Panoramic Landscape Photography

Scenic winter view across Kjerkfjorden towards Vindstad, near Reine, Lofoten islands, Norway

Winter view across Kjerkfjorden towards Vindstad, Lofoten islands, Norway.  Jan 2010.  This was perhaps one of the most perfect days I’ve experienced in my life.  The day to which I have since judged every other; none having come close in the last 18 months since I took this photo.  But as with all good things, the 4 hours of light of the polar winter was gone all to quickly.  An amazing 4 hours it was.

I now have close to 600 images in my panoramic gallery.  CLICK HERE to view more.

Reflection on lake Gjende, Gjendesheim, Jotunheimen national park, Norway

Lake Gjende, Jotunheimen national park, Norway.  Aug 2010.  I rose early for sunrise, yet nothing of much interest materialized so I returned to my tent for a few more hours of rest.  A few ours later I peeked out the door and saw this scene of total calm.  I checked my watch, shit, the ferry leaves in a few minutes, time to get moving.  I hoped up, ran down barefooted (to the mosquitoes liking) to the shore of the lake.  5 minutes later, the morning ferry to Gjendesheim passes by, the wake leaving the lake rippled there after…

Dramatic light over Lofoten and Vesteralen islands, Norway

Lofoten and Vesteraalen islands, Norway.  Sept 2009.  Taken from on board the Hurtigruten ferry as I traveled from Sortland to Stamsund on a rather stormy and windy day.  Luckily storms and wind make for nice light is one is brave enough to face the elements.  I made many nice Photos during this journey.

Ring of Brodgar standing stones, Orkney, Scotland

Ring of Brodgar, Orkney, Scotland. Dec 2009.  The barren, windswept islands which make up the Orkney islands are one of my favorite places.  While the short days of December are probably not the most ideal time to visit, it had been three years since I last stepped foot here, so my return was long overdue.  Despite a bit of wind, the weather cooperated quite well over the few days I was there.

Welsh Mountain Pony

Welsh Mountain Pony, Hay Bluff, Brecon Beacons national park, Wales. Jun 2010.  Hay Bluff, just above the town of Hay-on-Wye was one of my favorite places for a summer afternoon of wandering around the hills.  Quite often the weather was typically ‘Welsh’ (rain), yet some days managed to turn out quite nice, there in a Welsh Mountain Pony, and there you go, the photo is almost made for you.

Stamsund, Lofoten islands Norway

Stamsund, Lofoten islands, Norway.  July 2010.  I’ve stood in this very spot a hundred times in the last 10 years, and walked away with a hundred different images.  It’s a little rocky point out beyond the harbor from the Stamsund Vandrerhjem.  To the north is this view towards Henningsvaer.  East looks across the Vestfjord towards the Norwegian mainland, visible on clear days.  This photo was taken after 11:00pm, on one of those magically endless Lofoten summer days.  Stamsund is quite simply the center of the universe, enter and you may never return…

Abandoned walkay in water, Salton Sea, California

Salton Sea, California.  Mar 2010.  The Salton Sea is always an interesting place, both for ones eyes and nose.  I arrived in darkness to a location that I thought I knew, yet I wasn’t aware just how far the lake level had declined since my last visit.  This is what I found waiting in the morning light.

Eureka dunes, Death Valley national park, California

Eureka Dunes, Death Valley national park, California. Feb 2011.  Isolated in the northern end of Death Valley national park are the Eureka Dunes.  Less frequented than other areas of the park, one can escape here for a bit more isolation and a better chance at footprint-less dunes.

Dry lake bed of the Racetrack playa, Death Valley national park, California

Devil’s Racetrack, Death Valley national park, California. Feb 2010.  Vertical panoramic to emphasize the texture of the dry lake bed playa.


Lone Pine Peak

Lone Pine Peak winter panoramic

Photo: Winter dawn on Lone Pine Peak, Sierra Nevada Mountains, California. Feb 2010


view from tent in winter

Well, it’s Tuesday and I’m back in Santa Barbara instead of up in the mountains.  Had a bit of a technical problem, compounded by a stupid oversight on my part, which forced me to call off the mountain.

The problem, my stove didn’t work.  No stove in winter camping means no water to drink.  A bit of an issue.  Ya, that’s a frozen lake in the foreground of the above photo, but it wouldn’t have been the smartest decision in my life if I had tried get get water out of it.  The stupid mistake on my part was that I didn’t bring a lighter/matches – which I normally always have in my bag, but I had to take everything out when I last flew, and I guess things never made it back in.  Now the stove is supposed to be self lighting with one of those ‘clicker’ things, but being a new one, I never tested it out at 12,000 feet, where it apparently doesn’t work.  Started up just fine once back down in the valley.  Stupid me…

Had it been sunnier, I would have tried putting my water bladder on top of my snow shovel (black) to maybe get some heat radiation to melt some snow; likely not enough to continue the climb, but at least for a less thirsty night/hike out.  My best attempt  was to fill up a small bottle with snow at keep in next to my body under my jacket.  Managed to get a couple sips for the morning at least.  I wasn’t in that far, so I didn’t have any worries about an ‘epic,’ just more anger at a situation I could have easily avoided.

I could have gone back in the next day, but I sort of lost my motivation for suffering.  Spent the afternoon bouldering at the Buttermilks, but I still wasn’t feelin’ it.  I’m a bit distracted at the moment with trying/hoping/figuring out how to get a work visa for Norway, which isn’t looking all that hopeful, unfortunately.  If I had $20,000 sitting around, I might qualify for a 6 month ‘skilled migrant job seeker’ type visa, but I’m a little poor for that.  At the beginning of the year I had hoped to be in Lofoten by June where I want to work on a book project over the course of a year, as well as run some photo workshops/tours for more adventurous types.  Not just the walk 10 feet from the road type stuff, but camping in the mountains and longer hikes, more of less what most of my own travels are.  I basically want to be some sort of photo/travel ambassador for the Lofoten islands as anyone who’s ever been knows it’s the coolest place in the world!  More thoughts on this later, I’m still hoping that I can pull something off, somehow, someway…

On the bright side, at least I walked away less sunburt than normal.

sierra nevada mountains winter landscape

sierra nevada mountains winter landscape

winter camping sierra nevada mountains


If all has gone well, I should be somewhere near the summit of Mt. Agassiz about now.  If the conditions are good, I might try and bivy on top to catch sunrise over the Palisades.  Might head up Goode tomorrow.  Possibly a few more things during the week.  Half tempted to head up to Mt. Shasta as well.

Mount Whitney

mount whitney sunrise panorama

Photo: Mt. Whitney sunrise. Feb 2010

I’m heading up for a week or so in the eastern Sierra today.  Maybe try and bag a few peeks depending on weather, or just be lazy and enjoy some bouldering in Bishop.   I guess it depends on the weather…

Western Isles – Butt of Lewis

Butt of Lewis, Isle of Lewis, Scotland

Photo: Coastal rocks, Butt of Lewis, Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides, Scotland. Jan 2011

I don’t really know why, but for some reason I was under the impression that the Butt of Lewis was not a very interesting place.  I guess it is probably a often visited tourist location, being one of those furthest, highest, most, lowest, type place.  In the case of the Butt of Lewis, its the northern most point of the Outer Hebrides.

There’s not really much there.  An old 1860’s lighthouse, some cliffs, and a few birds; maybe even some puffins in summer.  Oh, and there’s wind.  Yep that should be on the list.  I don’t think there’s ever a shortage of wind in this part of the world, being the first piece of land any weather hits arriving from the arctic.  I should probably also add rain to the list as well.  So for a place that’s seems relatively boring on paper, and with bad weather, I found it totally awesome.

I think it helps that I arrived in perfect conditions for the mood of the location.  Had I been there on some calm, sunny summer day I’m not sure I would have walked away with the same impression.  Or had there been mist and haze, I may have hopped back in the car without the camera ever exiting the backpack.  But I was lucky.  January winds whipped the sea into a fury.  Rain arrived, then passed with enough time in-between to get some work done.  I could find sheltered areas, probably a bit close to the cliffs, where my tripod would remain mostly still.  As the short winter day faded towards night, I think I saw this place in it’s raw, natural state.  Cold, harsh, barren, empty, isolated, dark.  Yet amazingly beautiful.

Butt of Lewis lighthouse, Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides, Scotland

Photo: Butt of Lewis lighthouse, Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides, Scotland. Jan 2011

Rough seas break on rugged coast at Butt of Lewis, isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides, Scotland

Photo: Coastal rocks, Butt of Lewis, Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides, Scotland. Jan 2011

Butt of Lewis, Outer Hebrides, Scotland

Photo: Panoramic of Butt of Lewis, Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides, Scotland. Jan 2011

Butt of Lewis lighthouse on cliffs above stormy sea, Butt of Lewis, Isle of Lewis, Western Isles, Scotland

Photo: Stormy seas crash below Butt of Lewis lighthouse, Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides, Scotland. Jan 2011

Rannoch Moor Winter

Frozen landscape of Rannoch Moor in winter, ScotlandPhoto: Loch Ba frozen in winter, Rannoch Moor, Scotland.  Jan 2011


Frozen landscape of Rannoch Moor in winter, Scotland

Photo: Cracking ice of frozen loch, Rannoch Moor, Scotland.  Jan 2011

Buchaille Etive Mor

Buachaille Etive Mor in winter, Glencoe - Rannoch Moor, Scotland

Photo: Buchaille Etive Mor, Glencoe, ScotlandJan 2011

On the eve of what would be an epic snow storm…

Ghost – Panoramic

Lenticular cloud sierra nevada mountains at night

Photo: Lenticular cloud illuminated by full moon over Sierra Nevada mountains, Alabama Hills, California

A 4 image panoramic of the same scene I posted a couple weeks back.  Lone Pine peak is the high mountain on the left of the photo, Mount Whitney is about 1/3 from the left, while Mount Williamson is slightly right of center.  For a sense of scale, from my position to the summit of Whitney is slightly less than 10,000 ft of elevation gain.


Elgol – Isle of Skye

Elgol isle of skye scotland landscape photography

Photo: Elgol and Cuillins, Isle of Skye, Scotland.  Jan 2011

The coastal view from Elgol towards the dramatic peaks of the Black Cuillin is one of the most classic images of the Scottish Highlands.  This Scene has probably been photographed a million times, yet the constantly changing conditions mean it is rarely the same.  The most common view is likely that of misty, gloomy rain, but when conditions are favorable, a thousand results are possible.  These four photos represent only an hour and a half of time from a single winter day.  One of those days where one could be in ten places at once, too many photos waiting to be made, yet precious little time to make them on a short January day.

As much as I love mountains, I also equally love rugged, stormy coasts.  The game of cat and mouse with the crashing waves only inches away.  Trying to get the timing of the waves just right, waiting till the last minute before jumping across the rocks and out of danger.  Often I leave such places with wet feet at a minimum, occasionally thoroughly soaked.

Scenic coastal view, Elgol, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Waves crash over rocky shore at Elgol, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Scenic coastal view, Elgol, Isle of Skye, Scotland