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Norwegian Costal Voyage April 1971 – Part 1

This post features the first part of a three reel series called Norwegian Costal Voyage which was shot on standard 8 film in April 1971. The opening title sequence gives the impression that the series was shot by a serious, possibly even professional photographer, but the reels are standard 8mm and have hand writing on the box, so I’m pretty sure these are not commercial works.

I’m fortunate enough to have all three reels of this series which amounts to 600 feet of film, so I’ll be publishing them all over the course of the next few days.

Norwegian Costal Voyage

The film shows a trip to Norway aboard a ferry called the Leda which operated in the North Sea from Newcastle to Stavanger in Norway from 1953 to 1973.

The first few minutes of the film show the voyage across the North Sea starting with the boat being pulled out of dock with a tug boat and the ship’s trail in the sea as she sails to Norway.

The quality of the images of the sea and boat are really rather good considering this is standard 8 film with nice colour rendition and detail. It’s also worth pointing out at this point that the whole of the film seems to have been edited ‘in camera’ rather than on an editing machine after processing because there are no joins in the film other than the standard ones which occur every 50 feet.

At about 3 minutes into the film there are the first shots of the Norwegian town of Bergen followed by some more shots from the boat on the water travelling down fiords and then again on the ocean.

Soon there are titles showing that the ship has visited the towns of Molde and Trondheim with some images of quite quiet streets in these towns. Even in a shot which shows trams passing each other when they were presumably full of people, there are almost no people walking in the streets.

There is a really rather beautiful set of scenes showing a sunset across the sea titled ‘Sunset near Rorvik’ which show that the photographer had a good understanding of how to compose images and properly expose the film. A sequence with three silhouettes against the sun is particularly nice.

The final town visited in this part is Bodo and this town seems more heavily populated with people walking the streets.

Finally I want to apologise for a hair which got caught in the scanner towards the final couple of minutes of the film. At the moment I have a rather primitive scanning workflow but I’ve plans to improve this and include a mechanism for cleaning the film as the scan takes place which will stop this.

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If you see anything in the film which you recognise, or you think gives clues to the location or date, please let me know in the comments below. Also, please share this post with your friends if you think they may be able to help locate a scene in this film.

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A software developer by profession and an amateur photographer by hobby I've been interested in all things photographic since I was a teenager some 40 years ago. Many of my interests centre around vintage film photography and cinematography.

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