Iceland Waterfalls & Canyons

Kelly and I went to Iceland four years ago, but it is too much to cover in one trip so we finally made our return in July. I had done much more research and planning this time so I wouldn’t leave out anything of importance. The first trip is always one of learning and you try to fill in what you missed on the second trip.

Road 1, or “the ring road”, circles the island. I really wanted to travel the entire road, which we did this time, driving clockwise around the island and over 2,000 miles during the 10 days we were there. This enabled us to photograph Godafoss, the largest waterfall, which is on the north side of the island.

There are challenges to photographing in Iceland. I can’t begin to pronounce any of the names of the locations. It is an old Viking language that seems closer to Klingon than anything else I am familiar with. Fortunately, cell phones and the internet works most everywhere so Google Maps on the phone kept us from getting lost. We didn’t have that advantage four years ago. Summer days are about 20 hours long, food and restrooms can be hard to find and some of the driving on the winding, two lane ring road is crazy. But who cares, we were in Iceland!

Flight delays in and out of New York’s JFK airport caused us to get there a day late and miss our first night near Kirkjufellfoss, but we cut short another location at the end and got there and had great success. You just have to be flexible with your schedule.

In the end, we accomplished our goals and came away with the images we were hoping for. There are definite some that will wind up on the wall. The person in the red jacket at the base of the waterfall is Kelly. She got a little wet, but it made the shot adding scale.

Next up will be an expedition in August to Maine to photograph some of the famous lighthouses there.

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Godafoss Sunrise : Prints Available
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The Curve Of Godafoss : Prints Available
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Hobbit Canyon : Prints Available
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Canyon Color Spectrum : Prints Available
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Twin Fall Canyon : Prints Available
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Icelandic Cascades : Prints Available
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Pure Power : Prints Available
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Skogafoss Curl : Prints Available
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Seljalandsfoss Sunset : Prints Available
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Kirkjufell Sunrise : Prints Available
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Triple Falls : Prints Available

Spring In Oregon

When you think of Spring, you usually think of April. Flowers are blooming, the trees are lush and green, snow is still on the mountains and the water is flowing in the waterfalls. After some considerable thought as to where to go, Oregon was the choice to capture all of this.

We started with a couple of days on the coast hoping for some cool Pacific sunsets. It just wasn’t happening, so we headed inland for the Spring time targets.

First, we stopped at Silver Falls State Park, as I wanted to photograph Middle North Falls, which we had not done before. To get close the ferns for the foreground, I had to setup where water from an overhead outcropping was dripping heavily on my back. I was warm so I didn’t pack the waterproof jacket for the hike. Live and learn, I suppose.

Next, we headed out to the Columbia River Gorge. In spite of previous trips there, we had not photographed Latourell Falls, a thin, but very tall waterfall. As I stood there, I couldn’t help wondering why we had not taken the time to work this beautiful waterfall before.

The creeks in the Gorge are surrounded by such lush greenery, and to me, are much more attractive than those in the east that I grew up with. Along Gorton Creek, there is this wonderful footbridge that crosses it. The light was great and it made a captivating image.

Mount Hood was magnificently still covered in snow from the winter. We drove what seemed like every backroad there was on the north side looking for an open view where it would not be hidden by trees. On the last dirt road we tried, there was a clean pasture with a view. Persistence does pay off.

In the hills a few miles east of the Gorge, the flowers were in full bloom. It only lasts for a couple of weeks and we were fortunate to be there at the peak of color. We managed to find a couple of nice compositions, one with the yellow Balsam Root flowers under a really neat tree in the morning and another with them facing us in the sunset. This may be my favorite of the trip!

Next up in May are the Canadian Rockies. It should be early enough to still have snow on the mountains, but late enough for side roads to be open. At least that’s the plan.

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Water Drapes : Prints Available
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Spring Drama : Prints Available
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The Crossing : Prints Available
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Morning At Mount Hood : Prints Available
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Rowena Sunset : Prints Available
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Flower Tree : Prints Available

Firefall and Flowers

In February, I headed to Yosemite National Park to photograph the phenomenon known as “Firefall”. For about a week in February, the setting sun lights up Horsetail Falls on El Capitan, resulting in a look of the falls being “on fire”.

Due to the California drought, it’s been about 6 years since there has been enough snow on top of the mountain to create enough snowmelt water for this to happen. Needless to say, there were some pretty big crowds to navigate. The result was well worth it!

In March, Jason and I headed up to the Carolina coast. Our first target was the trees in Lake Matamuskeet, North Carolina. Unfortunately, three days of skies that were either clear of any clouds or covered with solid heavy clouds. Either way, there was no sunrise photograph to be had, so we had to move on.

We headed down to Charleston to check to status of the spring lower bloom at Magnolia Plantation. The main targets were the long white bridge and the flowers under the oak trees. We were there last year, but it just wasn’t happening so we came away empty handed. This year, we were pleasantly surprised to see a rather healthy bloom and, over several days, captured exactly the images we were hoping for.

So, two very different locations and two goals accomplished. Next up, I’ll be leaving mid-April to Oregon with Kelly. It will be my fourth trip to Oregon, but we’ll be working some areas we have not gone to before. Oregon is, obviously, a target rich environment.

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Firefall : Prints Available
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Yosemite Moonrise : Prints Available
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Magnolia Flowers : Prints Available
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Spring Reflections : Prints Available
Magnolia Splendor : Prints Available
Spring Oak : Prints Available
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Serenity At The Bridge : Prints Available

California Coast

Kelly and I headed to the coast to photograph a number of locations from San Francisco down to the Big Sur area. Our first effort was the lighthouse at Pigeon Point, and the sunset was just fantastic. Kelly really nailed that one.

Continuing south, El Nino was kicking up the weather with lots of rain and wind. While this was great for helping California with their drought, it wasn’t exactly what we expected.

As the saying goes, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. So, with the high winds and surf, we searched for the best locations to capture some of the dramatic scenes it was presenting.

On one particular day, it seemed like it was never going to stop raining. We were sitting in the hotel watching it rain and then, an hour before sunset, the clouds began to break up. We grabbed our gear and headed to a location we had picked out at Soberanes Point. The sun peaked out for just a moment resulting in an amazing sunset. This is one of the better photographs I have ever taken.

Before leaving, we stopped for a sunset opportunity at Muir Beach, but were convinced it was just going to be cloudy and nothing was going to happen. Once again, the clouds broke for five minutes, the clouds began to swirl and we captured something pretty special.

I had brought a large 500mm lens hoping to have a chance to shoot down some of the waves as they crested. I was absolutely thrilled to have been able to capture some excellent images.

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Next up is Yosemite National Park in February and I’m hoping that the increased snow this year from El Nino will provide us some excellent winter images. Stay tuned.

Yesterday's Guide : Prints Available
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Soberano Sunset : Prints Available
Strange Sunset : Prints Available
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Coastal Explosion : Prints Available
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Windblown : Prints Available
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Convergence : Prints Available
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Escape Flight : Prints Available
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California Curl : Prints Available
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Power : Prints Available

Arches National Park

I headed to Arches National Park in early November to meet up with my good friend Jess Lee, with the main goal of doing some light painting of some of the arches at night. This time of the year can often provide clear skies, which is great for having the stars show up in the photographs.

I had done a little of this sort of thing before, but nowhere near what we were attempting this time. Our first attempt didn’t work out too well. Then, the storms moved in and we lost the clear skies we needed.

Our primary target was Double Arch, my favorite arch in the park. We finally got a night of clear weather, made some significant changes in the way were lighting up the arch and were quite pleased with our results. The second night, I went back to get a photo looking overhead in Double Arch. This was also high on my list.

There isn’t much to photograph in the park when the sky is clear, but in November the sun rises behind Balanced Rock, and I just had to capture the sunrise there.

That was about it for this expedition. Up next is Arizona in early December where we will work in the Superstition Mountains, the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley and maybe somewhere else depending on weather.

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Two If By Night : Prints Available
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Above : Prints Available
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Sunburst : Prints Available