Trollstigen: Chasing Trolls up the Ladder.

By October 18, 2015 Backroads One Comment
Obviously, trolls have right of way on Trollstigen - the Trolls' Ladder. Unfortunately, this is the only photo I got of one, after hours of searching. Then again, trolls supposedly don't like daylight very much. Olympus E-M1, M.Zuiko 2.8/12-40mm @21mm, 1/45, f/8 ISO400

Obviously, trolls have right of way on Trollstigen – the Trolls’ Ladder. Unfortunately, this is the only photo I got of one, after hours of searching. Then again, trolls supposedly don’t like daylight very much.
Olympus E-M1, M.Zuiko 2.8/12-40mm @21mm, 1/45, f/8 ISO400

 

“Trollstigen”, the Trolls’ ladder, in western Norway, is high on the list of must-ride roads for motorcyclists and photographers. 11 narrow hairpin bends on a 10% incline up a mountain complete with waterfall and old bridges sounds brilliant. It’s also bonkers. During the tourist season it’s basically a very scenic traffic jam, but when the #OlympusBackRoads road trip arrived, it looked quiet, perfect for hunting trolls with cameras.

I stopped for several minutes at the foot of the mountain to rig three Olympus E-M5IIs on the Kawasaki, each programmed to shoot every few seconds. The OM-Ds don’t have a T mode, for trolls, so Shutter Priority and 1/2000sec was the obvious choice, given the combination of bumpy road and motorcycle acceleration. I should have noticed that it was a bit too quiet, even for October. I also should have noticed that I had left the screen on a backwards-facing E-M5II flipped out. That camera, with a 1.8/8mm fisheye, was mounted on the front wheel axle – very close to the ground..

There were no trolls on the mountain; the sound of a boisterous Balkan Akrapovic exhaust attached to a 1000cc engine from Kawasaki Heavy Industries must have warned them, and any other pedestrians in the area. But the temperature dropped as the altitude increased, and about half way up the trolls’ ladder I ran into something rather more unpleasant than mythical monsters. The spray from the waterfall was freezing on the shady parts of the road. Those bits tend to be in corners. In this case, the ice made a sharp right-hand bend a lot sharper, with a lean-angle that resulted in OM-D touchdown. Amazingly, only the hinge broke, leaving the still functioning screen dangling from the cable. The trolls must have been laughing.

 

Two E-M5IIs ready to shoot each other going up Trollstigen, the Trolls' Ladder, in western Norway. The setup worked really well, except for me forgetting to flip that LCD back in.. Olympus E-M1, M.Zuiko 2.8/12-40mm @12mm, 1/60, f/3.5 ISO200

Two E-M5IIs ready to shoot each other going up Trollstigen, the Trolls’ Ladder, in western Norway. The setup worked really well, except for me forgetting to flip that LCD back in..
Olympus E-M1, M.Zuiko 2.8/12-40mm @12mm, 1/60, f/3.5 ISO200

 

Trolls are supposedly not very quick, so a 1000cc Kawasaki is perhaps slight overkill for hunting them up Trollstigen, the Trolls' Ladder, in western Norway. Even so, and with three OM-Ds mounted on the bike, there were no trolls to be seen. Olympus E-M1, M.Zuiko 2.8/12-40mm @14mm, 1/60, f/3.5 ISO200

Trolls are supposedly not very quick, so a 1000cc Kawasaki is perhaps slight overkill for hunting them up Trollstigen, the Trolls’ Ladder, in western Norway. Even so, and with three OM-Ds mounted on the bike, there were no trolls to be seen.
Olympus E-M1, M.Zuiko 2.8/12-40mm @14mm, 1/60, f/3.5 ISO200

 

The view from the front wheel-mounted OM-D. Don't try this at home without securing the screen. A little further up the road the inevitable OM-D touchdown happened. The E-M5II continued to work, but not without a few scratches and a broken hinge. And I didn't even get a photo of a troll. Olympus E-M5II, M.Zuiko 1.8/8mm, 1/2000, f/1.8 ISO3200

The view from the front wheel-mounted OM-D. Don’t try this at home without securing the screen. A little further up the road the inevitable OM-D touchdown happened. The E-M5II continued to work, but not without a few scratches and a broken hinge. And I didn’t even get a photo of a troll.
Olympus E-M5II, M.Zuiko 1.8/8mm, 1/2000, f/1.8 ISO3200

 

Don't try this at home without securing the screen. A little further up the road the inevitable OM-D touchdown happened. The E-M5II continued to work, but not without a few scratches and a broken hinge. And I didn't even get a photo of a troll. Olympus E-M5II, M.Zuiko 2.8/7-14mm @7mm, 1/2000, f/2.8 ISO800

Don’t try this at home without securing the screen. A little further up the road the inevitable OM-D touchdown happened. The E-M5II continued to work, but not without a few scratches and a broken hinge. And I didn’t even get a photo of a troll.
Olympus E-M5II, M.Zuiko 2.8/7-14mm @7mm, 1/2000, f/2.8 ISO800

 

At the top of Trollstigen, the Trolls' Ladder, the wheel-mounted OM-D was still shooting, in spite of a rather serious case of tarmac rash and a dislocated LCD screen. Olympus E-M5II, M.Zuiko 1.8/8mm, 1/2000, f/1.8 ISO400

At the top of Trollstigen, the Trolls’ Ladder, the wheel-mounted OM-D was still shooting, in spite of a rather serious case of tarmac rash and a dislocated LCD screen.
Olympus E-M5II, M.Zuiko 1.8/8mm, 1/2000, f/1.8 ISO400

 

11 tight, narrow hairpin bends up a 10% incline in western Norway makes Trollstigen, the Trolls' Ladder, a very interesting ride for photographers on motorcycles. No sign of trolls, though.. Olympus E-M1, M.Zuiko 2.8/12-40mm @40mm, 1/90, f/2.8 ISO200

11 tight, narrow hairpin bends up a 10% incline in western Norway makes Trollstigen, the Trolls’ Ladder, a very interesting ride for photographers on motorcycles. No sign of trolls, though..
Olympus E-M1, M.Zuiko 2.8/12-40mm @40mm, 1/90, f/2.8 ISO200

 

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