New Greenland Gallery

Photo: Sailing off the east coast of Greenland. August 2015

I’ve added a gallery of images from Greenland: CHECK IT OUT HERE

I have also put out a short video from the trip: CHECK IT OUT HERE

I photographed the trip for Rubicon 3 sailing, an expedition sailing company based out of the UK with an emphasis on training and education while taking guest to wild and remote parts of the world. The Greenland expedition began is Isafjordur, in the remote Westfjords of Iceland. We spent a week plus exploring Iceland’s fjords while waiting for the ice to clear and a good weather window to make the 72 hour crossing of the Denmark Straight to Tasiilaq, a remote village on the east coast of Greenland.

2015 experienced a cooler than normal summer, so the sea ice remained along the coast of Greenland later into the season than normal, leaving us wondering if we could actually make it to port. But as we arrived off the coast after 3 days at sea, we were able to weave our way through the ice into Kong Oscars Havn and moor up in Tasiilaq, were we enjoyed several days of perfect weather and I was even able to get to the summit of a decent mountain for some nice views across the icy coastline.

Overall, it was a trip to remember, and I think I might now have the ‘Greenland bug.’  Hopefully I can return again one of these days…

Sierra Nevada Mountains, California

Happy Birthday To My Blog – 10 Years!

Sierra Nevada Mountains, California

Lundy Canyon, Eastern Sierra, California. October 2005

Today I have to make a special announcement: Happy birthday to my blog! I can hardly believe it, but my first blog post was 10 years ago today!

On October 11, 2005 a younger version of me was a week away from flying to New Zealand on a working holiday visa good for a year. I had finished university in August, quit my job as the manager of a small video store, moved out of my apartment and sold/gave away most of the stuff I owned at the time.

With a couple weeks to kill before heading off on a new adventure in life, I made one last trip to the Eastern Sierra to have one last chance to photograph the autumn colors. The images from that trip were my first blog post.

I can’t remember what my expectations in life where back then, but I’m not sure I would have imagined myself typing these words from a small apartment in the German mountain town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, only just back home from 3 weeks hiking among the fantastic autumn colors of the Kungsleden trail in northern Sweden and a month after seeing my first iceberg while photographing a sailing expedition from Iceland to Greenland and back.

I’ve visited 29 countries in these last 10 years, with much of my focus being on Norway’s Lofoten Islands and my other website dedicated to them: www.68north.com

With 2016 seemingly just around the corner, I find myself working away on the beginnings of another travel site dedicated to The North. More on that to come in the following months. First I need to talk about Iceland, Greenland, and the Kungsleden. Plus my moving here to Germany in May – which hasn’t exactly been as smooth of a process as I would have hoped. Stay tuned…

And here’s to another 10 years! If I can somehow figure out how to make things work just a little longer…

Hiking Kungsleden trail in Autumn, Sweden

Kungsleden Trail 2015

Six years since I first started walking south from Abisko through the autumn forests and arctic tundra of Sweden’s Kungsleden trail, I will be making the journey again. This time I will be part of a team of four, and our goal, Hemavan, 440 kilometres to the south.

The team will consist of me, Cody – the photographer, my partner Justyna – the blogger, and the traveling couple of Theo – the filmmaker, and Bee – the writer, the duo behind vdubvanlife.com. I met and briefly traveled with them on Lofoten last year and they were also the first visitors at my new flat in Germany in May, as they were making their way home from a year on the road in Europe in their, can you guess, VW van.

Theo and Bee have also recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to help them get some necessary gear for the trip. Often with a week+ between power, the trip is going to require a lot of batteries and memory cards. They are also giving away some prizes, so go check them out.

Unlike the last few times in which I have visited the Kungsleden, during which I also combined with visits to other areas of Scandinavia/Europe, this trip will be dedicated to the trail alone. This is one of the reasons I moved to Germany in the spring, so I could focus better on the individual projects I have planned, as I have gotten a bit weary of the 3-6 month backpacking trips as my 30th birthday drifts further into the past.  This also gives me the benefit of being able to pack lighter, as I don’t have to worry about splitting my time on the trail and in cities/hostels.

September 2nd will be the day we head south, into the wilds of the Swedish arctic, hopefully with the sun bright overhead. Well, hopefully anything but rain really; I’m from California, I don’t like rain. I have hiked this northern section of the trail twice, but it is a landscape that I don’t think I will ever tire of, especially in autumn when the trees are golden yellow and the tundra foliage a mix of oranges and reds. If all goes well, we will find ourselves reaching Hemavan around four weeks later.

Many of you reading this are probably familiar with my 68north.com website, focusing on Norway’s Lofoten Islands. I was a bit hasty when starting the site in 2010 and was a bit small in my focus. Even though Lofoten was, and still is, one of my biggest interests, I have long had plans for something more. A bigger photography and hiking site dedicated to all areas north.

Like Lofoten, the more time I spend in other parts of the northern Scandinavian landscapes, the more I know I will return again and again. There is simply so much out there to see and walk. If I’m lucky in life, when I’m 60 years old, I’ll be like one of the old German guys I often meet wandering alone on the trail. With stories about the autumn of 1980-something that was so warm they spent 2 weeks in a t-shirt, or the cool summer when they were still in knee-deep snow in July.

And so choosing the Kungsleden this year will be the start of another project set to keep me occupied in my spare time over the following years, in which I’ll hopefully be able to add another Scandinavia region to each year. Keep an eye out in the autumn for a new website…

As my gear lists always seem popular, HERE is what I will be carrying on the trail this year.

Hiking Kungsleden trail in Autumn, Sweden

2015 Gear List

Hiking Kungsleden trail in Autumn, Sweden

Photo: Hiking the Kungsleden trail in autumn, September, 2012

I’ve now added a new hiking – backpacking gear article for my 2015 hike on Sweden’s Kungsleden trail. While there are a few updates from the last couple years, as I’m planning to hike the entire 440 kilometers of the trail, I’m using a lot of my tried and trusted gear from the last few years. Nothing new or experimental this time.

You can checkout the 2015 gear guide HERE.

Lofoten Winter Photography Workshop

2016 Lofoten Winter Photography Workshop

Lofoten Winter Photography Workshop

I’m super happy to announce that I will be hosting my own photo workshop on Lofoten this winter: February 14 – 21, 2016.

You can find more info about the workshop here: Exploring Lofoten – Winter Photo Workshop 2016

Guiding my own workshops on Lofoten has been a long time dream of mine – you can see the business plan I wrote back in 2011, but until now I was never able to cover all the legal aspects of running a workshop to keep everything legitimate as it needs to be. However, now that I’ve been able to obtain residency in Germany, as well as teaming up with a local business on Lofoten, things can finally get underway.

And if you sign up to my email list by August, there is a substantial early bird discount for the workshop. 🙂

Hiking Kungsleden trail in Autumn, Sweden

New Video Page

Kungsleden Trail – Video + Timelapse

Filmed on the northern loop of the Kungsleden trail from Nikkaluokta to Abisko in September 2012.

Some of you may have noticed that I added a video page to the site a few days back.  I have been shooting a fair amount of video + timelapse footage on Lofoten and elsewhere over the last couple years, yet up to this point, I haven’t really had time to put anything together.  And while I’m still new at editing and learning the programs (so don’t expect anything super fancy!), I think I will be nice to share another perspective from my travels beyond just photos.

Keep an eye out for some exciting stuff to come over the following months, including a return to the Kungsleden September this year.

You can find my video page HERE.

 

Seasons On Lofoten: Summer

New Ebook – Seasons On Lofoten – Summer

Seasons On Lofoten: Summer

I’m super happy to announce that the second eBook in my ‘Seasons on Lofoten’ series is now available: Seasons On Lofoten – Summer

Available as PDF, 125 pages, 98 images, and over 14,000 words. $10

BUY THE BOOK HERE

Building upon the same theme as the Winter edition, Seasons On Lofoten – Summer is a photography and travel guide focused on the Specifics of the summer season on the Islands.  Also included is the info for 6 of my favorite hikes and camping locations on Lofoten: Bunes beach, Horseid beach, Kvalvika beach, Ryten, Reinebringen, and Mannen.

Seasons On Lofoten: Winter

Lofoten Photography Guide Ebook – Seasons On Lofoten – Winter

Seasons On Lofoten: Winter

I’m super happy to announce that I’ve just published my first eBook!  It’s taken up the majority of my free time over the last couple months, and I’ve just finished it less than 24 hours  before I’m heading back to Lofoten myself.

You can BUY THE BOOK HERE.

The cost is $5.  It is 104 pages long, contains 80 images (45 of which are a portfolio/location section) and nearly 15,000 words.  I mostly cover the basics for the first time visitor to Lofoten in winter.  But even as a photo book, I think most people will enjoy it.

Scenic Myrland beach, Flakstadoy, Lofoten Islands, Norway

Lofoten Islands Friday Photo Series

Scenic Myrland beach, Flakstadoy, Lofoten Islands, Norway

Photo: Sunset at Myrland Beach, Lofoten Islands, Norway.  September 2013

Things will be a bit quite around here while I finish up the last few weeks of my travels before heading back to California in November.

In the mean time, I invite you over to 68 North where my weekly ‘FRIDAY PHOTO‘ series is nearing two years of posts.

Or, you can also see where I’m at and the images you’ll get to look forward to by checking out my FACEBOOK or INSTAGRAM pages, where It’s a bit easier to keep regular updates…

 

Winter storm over snow covered beach, Unstad, Lofoten islands, Norway

Lofoten Islands Photography Workshop – January 2015

Winter storm over snow covered beach, Unstad, Lofoten islands, Norway

Photo: Clearing winter storm at Unstad beach, Vestvågøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway.

I’m honored to announce that I’ll be joining the January 2015 Muench Photography Workshops tour as their guide to the Lofoten section of the tour.

The complete tour is 10 days, from January 15-25, 2015 and will be led by world renowned landscape photographers and workshop leaders Marc Muench and Andy Williams.  I will be guiding the group on the Lofoten part, January 15-20, after which the group will travel north to Vesterålen for several days spent whale and sea eagle watching.  It will be exciting tour to say the least, and is one of the earliest tours offered in the year, which is looking like it will be a crowded winter on Lofoten, which is perhaps becoming the ‘new Iceland’ for landscape photographers.

Our base for the Lofoten part of the trip will be Elaissen Rorbuer on Hamnøy, with fantastic photo opportunities just out the front door (and even from inside the cabins themselves!).

More info can be found here: Muench Workshops – Lofoten

As of June 1, 2014, the workshop is fully booked – sorry for not announcing earlier, if anyone was interested.  Still, I suggest getting in contact incase free space becomes available.  Or perhaps a 2016 workshop will be scheduled if enough people express interest.

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I myself will likely spend the remainder of January and most of February on the islands.  My skis got no use this year, so I’m hoping for better snow conditions in 2015!  And I really want to be somewhere high and alone in the mountains and watch the northern lights dance overhead.  I’m also thinking of maybe giving another go at the Kungsleden trail, if I can somehow afford it again.

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

Photo: Northern Lights rise into the sky over Olstind, Hamnøy, Moskenesøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway.