The Hraunfossar area looked especially vibrant in fall, with its orange and red bushes clinging to the lava beds and accentuating the blue waters flowing out from them. Visiting this area would be hard to fit in as we were already tight on time, but when we arrived to an abundance of fall color still lingering I knew we had to check these falls out. On our second day while en route from the Snæfellsnes Peninsula to Akureyi, we made the side trip and it was totally worth it. Thankfully we had an off road capable car, which is always a plus in Iceland, as we got to take a nice shortcut on some pristine dirt roads to save us a ton of time. @sixticeland
Many people mention Mývatn as being their favorite area of Iceland, others denounced it as a mini Yellowstone, so I was on the fence about visiting it. However, I'm so glad I did because the diversity there was absolutely mind blowing, and that is saying a lot for a place as diverse as Iceland. Lava beds, pseudo craters, geothermal mud pots and volcanic craters filled with the bluest water around, all topped off with a bright orange glow from the remnants of fall. After making a mad dash to the mud pots to shoot sunrise, we caught this right off the road on the way back to the lake. The fall colors really popped against the centuries old lava beds, with the early morning steam seeping out from the earth's pores accentuating it all to create a truly otherworldly scene. By the way, this area also boasts their own version of the blue lagoon as well as an amazing restaurant called the Vogafjos Cowshed Cafe. Definitely a place not to be missed in Iceland! @sixticeland
Just got back from Iceland and wow what a trip! We drove the entire ring road and then some in 8 days thanks to our amazing rental from @sixticeland and we're definitely still feeling the effects of jet lag. So for now I'll leave you with this shot of an Icelandic classic - Skogáfoss. As popular as this place is, I actually did not have to chop any people out of this shot! We drove thru some wild weather at night to camp here so we could shoot it first thing in the morning and it paid off as we got to enjoy this by ourselves under the first set of blue skies we had seen in days. Don't worry, we still got rained on that morning despite the blue skies, haha. Oh, Iceland ❤️.
After the long hike in, we dropped all our gear and setup shop at the Marvel Lake campground. Enthusiastic for sunset, we made our way down to "Marvel Lake", or what we thought was marvel lake. You see, on the trail to the lake from the campground we took the first turnoff and ended up in a swampy type area with a small lake. After seeing pictures of marvel lake while researching, something just didn't seem right. But with tired feet and tired minds, we shot sunset from the "lake" because it still provided a great reflection of Assiniboine and the accompanying ranges. Funny enough, the next day while hiking to the Wonder Pass we quickly realized this was not marvel lake but rather, a marvel bog 😂. If you saw my aerial post, then you'll recognize it as the green lake in the bottom right corner lol. Win some you lose some!
It's crazy how life can change in the blink of an eye. When we first got to Assiniboine, the weather was great - no smoke from the forest fires and just enough clouds lingering around for a nice sunset. I started to make crazy plans of staying up all night to take advantage of the conditions and mapped out all the locations I would hike to. Funny enough, after dinner we set out to our first location and quickly realized the weather had turned tremendously bad. Gone were the blue skies with patchy clouds, and instead we were just socked in by thick clouds. Haphazardly, we made our way down to Lake Magoog without much concern as the cloud coverage was so thick there was no way we'd get any light or likely be able to see Assiniboine, or so we though. Then, out of no where, the clouds opened up and the most intense beam of red I've ever seen lit up the mountains and stuck out against an otherwise dark landscape. At this point, I couldn't believe what was happening and a full out sprint broke out to find a composition to shoot this. Eventually I found a little patch of wildflowers, which created a great contrast for the scene, and I set up shop. While the clouds did hang around the rest of the night and ruin any chances to shoot the stars, I felt extremely lucky to be able to shoot such an ominous scene in person, one that you only see online.
Growing up, my older brother was training to be a pilot so naturally I also loved everything about flying. Much of my teenage life was spent in Cessnas. When I was 15 I earned a gliders license (not old enough for powered) and then continued onto the powered track. Eventually, I grew out of it, mostly because of school and the fact that it is an extremely expensive hobby that I was lucky to partake in for very cheap thanks to a program called the Civil Air Patrol. But the magic of flight is something I've never gotten over. Being up in the air, staring back down at earth, having to continuously be aware of what's going on around you - just you, your thoughts and the new perspectives it brings. Funny enough, I've never combined my love for flight with my love for photography, but it's something that I've been dying to do. When I had the opportunity this summer to take the heli out from Assiniboine, it quickly brought back all the childhood memories of Saturday's spent at the airport, flying with friends, and the good times that were had. This shot of Marvel Lake was from the helicopter flight out, and anyone who was there that day will agree that I was like a kid in a candy store, watching the flight path to plot out the shots I could get. Hopefully, this wasn't the last for me. Heading to Iceland in a couple weeks and crossing my fingers I'll be able to get a flight in. ✌️
There's something extremely rewarding about showing someone the milky way for the first time. The question if you can really see it, arguing that the Internet is all photoshop and digitally enhanced, but then when the stars come out and their eyes turn to the sky, the reaction is always the same - a quiet stare in disbelief as if their world had just come full circle.
Being able to wake up in places like this, another reason why I love our national parks.
When the alarm rang I zipped open my tent and peaked outside. There was some color and clouds but not much. With a long day of hiking ahead, I debated whether or not to leave my tent. A few minutes went by and the second alarm went off, again I peaked outside but this time I noticed the most interesting cloud formations beginning to form. Knowing I'd hate myself if I missed a prime opportunity, I grabbed all my gear and ran down to the shoreline. What happened next is a sunrise I'll never forget. The colors and clouds were all over Gunsight Pass, the same pass we came down the day before. The clouds were pouring in up and over the pass, filling it just above the lake in a swirling ball before quickly dissipating. I've never seen anything like it before and am not sure I'll see anything like it again.
Here's to places that always seem to give you new perspectives on life. --------------------------------------------
This day saw us waking up at Lake Ellen Wilson and hiking through alpine passes to get back down to Lake McDonald, before spending 4 hours taking busses and driving across the park to get to Many Glacier, where we got on the trail to Cracker Lake to join our friends for the night. The day was long and never ending, but our spirits didn't waver and I'll never forget what it was like making the final push to Cracker Lake, when the views open up and you catch your first glimpse of Cracker Peak and the blue waters that make up Cracker Lake. Being rejuvenated by the surrounding beauty, we could have kept hiking without a care in the world. But thankfully, we didn't have to as dinner time was rolling after an extremely long day 😂. Freeze dried raspberry crumble never tasted so good, @mtnhouse .
A little luck can go a long way.
After coming down the Sahale Arm, we drove all the way to Mt. baker for sunset. When we got there, the clouds were shaping up for something monumental and the excitement was building, but as we got closer to sunset they all slowly disappeared into a clear sky. Luckily enough I managed to snag this shot right as we got there; if we were even 10 minutes late this would not have been possible.
One of the most "bang for the buck" hikes I've been on in a while, the Maple Pass Loop is a spectacular and very manageable hike. We stayed atop to watch the sunset and made our way back down in the dark, watching the night skies come alive above us.
What's the story, morning glory.
The perks of having an epic camp spot? You don't have to travel very far to shoot sunrise or sunset, which is a very big blessing in disguise. Since it's hard enough to wake up for the actual sunrise, it's definitely harder to wake up 45 minutes before to catch all the good color that normally happens way before the sun actually rises. This shot was taken about 30 minutes before sunrise as we watched the colors bleed across the sky. They never made it all the way over the cascade range, but I was able to find a nice angle to catch some colors over the range, Doubtful Lake and the Sahale Arm. Oh yeah, Mt. Rainier can also be seen here, way in the distance. Check my story for the location! ✌️
Not all campsites are created equal, and this one definitely stood out from the rest. The hike up was never ending, truly making you earn those views, but the experience of standing in the shadows of the Cascade Range and it's glacier filled peaks is one I won't soon forget.