting the same this year, so we never found one that we wanted who wasn’t taken yet). I was supposed to photograph a wedding and several confirmands this month, but all of them were moved to late summer and autumn The weather got even better and warmer during the last part of the month, and I continued cycling to work, with the camera(s) in my backpack – continuing bird, reflection and flower photography. There are also lots of lambs in my neighborhood during spring, as seen on this month’s photo. I bought the Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 GM lens that I needed for portrait assignments (and sold the Sony 85mm I bought last year). This also made me able to sell all my remaining Nikon equipment, since I now had the most important lenses for Sony. I tested the new portrait lens on two adorable small dogs in a forest filled with spring flowers and was really satisfied. I love its bokeh, sharpness and even a little bokeh swirl with the right circumstances. I also went home ordering a Helios 44M-6 58mm f/2 vintage lens that day, for amazing flower photos with even more and impressive bokeh swirl - after seeing all the nice spring flowers, and experiencing that the 70-200mm had too long focal distance for flower photography. I actually hadn’t heard of these vintage lenses before. If I had, I would have bought one a long time ago. They cost nothing, and give the loveliest photos and bokeh (it’s a photo from this lens on the June photo). 5. (Middle left) ~ Peaceful Pentecost ~ MAY: The lovely spring weather continued (not at all guaranteed in this country), only interrupted by a few days of cold temperatures and a little snow (!) There were still more amazing bird experiences waiting for me and my camera both on our island and in town. Like sitting for an hour on a rock on the shore, watching a tern couple where the male were fishing and trying to impress the lady with it. I also saw and photographed a couple of grey wagtails for the first time, up close with their young ones by a river in the middle of town (vintererler in Norwegian). It was also nice to finally get some really good photos of the adorable ducklings. I used my Helios a lot for flower photography and also tried it on a dog among lots of dandelions – which made great photos. We drove for several hours the first weekend, just to photograph the stunning blue kidneyworts (blåveis in Norwegian). I had only seen them once before, and I had wanted to find them again for a long time. It was a little late, but luckily they still were in bloom. There were also so many lovely pink and white blossoms both in town and in parks that we drove to this month. I even bought another Helios (44-2) in hope of another variation of lovely bokeh – but since I didn’t see any difference from my other one, I sold it to Richard. It was fun to photograph flowers together for the first time. I also bought the Sony 90mm f/2.8 macro lens for close ups and insect photography ツ After two months of lockdown, the schools opened partly with lots of restrictions – two months after closing. The National day the 17th couldn’t be celebrated as normal with children’s parades, marching bands and entertainment, and it was my first time not going out wearing my national costume that day. But Norwegians are creative, and there were boat parades in all coastal towns and villages instead, and it was nice to watch all the boats with flags and even bands on them. I think it would be a nice tradition for the future as well. We also finally went on two road trips the two last and beautiful long weekends of the month. On the first one, we finally visited my parents for the first time this year, due to covid. Then we drove all the way to our favourite place Stryn and rented a house above the Olden lake with the stunning view towards the mountains and glaciers. We also drove on day trips to other favourite places nearby. I brought my national costume “bunad” to pose in the stunning nature, since I didn’t wear it on the National day. The next weekend we went to beautiful Hardanger, where we lived on a nice fruit farm by the fjord. We photographed nesting birds and blossoms by the apartment, went on a hike to one of our favourite lakes by the mountains and glacier (on the photo for this month), and met several friends. 6. In summer, the song sings itself • ♫ ♪ JUNE: A warm and really nice month, where we actually felt a little good about finally getting a little rain for all our new fruit trees in the end of it. I went on some nice hikes and trips both together with Richard and with colleagues and students who were finishing their three years at our school. I continued cycling around photographing birds and flowers almost every day, and some dogs and lots of cats in between (both indoors for The Norwegian Society for Protection of Animals, and a colleague’s beautiful purebred cats in their nice garden). I also took some summer photos of my adorable neighbor at eight months. Finally I also could meet my choir for a summer party together, after only meeting them online since lockdown. But one sad thing this month was my left foot unexpectedly starting aching one day after a long hike at work (with no accidents). It never stopped, and got worse when I went on long walks and walked a lot at work. I had to use crutches most of the time until the summer holiday. We first thought it was a strain injury, but sadly it only worsened and spread for the rest of the year, and we still don’t know what’s wrong. I never thought that it would last for that long. I thought that a quiet summer vacation would do the work. 7. Meanwhile in Norway ♡ JULY: When I started my long summer vacation, the long-lasting nice weather typically turned to cold and rainy weather. We went back to beautiful Stryn, where we had ordered a house for a week. Sadly we had rain most of the time, but since my foot was still aching I couldn’t do much anyway. During some hours of sunshine, we went out by car to get some nice landscape photos. This month’s photo is from a day trip to Geiranger. We also spent some nights in beautiful Sogn before going home. On the way home I also took some newborn photos for a former colleague ツ While we were on holiday, my kind parents stayed at our place to change the wooden boards on our house. I went back home with them, to stay there for the last two weeks of the month. It’s the first time in many years I’ve been there so long, and I loved to do so. My sister, niece and nephew also came for one week. I didn’t go outside that much due to still some aching in my foot, but I got some bird photos nearby, and went by boat a couple of times to feed and photograph the sea eagles. At this time, I started reporting all the birds that I’d photographed during spring and summer in a national registry, and will continue doing so for a long time. I’ve learned so much both there and after getting to know other bird photographers and registrators. 8. My Little Princess ♡ AUGUST: Started with photographing a wedding, and later going on a fun cabin holiday together with my sister and her family (this month’s photo is of my niece fishing close to the cabin). The month was really nice and warm. We cancelled our planned trip back to Stryn both due to my health and since there were too many Norwegians there, since no one could go abroad this summer. Later I had several photography assignments - including another wedding, several families, dogs and cats, and the year’s two first confirmands (girls in their national costumes, which I love to photograph. One of them even together with her horse). I also sang in a confirmation. After a week at work, my aching foot got worse again, and now it spread to both feet and higher up in the body. It isn’t easy with crutches and keeping up with busy students when the pain is in both feet, so after only one week together with my new 8th graders, I went on sick leave for the rest of the year. I didn’t know that then since we took four weeks at a time, and I was hopeful of it getting better soon. But since it didn’t change for the better, and the doctor and therapists still works on finding what’s wrong or how to make it better, that was how it turned out. One nice thing was getting to know that I’m getting a new niece in the spring (my brother’s first one)! ツ And since I couldn’t walk that much, it was nice to spend some time in our boat on nice evenings, and to have my electrical bike when I needed some air. In the end of the month, the raw autumn air came to stay. 9. (Bottom left) ♤ Embracing Autumn ♤ SEPTEMBER: Luckily I had lots of photos to edit, from assignments and from the summer holiday, since I was at home every day. My physiotherapist encouraged me for some activity on good days, so I went out with my bike and camera sometimes. Just watching and photographing birds and forgetting everything else have really been my medicine during autumn. I loved to capture my first photos of small birds in colourful autumn trees due to my new equipment, and to enjoy all the migrating birds that I hadn’t seen before both on our island and on beautiful Jæren. Going by our boat to the lighthouse nearby, making dinner outside is also a good memory from this month. I also had some long time scheduled confirmand, newborn and animal photography assignments during the month. A nice way of getting out of the house for a little while. I also joined my choir on a nice rehearsal weekend, while staying at my sister’s place nearby. There’s nothing like waking up by my nephew or niece coming into my bed ツ In the end of the month, my kind parents came again to replace our kitchen with the new one we had ordered. They love working, and suddenly the floor and walls were new as well 😉 On the last day of the month, I visited the local center of The Norwegian Society for Protection of Animals for cuddles and photos. I love being there, meeting all the rescued animals and getting nice photos to help them getting new homes. 10. The Little One OCTOBER: My bird watching by sea continued on some of the good days. I got even closer to several birds that I hadn’t seen up close or at all before. On some really nice days, I sat for hours enjoying hundreds of shorebirds up close on the coast of Jæren (and also spent some fun time together with my sister-in-law who lives there), and had seabirds resting or fishing really close to me, while just sitting by the sea over some time at home. Other days I only sat right outside the house or in the bathroom window, watching all the birds on our bird feeders and taking some photos on nice days. One day two of all the roe deer living around our house and in our neighborhood came right outside the window as well, just when I was photographing – as seen on the photo for this month. Originally we had planned on going back to Stryn for the autumn break, for hiking and photographing. But when that got cancelled due to my health, I went home to my parents instead together with my sister and the kids. I loved that my niece at four years old liked to join me attracting the birds I grew up having around me, with bird sounds from my phone. She made the birds come really close, and I photographed them 😉 I also spent some time together with other bird photographers there, and met several species for the first time. Back home again, a friend came to visit us to photograph all the birds on our island together with me. We got lucky both with the weather and with all the exciting bird meetings we had up close. Some of them were even new to me as well. Then my dad and uncle visited us too – finishing the last things on our kitchen and showing uncle our island for the first time. On his birthday, we went by boat to the lighthouse watching the waves. He loves it just as much as we do ツ I also photographed a newborn baby, two one year olds (including my adorable neighbor) and some cats, and did like I did the month before – visited the local center of The Norwegian Society for Protection of Animals for cuddles and photos on the last day of the month. 11. More than a Mouthful NOVEMBER: I spent less time outside due to the autumn weather, but got some nice photos of the guests on our birdfeeders. It was especially fun having the beautiful goldfinches visiting us one week (stillits in Norwegian). And the one day a bird photographer from my home island and his wife visited us, we were lucky to have some nice hours outside where I showed them our neighborhood and we came close to some rare migrating geese. Even in grey weather, I had a couple of unforgettable seabird experiences just sitting by the shore in our neighborhood. Suddenly birds I’d never seen that close came diving for fish right in front of me, on several occasions. One day a black guillemot (teist in Norwegian) was fishing in front of me for more than one hour, and it posed with every fish it found (like on this month’s photo). I also sang in a funeral, and photographed a rescued kitten that sadly didn’t make it after all. I ended the month by photographing an adorable newborn baby, together with the family dog for their Christmas cards. 12. The Christmas Bird ♥ DECEMBER: The first day was a lovely one, cycling in the cold but sunny weather, photographing birds for the first time in a while. The rest of the month was mostly made for editing photos and listening to podcasts inside. All the Christmas concerts that I normally attend from late November on, were cancelled this year (but I couldn’t have attended them anyway due to my feet). So to get an early Christmas mood like I’m used to from the concerts – I started decorating earlier than usual. We also bought our own Christmas tree for the first time ツ We didn’t go to the island I’m from at all this Christmas time. My parents came for one night during early December, bringing and picking up gifts. We also made an early Christmas dinner together, since it was our only time together this month. I also got to meet Richard’s relatives’ new puppy on the beach, and photographed it with a little Christmas outfit on her ツ The day before Christmas Eve, on what we call Little Christmas Eve, we drove to an arboretum where I knew we could find bullfinches (dompap in Norwegian). They are typical on Norwegian Christmas cards, and I’ve always wanted nice photos of them. On this month’s photo you can see that we found them ツ Christmas Eve and Christmas day were some beautiful days (normally it use to rain these days), and we spent some time out in the sun and on a boat ride to the lighthouse. We spent Christmas Eve together with my mother-in-law, sister-in-law and a friend of hers. We spent the rest of Christmas and New Year’s Eve by ourselves, not to meet too many people since the virus is spreading again in our part of the country. My health isn’t made for long car rides either these days. But we find it just as cozy being by ourselves. --- --- --- From last year’s goals for 2020 – I only fulfilled the one about replacing the rest of my Nikon gear with Sony, and bought everything that I wanted due to the extra spare time. No trip to Paris with a friend, no trip to Northern Norway with Richard neither during summer or winter, no new dog, not more time together with family and friends, not a lot of wedding assignments and not that many exciting concerts and assignments with my choir. But this only means that 2021 has lots of potential, doing all that I didn’t this year ツ And I really look forward to getting a new niece this March ♡ Thanks to all who wanted to read about my year, and to all my photography followers! I hope that 2021 will be so much better for all of us! Enjoy it!! ¸.•°*”˜”*°*˛ ☆¸.•°*”˜˜”*°•.¸☆ ★ ☆¸.•°*”˜˜”*°•.¸☆ * ˛ ˜”*°•.¸ ╔═════════ ೋღ❤ღೋ ══════════╗ ║*˚♡˛˚ღ •˚ ˚˚ ✰* ★ *˚♡˛˚ღ •˚ ˚˚ ✰* ★ *˚♡˛˚ღ •˚ ˚˚ ✰* ★ ║░ٌٌٌӇ░ٌٌٌƛ░ٌٌٌƤ░ٌٌٌƤ░ٌٌٌƳ ░ٌٌٌ░ٌٌٌƝ░ٌٌٌЄ░ٌٌٌƜ░ٌٌٌ░ٌٌٌ Ƴ░ٌٌٌЄ░ٌٌٌƛ░ٌٌٌƦ░ٌٌٌ!░ ╚═════════ ೋღ❤ღೋ ══════════╝ ¸.•°*”˜ ”*°*˛ ☆¸.•°*”˜˜”*°•.¸.2021.¸.•°*”˜˜”*°•.¸☆ * ˛˜”*°•.¸ (To watch and read my Highlights of 2013, take a look here. To watch and read my Highlights of 2014, take a look here. To watch and read my Highlights of 2015, take a look here. To watch and read my Highlights of 2016, take a look here. To watch and read my Highlights of 2017, take a look here. To watch and read my Highlights of 2018, take a look here. To watch and read my Highlights of 2019, take a look here.)

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