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Autumn Storm over Vestfjord

Autumn storm clouds over Vestfjord, Lofoten islands, Norway

Autumn snow flurries fall over the Vestfjord as seen from Moskenesøya, Lofoten Islands, Norway.

I’m in the process of making a new photo gallery website for the Lofoten islands that should be finished sometime in the end of June.  I thought about just putting more Lofoten photos on my main website, but I think a site dedicated to the islands is better suited.  I also hope to make it something a bit more creative and interesting than my main site, which is admittedly a bit boring.  Perhaps I’ll throw in some writings/stories as well.

I’ll also be traveling to the islands again sometime in July/August for some summer weather and long days, as opposed to the dark and cold months that have consisted of my last few trips.

Henningsvær – Lofoten Islands

Travel photography, Henningsvaer, Lofoten Islands, Norway

Harbor reflection at Henningsvær, Lofoten Islands, Norway.  I think it’s with good reason Henningsvaer is nicknamed the ‘Venice of the North.’

Å I Lofoten – Lofoten Islands winter

A I Lofoten in winter, Lofoten Islands, Norway

Winter view from Å (I Lofoten) towards the southern end of the islands.  The peaks of Værøy can be seen in the far distance.  This was the 6th of January, the first day the sun rose above the horizon since the middle of December.

Loch Brittle – Isle of Skye

Loch Brittle, Glenbrittle, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Last light and low tide at Loch Brittle, Glenbrittle, Isle of Skye, Scotland.

Another photo from Glenbrittle, this time down on the beach.  Though opening of the Loch faces southwest, the low setting November sun actually makes it quite a good location for sunsets, while in Summer, the sun sets too far to the north for any direct light.

Glenbrittle and Black Cuillins

Reflection in lochan, Black Cuillin hills, Glenbrittle, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Pleasant autumn afternoon wandering around down in Glenbrittle, Isle of Skye, Scotland.  Glenbrittle is probably one of my favorite places on the island, both the the view and access to the Black Cuillins as well as the coastal hiking.  This was generally my go to spot whenever I thought the sun would shine for more than a few hours – which isn’t all that often in November.

Black Cuillin hills as seen from Glenbrittle, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Reflection in lochan, Black Cuillin hills, Glenbrittle, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Mount Whitney Mountaineers Route

Adventure travel stock photography - View from tent to Mount Whitney, California

View from my tent at Iceberg Lake, about 12,600 feet, towards the east face of Mount Whitney (and my smelly socks).

Sort of at the last minute I decided to make a quick trip up Whitney this past weekend before all the snow melted and before I leave California again (somewhat soon).  Weather was sunny the whole time but the winds were quite strong.  I’d estimate it reached 60+ mph on Sunday when I was on the summit.  I didn’t even bother bringing the camera out as there was so much snow flying around.  On the way up, whenever a big gust would come up, I would just have to lean into the mountain as I received a battery of snow and ice and rock for a minute or two, then climb on again. Good fun.

Mountain landscape photography - East face of Mount Whitney sunrise


Mount Whitney Mountaineers Route – Images by Cody Duncan

Neist Point Lighthouse – Isle of Skye

Neist Point Lighthouse panoramic landscape photo, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Neist Point Lighthouse, Isle of Skye, Scotland.

What can’t be seen in these photos is the 60-70 mph winds that were screaming over the the island.  Near where I was standing for the first photo was a small waterfall, flowing completely in reverse.  No water was making it down the cliff, it was all being blown backwards towards were it came, and soaking me as I had to pass by.

If there was bus service to Neist Point, it would probably be the most popular tourist location on Skye, but since it is a fairly long drive from Portree, it’s only the 2nd most popular location.  On a nice sunny (and calm) day it is a pleasant place to hike around and enjoy the scenery – some of the most dramatic cliffs on Skye are here. There is a paved walkway most of the way to the lighthouse, but if it has been raining a lot, bring waterproof boots if you want to go further as there is some fairly evil bog that needs to be crossed.  The mountains of South Uist are visible in the distance.

Neist point lighthose and sea, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Stenness Stones – Orkney

Stenness standing stones, Orkney landscape photography

Standing Stones of Stenness, Orkney.

The Stenness stones, along with the Ring of Brodgar form part of the UNESCO world heritage site known as ‘the Heart of Neolithic Orkney.’  From Stenness, Brodgar is within eyesight and about a 5 minute walk to the north.  The Neolithic chambered cairn, Maeshowe, is also within visible and also a short walk away.

Even though the stones are man made, their age makes the appear as just another element of the Orkadian landscape.  Something that is just ‘there’ as you drive by in a car or are looking out the window of a bus.  Covered in moss, struck by lightning, and standing among grazing sheep,  simply ‘there;’ part of a living land.

Stenness standing stones, Orkney Neolithic site photo

Loch Ba – Rannoch Moor

Scottish landscape photography - Loch Ba, Rannoch Moor

Loch Ba and Rannoch Moor on a cold December afternoon.  I was given a few moments to photograph the still water, then drop, drop, drop and the return of the rain.

Panoramic scottish landscape image - Loch Ba, Rannoch Moor

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.’