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Ring of Brodgar – Orkney

Ring of Brodgar, Orkney, Scotland, stock image

Winter dawn at Ring of Brodgar, Orkney, Scotland.

In December, the sun has little strength to rise very far above the horizon this far in the north.  The winter days are short and the nights long, only to be reversed in a few months during the endless days of summer.  Such a contrast of light at dark that I never knew growing up at a more mild latitude.  No wonder that the sun played such an important role in the lives of the ancient peoples of this barren land.

It is always a strange feeling for me to walk amongst something so old.  To think that these stones have seen some 5,000 winters, and will probably see another 5,000 more;  it helps to put things in perspective about the importance of our ‘achievements.’

Black Cuillins – Isle of Skye

Panoramic landscape photography - Black Cuillin Hills, Glenbrittle, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Black Cuillin Hills as viewed from Glenbrittle, Isle of Skye, Scotland.

Loch Brittle – Isle of Skye

Scotland landscape photography: Loch Brittle sunset, Glenbrittle, Isle of Skye

Late afternoon light over Loch Brittle, Isle of Skye, Scotland.

I say late afternoon and not evening, as I do not consider 4:00 pm to count as ‘evening,’ despite the fact that it was nearly dark at this time.

Rialto Beach – Olympic national park

Travel landscape stock photography: Rialto Beach, Olympic national park, Washington

Travel landscape stock photography: Rialto Beach, Olympic national park, Washington

Rialto Beach, Olympic national park, Washington.

Netarts Bay, Oregon

Travel landscape stock photography: Netarts Bay and Cape Lookout state park, Oregon

Netarts Bay and Cape Lookout state park, Oregon

Heavy, drizzly clouds around 6am on the second morning of the trip.  Was amazingly quiet, only a few birds screeching in the distance.

Mackenzie Beach, Tofino, British Columbia

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Travel landscape stock photography: sunset at Mackenzie beach, Tofino, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

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Travel landscape stock photography: Mackenzie beach, Tofino, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Photo’s from out standing on some rocks at Mackenzie beach, a little south of Tofino, on Vancouver island, British Columbia.  You know you’re at a cool place when the signs on the beach aren’t warning  about pollution (southern California) or Waves (northern California), but of bears, mountain lions, and wolves.   My 6 and 10 stop neutral density filters were some of my best friends up in the north.

Canada and Back

For the last 10 days I was away on a road trip up to Vancouver Island, Canada.  It doesn’t look so far on a map, but it took many long days of driving to get there and home again, plus a couple detours.  Most mornings began before 5am and didn’t end until late in the night.  Made it as far north as Tofino, Vancouver island before heading back.  Weather was hit and miss, zero rain though.  I seem to have been cursed by ‘hazy blue sky’ weather lately.  While it’s nice weather to travel and ‘do stuff’ in, it is probably about the worst I can think of photographically; I even prefer fog.  A couple good sunsets presented themselves anyhow and a I spent an amazingly warm and sunny day cruising around the streets of Victoria, quite a wonderful town – which means a lot from a person who generally dislikes cities.

Most of the trip was along the coast, covering the entire coasts of Oregon and Washington, but only the northern part of California.

Landscape travel stock photography: beach at sunset cove, Central Oregon coast.

Sunset Cove, Oregon.

Clear Night at Milford Sound

Night photography: Clear night sky over Milford sound, New Zealand

A cloudless sky is a pretty rare sight at Milford Sound, a place with an average of 6.8 meters – 22 feet of rain per year.

Old photo from March 2006.  June Gloom has been in full effect these last weeks here in Santa Barbara and I haven’t been out shooting much lately.  I figure I’ll just post some old stuff that has never seen the light of day before…

Lofoten Islands – Stockfish

Cod stockfish hang to dry in winter, lofoten islands, Norway

I think I’ve said it before, that the economy of the Lofoten islands runs off basically two things: German tourists in the summer and cod stockfish in the winter.  During the winter months, Atlantic Cod migrate into the waters of the Vestfjord for spawning, where they have been met by Norwegian fishermen since the days of the Vikings.  One would think that north of the arctic circle would not be the most hospitable place to be during this time of year, but the gulf stream keeps the Lofoten islands relatively mild temperature wise.   Though an arctic gale is nothing to laugh at, having heard stories of winds so fierce that they have literally moved houses.

Fishing boat in Kjerkefjord near Reine, Lofoten Islands, Norway

Empty stockfish drying rack in winter, lofoten islands, Norway

Cod stockfish hang to dry in winter, lofoten islands, Norway

Cod stockfish hang to dry in winter, lofoten islands, Norway

Cod stockfish heads, lofoten islands, Norway