Above: Sun shines on a granite tor of Angle Rocks and trees in golden fall colors, to the right the Chena River snakes through a valley cast in shadows. September 11, 2014.
Angle Rocks is almost assuredly the most popular hiking spot near Fairbanks. It’s a 3.5-mile loop in the Chena River State Recreation Area, about 45 miles from Fairbanks, that takes trekkers through and around a variety of tors formed from granite.
The tors were formed hundreds of millions of years ago when magma bubbled up from the Earth’s mantel, but failed break through the ground. They then slowly become revealed as erosion striped the surrounding land, exposing the giant rocks.
I hiked Angle Rocks twice this summer, once in spring and once in fall. Both seasons provided fantastic and vibrant colors. The cool and calm spring greens and the energetic and exciting gold of fall.
Hikers climb and play on one of the many formations at Angle Rocks. May 17, 2014.
Colorful patterns created by shadows, leafs and rocks result in a busy but fascinating scene.
Trek 45 minutes past the main rock attractions to get a panoramic view all the way to the Alaska Range, hundreds of miles south.
Stretching silhouette at Angel Rocks.
Angle Creek trail winds though green spring trees in the valley opposing Angle Rocks. Specks of people can be seen in the lower-right rock formations.
Stealing a kiss on a canal in Amsterdam.
Final installment of Amsterdam street photography. As with the previous two posts canals and bicycles are prominent. Never have I seen the possibilities of street photography as in Amsterdam, The few I’ve shared don’t scratch the surface.
Amsterdam is a young town, with a energy and openness like none other.
Being from a small town I underestimate how fast scenes in cities evolve, many times I should have been using a faster shutter speed.
Bike sharing is incredibly.
Evening boat rides around canals are incredibly popular.
Some boaters passed a serenade.
Time to look at more pictures from Amsterdam, one of the best spots to people watch I’ve ever encountered.
Public transport in Amsterdam.
Failed focus in this image. So many layers, but the focus in in the wrong spot. Should be on the boater.
Canal boaters frequently fill boats to max capacity.
Kids on bikes in precarious positions are commonplace in Amsterdam.
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.
Baby on bike with rain and blur.
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