The house at Stowe has been a school since the 1920s. The surrounding grounds, the first commission of the eighteenth-century’s best-known landscaper, ‘Capability’ Brown, have been in the hands of the National Trust since 1990. With their lakes and follies, the gardens have plenty of calculatedly surprising views. Catherine the Great borrowed a few ideas for her gardens in St Petersburg.
The sun is setting behind the Isle of Skye (the hills in the distance). The loch in the foreground (Diabaigas Airde), was partly covered in ice, muting the reflected colours a little.
Ireland has many tourist attractions along the Atlantic coastline known as cliffs, the ones of Moher the most notorious to be named. Since I’m based in county Leitrim I can rather access the northwest ocean shore areas of county Sligo, Mayo or Donegal. The Mullaghmore head certainly belongs to one of those spots well known to locals, with the Classiebawnie castle (unfortunately not accessible for visitors) as one of the areas man-made landscape icons. The quite remarkable coastline has much to offer despite it’s relatively short distance. Climbing down these cliffs isn’t recommended (safety first), but still it isn’t too difficult to get down to rich sandstone formations variable in appearance. Several parking spots are available along the road if one wants to watch ocean’s tidal works.
The Lofoten Islands are a true hidden gem in northern Norway. The striking, angular mountains jut out of the Atlantic Ocean, rising to heights of over 1000m. The summit of Hermannsdalstinden (1029m) provides potentially the best vantage point in the entire Islands, with 360 degree views of ocean and mountains. Before summiting, I set up camp at the base of the mountain with stunning views, which would provide an incredible setting for dinner later on. There is an ideally situated lake below the summit which makes an great icy swimming spot after a strenuous scramble back down.
Quetrupillan Volcano (2360m) is situated within Villarrica National park, which also contains the larger but more challenging to climb, Villarrica Volcano. I was travelling through the region with friends by bike, and with just a 6km hike up to the summit, the decision to climb it was a no-brainer. The summit greats you with incredible views over nearby Volcanoes Lanin and Villarrica, as well as the Andes mountain range spread across the entire horizon. We reached the summit late in the afternoon and decided to stay up there overnight, choosing the hard Volcanic rock as our mattress. Being at the summit for both sunset and sunrise gave two contrasting views, both equally dramatic. The sunset view was over Andean foothills and Volcano Villarrica, with sunrise peaking over the Andean Mountains and the majestic Lanin Volcano.
Million dollar highway considered one of the dangerous and narrow scenic bypass you could take in San Juan Mountains area. As I drove this area in the afternoon scouting for locations I found this area too interesting to not miss for sunset. I wanted to show how the road turns into a horse shoe bend and the cars moving along with nice sunset and fall colors on Aspen trees.
Sunset just outside of the old town in Istanbul with an old train station to the left and multiple mosques visible in the background as the sun sets. Scenic and peaceful in what can be a hectic city.
World class surfspot below, incredible southern California views from the cliffs, gardens, birds of paradise… epic.
Deception Pass is deep in Banff National Park, Alberta. Banff National Park is famous for its two popular lakes, Lake Louise and Moraine Lake. However, just opposite these tourist hotspots is a vast mountain region which is fairly unknown. Deception pass is 2485m high and offers dramatic high Rocky Mountain views and views of Skoki Valley. Hiking up through autumnal forests and over into the mountain basin provided a great change of scenery. The landscape higher up is barren, with orange foliage in the late September cold definitely adding to the sense of isolation. Choosing the best view over a more suitable camp spot, I pitched my tent on a relatively flat area and cooked up a classic dinner of rice and beans. Without a clear night for photography, I chose to capture the moving clouds as the evening turned to night, making for quite a striking scene. Sunrise cast beautiful light over the backwall of Lake Louise in the distance, a vantage point that few visiting would realise existed.
Crater lake is a brilliantly unique location, with the island volcano providing an unmissable focal point for photos. It’s not hard to find an amazing location to photograph along the crater rim, although I found the best angle to be from south western corner, close to the volcanic cone protruding from the lake waters. Walking along the rim trail, there are several rocky outcrops which provide a great clearing from which to capture the entire crater. At a height of over 2000m, the night time and morning air was below freezing late in September. The weather did cloud over late in the evening however, providing some welcome warmth for my night in the tent.