In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Happy Place.”
My happy place is a state of being — the culmination of numerous factors. A breath of fresh air in sun or snow. Freedom to run through the woods, twisting along a skinny trail. A beer and a dance floor with great live music, or a slow sunday with a cup of hot coffee.
Of course looking through a viewfinder is often a happy activity for me.
Above: A small stream snakes through vibrant green moss on Mt. Rainier in Washington state. The picture reminds me how alive and diverse the mountain is, from the thunderous cracks and groans of enormous glaciers to the smallest bubbling stream sustaining a secluded ecosystem. The picture is a rough scan of color positive film, shot on Hasselblad.
Above: A duo poses for a picture in front of Manneken Pis, a tiny bronze statue of a young boy urinating. I like taking pictures of people taking pictures, this one has a quite comical element. August 10, 2014.
Not an awful lot to say in this post, was only briefly in Belgium. I will say that Manneken Pis, a small statue of a young boy urinating, is far too popular.
The amount of people around and photographing the statue in the heart of Brussels is baffling. I almost feel bad contributing to the hysteria by posting three photos of the statue. I’ll admit, it is kind of cute, and the figure is often dressed in different costumes – which is probably charming. But with that said, I still don’t understand the draw of this little character.
A small girl gets a shoulder ride past the small statue Manneken Pis.
Crazy crowds surround this far-too-popular figure.
Gorgeous turquoise ceiling of a Brussels church.
The Atomium – design to resemble an atom – was built for the World Exposition of 1958.
Above: A canyon with cool-blue water cuts through the mountains surrounding Mittenwald, Bavaria. Photographed August 7, 2013.
A long day of hiking is guaranteed to make one sore. One way to loosen up is another hike – this time to a swimming pool under a waterfall. A bike ride and a 30 minute trek up a stream bed led to the pool. The water was not warm, but greatly refreshed achy muscles.
A natural shower and a swimming pool to play in outside near the village of Mittenwald, Bavaria.
The stream bed alone was gorgeous, with teal water, smooth stone and tall canyon walls.
Cool blue canyon.
The road between Mittenwald and the stream and waterfall is occupied with farmland. The return trip at sunset gave me a few great photographic opportunities.
Farmers enjoy mountain views at sunset while driving a tractor.
Faded German signs, a biker and mountain ranges.
Above: Alps rise just north of the German-Austrian border. The winding road leads to the summer house of Kind Ludvig II, whose main castle I featured in an earlier post. Photographed August 6, 2013.
Mittenwald is a small village in the German state of Bavaria. It’s situated on the German Alps and shares a border with Austria. A friend of mine lives there, so it was a few-day stop while traveling in Europe.
Mountains are a high-hop and quick-skip away. Architecture follows strict guidelines. Ski hills and mountain bikes are popular pastimes. There’s more to come from Mittenwald.
Breakfast in Bavaria. A fantastic way to start the day.
Bavarian architecture must follow strict codes, this was one of the nicest examples.
Mountains, lakes and vibrant greens in the German Alps.
Above: Mother moose sheds her winter coat, followed close by a yearling, Denali National Park, May 2, 2014.
My last post was the scenery I encountered during a long and hilly 50-plus mile bike ride inside Denali National Park. There were multiple large mountain passes, hot temperatures and in my case more then 10 pounds of photo gear.
I brought along my telephoto, predicting I would regret not taking it. While I probably could have done without, it certainly got me a few wildlife shots.
Both to my relief and disappointment, there were no bears on this trip. Bears in Denali are common, and traveling solo I didn’t want to see one too close.
These were far from the only instances I saw wildlife, most were too far away to do anything but acknowledge their presence.
Female ptarmigan in a tree, the Alaska State Bird.
Dall sheep in Polychrome Pass.
Male ptarmigan in a tree.
Caribou looks at you.
Above: The steep pitch of Polychrome Pass becomes evident when the horizon is set against the slope. May 2, 2014.
Polychrome Pass is a mountain pass named for Polychrome Mountain on the Denali Park Road, the 83-mile out and back road that takes visitors inside Denali National Park. The narrow, steep, winding pass is breathtaking, and steep.
“Poly” is latin for many and “chrome” is latin for color, so polychrome pass means “many colors.” It’s an appropriate name. Reds, greens, blues, violets, ambers, yellows and browns are just some of the spectrums seen at any given time. With the addition of sweeping vistas, it’s one of my favorite places in the park.
According to National Park Service geological information, Polychrome Pass features basalts and rhyolites deposited by volcanic activity 56 million years ago.
This post will feature some of the many colors and the swirling, striated patterns they create, mixed with grand vistas.
Dall sheep, masters of rocky slopes, forage in Polychrome Pass.
Abstract detail shot of colorful rocks.
Polychrome Pass looking southwest.
Polychrome pass looking southwest, the road winds through to upper left of the image.
Complementary reds and greens are just some of the many vibrant colors that give Polychrome Pass its name.
Shadows and striations make stark patterns.
Polychrome pass looking northeast.
All images were shot during a bicycle trip into Denali National Park on May 2. More to follow.
Above: A farmer in the distance is seen, silhouetted while working, through a train window. The stark emptiness of the image is what makes the person seem so prominent. Cool colors, green and grey-blue, create a relaxed and open landscape that contrasts the farmer’s firm form.
1/2000 sec. at f/9.0 ISO400
Above: Neuschwanstein Castle, in Bavaria, southern Germany, sits on a hill high above farmland, lakes and small villages.
Neuschwanstein was the castle of “Mad” King Ludvig II, a reclusive Bavarian King. It’s not an ancient castle like many situated throughout Europe. Construction began in 1869, and Ludvig never saw it’s completion, he died a suspicious death one day after being disposed of the throne. Immediately after the castle was opened to the public for tours, and can now accommodate 6,000 people a day.
The castle has played a role in everything from Disney movies to a storage house and retreat for Nazi SS. It sits on a dramatic hill, overlooking Ludvig’s father’s castle, sprawling farms and bodies of water. Fussen, Bavaria, is the closest town.
A hill behind the castle offers the most dramatic views.
Houses situated along a vibrant green river in the town of Fussen, Bavaria.
Hohenschwangau Castle, the castle Ludwig was raised, he always desired to build a bigger one for himself.
A fellow photographer offers some scale and perspective,.
A swimmer far below on the border of sun and shade.
I’ve been posting photos from a recent road trip, which fits perfectly with the weekly photo challenge, “on the move.” This iteration is going to travel a large distance, between Vancouver, BC and the Oregon coast.
All the pictures show movement somehow – often other people in their daily routine dotted throughout pictures.
So here’s round three of iPhone pictures. I also find my iPhone is very handy while on the move – small, very quick to access camera and also very quick to share. Soon I’ll be back to my posts about Europe.
Church backdropped by skyscrapers in downtown Vancouver, Canada.
Truck towing a truck with a truck on the bed. Not pictured: a truck towing all three.
Rotating bridge on what I believe to be the Columbia River.
Taking the brewery tour of one of my favorite brands, Deschuettes Brewery.
Florence Beach, Oregon coast.
Climbing sand dunes on the Oregon Coast
Icy and windblown conditions on Mt. Bachelor, Oregon.