Since moving to North Carolina, I’ve had the pleasure of visiting the Blue Ridge Parkway and Mt Mitchell a few times. Every time I drive by this overlook, I think about photographing the dead tree hanging over the steep hillside just off the road. I’m still trying to get the composition right- this is getting close, but not quite there. Rain clouds were moving in when I set up to shoot this panorama, which provided a nice backdrop for the trees.
Lone Tree Overlook, Blue Ridge Parkway, NC (16″x43″)
Looking back towards Auckland from Waiheke Island at sunset.
Light through Clouds over Auckland at Sunset, Waiheke, New Zealand (4″x16″)
On a trip to Australia in October, I stopped for a few days in New Zealand and took the ferry over to Waiheke Island. Early spring in the Auckland area is fantastic for photography- passing rain storms, moody clouds, and some sunshine. I loved it and would love to go back.
Clouds over Island, near Waiheke, New Zealand (12″x18″)
Back in late April, I drove over to West Seattle to shoot a few long-exposure photographs of the Seattle skyline at sunset.
Alki Beach Pylons and Pink Skies at Sunset, West Seattle, WA (12″x18″)
Pylons and Seattle Skyline at Blue Hour, West Seattle, WA (16″x41″)
While driving from Santa Fe to Albuquerque, I stopped to photograph the shifting evening light on passing clouds and Cerro Bonanza.
Cerro Bonanza and Evening Clouds, near Santa Fe, NM (16″x54″)
The shapes of the clouds appeared to mimic the shapes of the foothills outside Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Clouds over Baldy Peak and SF National Forest, near Santa Fe, NM (16″x54″)
Late winter/early spring winds blow tumbleweeds against a fence as clouds pass over the Santa Fe National Forest near Route 16 and Peña Blanca, NM.
Clouds over Santa Fe National Forest, near Peña Blanca, NM (16″x47″)
A rainstorm passes over a valley in eastern Washington state last May.
Passing Rainstorm over Fields, eastern Washington (12″x45″)
Last July, I had the pleasure of seeing this spectacular thunderstorm roll over the Sandia Mountains while I was back in New Mexico for a conference. I pulled off NM SR556 to shoot a few single frame photographs and panoramas of the passing rainstorm as it dumped precipitation on Placitas.
Monsoon Clouds over Sandias (2017, Pano #1, Color), outside Albuquerque, NM (16″x65″)
Monsoon Clouds over Sandias (2017, SF #1, B&W), outside Albuquerque, NM (12″x18″)
One of the final 2016 monsoon storms over Tucson and the Santa Catalina Mountains.
Monsoon Clouds over Catalinas from Windy Point, Coronado National Forest, AZ (16″x48″)
While driving back to Arizona in August, I pulled off Interstate 10 to photograph this monsoon storm cloud north of Gage, NM.
Monsoon Storm Clouds north of Gage, near Gage, NM (16″x64″)
I liked the abstract feel of the curving railroad tracks in the foreground, desert scrub in the landscape, and gathering clouds in the sky.
Railroad Tracks, Desert, Sky, near Hatch, NM (16″x50″)
I frequently drive between Tucson, AZ and Albuquerque, NM to visit family. While driving to Hatch from I-10, I always notice a lone water tower standing over the railroad tracks along Highway 26. Last summer I finally stopped to photograph the structure and the railroad tracks. An approaching monsoon storm had also kicked up a dust storm over the wind farm across the road.
Wind Farm and Haboob, near Hatch, NM (16″x52″)
Water Tower along Highway 26, near Hatch, NM (16″x32″)
Here are a few more panoramas taken around sunrise at 14,000+ feet in Colorado.
Ridge Line from Mt Lincoln, near Kite Lake, CO (16″x50″)
Ridge Shadows to Mt Democrat, near Kite Lake, CO (16″x70″)
Rising Sun over Mt Lincoln, near Kite Lake, CO (16″x64″)
After hiking up the flank of Mt Democrat, we turned to the east and headed towards Mt Lincoln to avoid the large crowds on the first peak. We followed the ridge to Mt Licoln, ate breakfast, then walked up the side of Mt Bross and down to Kite Lake. The mining equipment, pits, and trails are quite the spectacle at 14,000+ feet .
Mining Equipment, Trails, and Mount Democrat, near Kite Lake, CO (16″x67″)
Scree and Talus Field on Mt Bross, near Kite Lake, CO (16″x60″)
A few photographs from the Buckskin Creek cirque/headwaters and my Kite Lake-Mt Lincoln-Mt Bross hike.
Alone in the Sky, near Kite Lake, CO (12″x18″)
Looking Back from Mt Bross, near Kite Lake, CO (12″x18″)
While working Boulder this July, I drove up to Kite Lake near Fairplay and Alma, CO. The camping areas near the lake were packed, so I hiked up a cirque along Buckskin Creek and set up camp near 12,500 feet in an isolated meadow. The cirque was relatively close to the parking area, but the steep hill blocked the view of the road and trails, so the area felt like the middle of the wilderness. The next morning, I slid out of my sleeping bag before sunrise to hike up a few peaks in the area- see future posts for peak panoramas.
Snow Field and Stream, near Kite Lake, CO (16″x54″)
Unnamed Crescent Lake, near Kite Lake, CO (16″x60″)
A few weeks ago, I hiked past Bluebird Lake (along the Wild Basin trail in Rocky Mountain National Park), scrambled up a scree field, and made my way along an old cirque above tree line just below Isolation Peak. The towering cliffs and exposed rocks are stunning when viewed up close. Looking down valley, I seemed to be standing above the clouds.
Unnamed Ridge, Cliffs, and Clouds, Rocky Mountain National Park, CO (16″x42″)
My first weekend in Boulder, I drove to the southeastern corner of Rocky Mountain National Park and hiked up to the back of Isolation Peak. On the way back down, I stopped at Ouzel Falls and Calypso Cascades to take a few long-exposure/bulb photographs of the flowing water.
Ouzel Falls and Stump, Rocky Mountain National Park, CO (16″x28″)
Calypso Cascades and Logs, Rocky Mountain National Park, CO (16″x27″)
After arriving in Boulder, I noticed flashing light off to the east through the trees. I couldn’t hear the thunder, but lightning was striking every half second in the thunderstorm over the plains. I drove up the hill near the NCAR Mesa Lab and took a few 30-second exposures of this storm cloud before heading to bed.
Lightning Storm from South Boulder (#2), Boulder, CO (12″x18″)
Lightning Storm from South Boulder (#4), Boulder, CO (12″x18″)
On my drive to Boulder, CO, I stopped along US 285 near San Antonio Mountain to photograph the summer clouds passing over the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument.
Ute Mountain and Clouds, Rio Arrive County, New Mexico (12″x18″)
When I stepped off the plane from Nepal in late June, it was about 110F (~40C) here in southern Arizona. Fortunately, the monsoon started soon after I arrived. After work one evening I drove up to the top of Sentinel Peak (near downtown Tucson) and shot a few panoramas of the lumbering monsoon storms as they approached from the south.
Monsoon Storm from Sentinel Peak #2, Tucson Mountains, AZ (16″x74″)
Routes on the north and west faces of the rock promontory above the Prison Camp area make for great spring climbing along the Catalina Highway on Mt Lemmon. I especially liked the shadows of the passing clouds on the hills in the background.
Boot Hill Cliffs and Clouds, Coronado National Forest, AZ (16″x39″)
Just past Milepost 9.9 and the Seven Cataracts Overlook, the road cut along the Catalina Highway (General Hitchcock Highway) forms two vertical cliffs on either side of the road. The climbing cliffs just uphill from this pullout are called The Green Slabs. There are a variety of traditional (‘trad’) routes on the south face and sport climbing on the north face. Here are a few photographs from the area.
Focus on the Rock, Coronado National Forest, AZ (12″x18″)
Green Slabs Cliffs and Highway, Coronado National Forest, AZ (16″x49″)