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Ole Jørgen Liodden

My fascination for nature and birds led me into nature photography .

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Featured Photographer

Ole Jørgen Liodden


Ole Jørgen Liodden is based in Valdres – the heart of Norway. Surrounded by mountains and forests he is within short distance to great nature motives. Here he lives with his wife, four children, four horses and two dogs. So there are plenty of interesting situations around the house.

His fascination for nature and birds has lead him to many interesting photo expeditions - to remote Arctic and Antarctic areas. Many of these expeditions are lead by Ole Jørgen himself, travelling with other fellow nature photographers. Especially Svalbard is one of the favourite places with at least one expedition every year. He also leads different classes and workshops in nature photography in Norway.

He published his first book in October 2006 – “Valdres – Norges vakreste eventyr”. Two years later he published a new book about Hallingdal. Both books have pictures from two popular valleys in Norway. His latest book, published in October 2008, is teaching digital nature photography. The first edition is in Norwegian, but it will soon be translated into English – so stay tuned!

Ole Jørgen is mainly a self-taught photographer, but has studied photography in UAF, Alaska. He has been a full time nature photographer for the last 5 years and has run his own company “Naturfokus” for 10 years.

Website: www.naturfokus.no/


Why nature photography?
I have always been interested in nature, outdoor life and bird watching. I started to take pictures of birds and nature and soon became interested in general photography. After some years I found out that I had the ability to earn money on my hobby, and photography became my profession.

What's best about it?
I like to be a free man and photograph some of the most exciting places in the world. I also like the freedom in photography, to express and create my own photos.

What's worst about it?
The thing about photography is that you can’t earn for your living just by taking great pictures. You have to sell your pictures, and that means many hours behind a computer or on the phone. Sometimes you feel stuck in the office when the great light is calling for you outside.

Favourite species and places in Europe?
My favourite species are owls and seabirds, especially in flight. Their shape, behaviour and way of living are all very interesting. Favourite places in Europe are Svalbard/Spitsbergen and the interesting landscape in Valdres, where I live.

What's in the bag?
I use mainly full-format Canon SLR-cameras with lenses from 16 – 600 mm . My most used equipment is 16-35/2.8, 24-70/2.8, 70-200/2.8, 300/2.8 and 500/4.0 or 600/4.0. I also love to bring my 180 mm or MP-E 65 mm 1–5X macro lenses with me. I use a Sachtler tripod and video head, which gives me excellent possibilities with heavy lenses.

Your specialities / skills?
I really like to capture birds and animals in action. In these situations I use both fast shutter speeds to get sharp pictures and long shutter speed to add blurry motions.

What will you do in your next life?
I will probably be a nature photographer also next time. If I could change something I would have spent more time studying art. As a nature photographer I think it’s important to not only do documentary photography but also express the “soul” of nature.

3 tips for beginners
1) Learn how to use your camera. When you know how to use your equipment it is also easier to get your desired pictures.

2) Watch your background! Find a background, which balance your subject. You can use a telephoto lens to get blurry background. If you use a wide-angle, watch carefully in the edges for unwanted “noise”.

3) Have fun!! Nature photography is the best hobby in the world! Don’t let anybody destroy your interest and passion for nature and photography.


My main mission is the great Arctic wildlife and landscape in Svalbard. I will be on a photo expedition in June and I’m looking forward to meet polar bears, walruses, seals, whales and lot of birds. I also hope to get some great ice conditions to describe the high arctic environment we have to protect.

Best Picture

Best Picture
Gentoo penguin in Antarctica

What's cool about it?
I like animals in their right environment. This penguin was photographed between big icebergs in Antarctica and I like the lines and the blue colour.

Could it be better?
Maybe a soft “spotlight” on the bird could have worked better, but I’m not sure. Sometimes I get some shots where I just want to enjoy the picture and not try to find errors or bad composition.

Behind the Scene
I was a bit stressed because we had little time in this great place with big icebergs. Suddenly I found an iceberg with a “window”, and inside a Gentoo penguin stood perfectly. I almost jumped on the Zodiak-driver and managed to direct the boat in the right position. Some seconds later the penguin moved and the situation was gone.

Date: March 2006
Location: Plenau Bay, Antarctica
Gear: Canon EOS 1DS mkII, 70-200/2.8

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