Winter dawn on Pen Y Fan from Corn Du, Brecon Beacons national park, Wales

Best Photos of 2013

The following are my favorite images of the year.  Overall, 2013 was a year of ups and downs for me and I was often struggling to come up with inspiration.  I seemed to run into more than my usual amount of bad weather, especially starting off the year on Scotland’s Outer Hebrides.  But in turn, I had some of the best right-place-right-time moments of the last few years, where amazing light and scenery appeared before my eyes.  Looking through the images I noticed that I didn’t make any Calfiornia, or US, road trips this year.  I guess I was quite focused on the Lofoten islands, making 4 trips in total this year, one for every season.  That being said, I tried to balance out the collection a bit so that it wasn’t only Lofoten images, as it easily could have been.

Now to the images, in no particular order…

Winter dawn on Pen Y Fan from Corn Du, Brecon Beacons national park, Wales

Photo: Winter dawn over Pen Y Fan, Brecon Beacons national park, Wales.  February 2013

Pre-dawn winter hikes up Pen Y Fan have become something of a common occurrence of mine over the last couple years.  Despite their low elevation, I reallylove the mountains of the Brecon Beacons in south Wales.


Traditional Rorbu cabin reflects in fjord in evening light, Valen, Reine, Moskenesøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway
Photo: Rorbu reflection, near Reine, Lofoten Islands, Norway.  February 2013

Normally I don’t include much architecture or man made structures in my images but as I was killing a bit of time at the end of the day before meeting up with a friend, I parked the car on the edge of the fjord, near these rob – fishermen’s huts.  I was walking in the other direction towards another photo when out of the corner of my eye, I caught the lights of the buildings come on, the occupants returning home for the evening.  This brought out just enough contrast against the heavily clouded sky.  I scaled down the rocky slope to the water’s edge and managed a few images before the rain began to fall.


Aurora Borealis - Northern Lights fill sky over Olstind mountain peak and reflect in fjord, Toppøya, Lofoten Islands, Norway

Photo: Northern Lights over Olstind, Lofoten Islands, Norway.  February 2013

Olstind and Northern Lights has been an image I’ve had in my mind for a number of years.  And this evening was my lucky night.


Stormy winter landscape at Haukland beach, Vestvågøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway

Photo: Haukland beach in winter, Lofoten Islands, Norway.  February 2013

I’m not quite sure why I like this image as much as I do.  It was a shitty, stormy day, with temperatures warming and a cold rain beginning to fall and melt away the snow.  I was largely stuck held captive by the weather most of the day, remaining in my car most of the time, but as I was driving towards Utakleiv to camp for the night I noticed rain had stopped as I was passing Haukland beach.  I got my feet wet for this one.


Wild Welsh Mountain Pony near Hay Bluff, Black Mountains, Brecon Beacons national park, Wales

Photo: Welsh mountain ponies, Black Mountains, Brecon Beacons national park, Wales.  June 2013

Perhaps a little brighter than my usual style of recent years, I still like the feeling of this image, taken on one of my after dinner hikes up Twampa for a bit of exercise.  While the ponies in Iceland seem to get all the photographic love these days, there are also some cool ones cruising around the mountains of south Wales.


Female hiker watches sunset over mountains from summit of Glyder Fach, Snowdonia national park, Wales

Photo: Sunset on Glyder Fach, Snowdonia national park, Wales.  June 2013

This was my first hiking trip to Snowdonia since 2006.  Somehow the chosen weekend seemed to coincide with unusually brilliant weather.  After Hiking up Tryfan, we set up camp on the summit of Glyder Fach.  This is what sunset brought to the hight mountains that night.


Rainbow at Sunrise over mountains from Bunes Beach, Moskenesoy, Lofoten Islands, Norway

Photo: Bunes beach rainbow at dawn, Lofoten Islands, Norway.  August 2013

This was a photo I nearly missed; due both to tiredness, and some nice light elsewhere.  But intuition took me out to the cliffs with this view and I nearly dropped my camera when this rainbow came into view.  A near perfect aligning of elements.


Open air mountain bivy on rocky summit of Hermannsdalstinden, Moskenesoy, Lofoten Islands, Norway

Photo: Bivy on the summit of Hermannsdalstinden, Lofoten Islands, Norway.  August 2013

This is probably my favorite image of the year, though more for the moment than the photo itself.  Alone on the highest mountain in western Lofoten on a late summer’s evening, I took a few images as I was getting ready for bed.  To me, this photo is what the Lofoten islands are all about.


Evening twilight over Reine from summit of Reinebringen, Moskenesoy, Lofoten Islands, Norway

Photo: Evening arrives over Reine from the summit of Reinebringen, Lofoten Islands, Norway.  September 2013

I had journeyed up Reinebringen on this day with hopes of Northern Lights appearing in the night.  They never really did, but I walked away with this image.  It was worth the effort and the cold.


Stormy seas crash against dramatic coastal cliffs at Yesnaby, Orkney, Scotland

Photo: Yesnaby, Orkney, Scotland.  October 2013

I had a few false starts (read: bad weather) during my week on Orkney, but on this evening everything seemed to come together.  The cliffs are wild and rugged, the sea stormy.  Just how I like it!

1 reply
  1. Mara@Weighty Matters says:

    I can so understand why these were your favourites. They were all beautiful. My favourites of this lot were the one where you are alone on that mountain top and the one with the Northern Lights. Something I would love to experience myself some time.

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