Night hike of Granite Tors

Alaska, Landscapes, Photography

Earlier this summer three friends and I took advantage of Alaska’s 24-hour daylight to night hike Granite Tors in the Chena River State Recreation Area.

We started aaround 8:30 p.m. and finished the 15-mile loop trail around 3 a.m. We ran as much as possible of the challenging trail and took one or two snack breaks.

Two benefits are immediately noticeable when night hiking. Catching spectacular sunsets and avoiding scorching mid-day heat.

Amsterdam street part one

Photography, Street, Travel

Above: Houseboats line one of many canals at sunset in Amsterdam. 

Amsterdam is a thriving city of diversity with immense cultural importance. Spectacular and somber museums, unique window shopping and an openness to marijuana all make Amsterdam a bit mind bending.

Easily one of the most enjoyable aspects of Amsterdam for me was simple people watching. Unfortunately, like much of my street photography, I struggled with sharp images or misplaced focus. I think the city had a certain hustle, — cars, mopeds, bikes and boats — I had never experienced before, and it took me awhile to catch up.

Though Amsterdam could easily become overwhelming it’s someplace I would like to return. 

Perhaps my favorite image from Amsterdam. The family feels timeless — mother and children in motion, an impressive bike. The background is strong with of many micro layers. 

A determined mother shuttles children in a large basket on a bicycle.

A determined mother shuttles children in a large basket on a bicycle.

Juxtapose

Juxtapose

Baby on bike with rain and blur.

Baby on bike with rain and blur.

 

Fantastic Weather, Fun Skiing in Fairbanks.

Alaska, Landscapes, Photography, Sports, Travel

Above: Snow-covered spruce trees lead to a hill north of Fairbanks briefly blanketed by the golden glow of sunrise.

While much of North America is recovering from the recent polar vortex, Fairbanks has been experience lovely weather. Temperatures were above zero degrees fahrenheit for much of December and January, including plenty of balmy days up into the 20-degree range. Not to say we haven’t had cold weather – last weekend was 40-below – but it has felt pretty mild so far.

All that warm weather was ideal for cross-country skiing. Nordic skiing is easily one of the best ways to enjoy the outdoors while getting a killer workout.

One of the outings was directed toward a frozen pond (in the summer nothing more then a swamp,) overlooked by a old cabin on the bank. Whispery clouds provided a canvas for the pink and orange sunset to blanket.

An old cabin at sunset just north of Fairbanks Alaska, Jan. 2, 2014

An old cabin at sunset just north of Fairbanks Alaska, Jan. 2, 2014

Closeup of an old cabin.

Closeup of an old cabin.

 

Beautiful Burgundy Bike – Sunset Scenery

architecture, Landscapes, Photography, Sports, Street, Travel

Above: A tree silhouetted amongst wheat fields at sunset, Bourgognes region, France. 

It’s time for the third and final installment of the bike through Bourgognes region of france. Part One portrayed some of the many small villages and vast vineyards. Part Two  took a closer look at some of the facades of rural French architecture. Today we’ll take another look at Rochepot Castle, some dramatic scenery during a stunning sunset, and a  few more looks at grape vines. 

Unfortunately my Alaskan blood deals poorly with warm temperatures. The three liters of water I took was insufficient for 22 miles, and by the end I didn’t have any fluids to sweat out. The result was a suspected case of heat shock. All in all nothing too serious, does make me glad we waited to start the bike until afternoon when it was cooling off, rather then heating up in the morning. 

Beaune, France.

architecture, Arts, Black & White, Landscapes, Photography, Travel

Above: Chatting on church steps at sunset. Beaune, France.

Tucked away in Burgendy region, southeast of Paris, is the peaceful small town of Beaune. Fantastic food and wine may be Beaune’s mainstay – they are both salubrious – but the proximity to vineyards, vistas, and ancient architecture offer adventure galore. One of the most enjoyable days in Europe was spent bicycling 22 miles on smooth, paved paths through the small villages surrounding Beaune. I will feature that in a future post.

Today is a brief overview of Beaune.

Reflections and Ice Patterns

Abstract, Alaska, Landscapes, Photography

Above: The old barn reflected in a puddle at Creamers Field

Late season rain made for a good photo opportunity in puddles and on ice. Not to much to say today, just pretty pictures.

Sunset glows on ice crystals  Oct. 29, 2013

Sunset glows on ice crystals Oct. 29, 2013

Dusk and Dawn Landscapes

Alaska, Landscapes, Photography, Travel

It’s a subject I’ve talked about before, long Alaskan summer light. Dusk and dawn, referred to as “golden light” in photography, are but a few short hours apart. A fishing trip to the Copper River Valley early June gave me a prime opportunity to photograph both ends.

In the first image: Alpenglow illuminates Mount Drum, left, and Mount Sanford, right. Shot at 11:10 p.m., June 11, 2013.

Alpenglow highlights mountains along the Richardson Highway,11:10 p.m., June 11, 2013.

Alpenglow highlights mountains along the Richardson Highway,11:10 p.m., June 11, 2013.

Before getting on the boat the next morning I walked down to the Copper River to photograph a gorgeous sunrise, At 4:30 in the morning, just over five hours later.

Sunrise over the Copper River at 4:30 a.m., June 11, 2013.

Sunrise over the Copper River at 4:30 a.m., June 11, 2013.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Geometry. Bridge over Tanana River.

Alaska, architecture, Landscapes, Photography, Weekly Photo Post

I wanted the image I picked for the photo challenge this week to be geometrical at it’s core, not just elements of geometry. Rectangles, triangles, trapezoids and two half-circles dominate the composition. Critically: Even with a slight crop the image holds a lot of dead space and is mostly made dramatic by the fuchsia, late-August sunset.

Here’s a link to a blog titled mustbewonderlust, with pair of striking photos from Australia of the Sydney Harbor Bridge and Opera House.

Happy Monday and a safe week to everyone.

Please click on the image to view full size.

Bridge spanning Tanana River, looking north From Nenana, Alaska. Aug. 21, 2011.

© Robin Wood