Fall color in the Rockies

The Rockies are usually awash with color in late September, especially in my favorite viewing spot, the San Juans! The towns of Telluride, Ouray, and Ridgeway are great launching pads to view the spectacular scenery.

Telluride features the most impressive mountains which can be viewed from what’s often referred to as the San Juan Scenic Byway. There are also some amazing jeep roads, which while hair-raising to drive on, provide unique views. My favorite of the latter is called the Last Dollar Road which connects the town of Telluride to Ridgeway.

A new tool I’m using this year is an aerial drone. This game-changing device allows me to get in shooting positions only a helicopter could previously reach. A bomber vehicle for capturing remote fall colors. The drone can easily grab photos in locations over 2 miles away!

Did I mention the wildlife viewing isn’t half bad either!

Speaking of animal viewing, I had the op to shoot at a ranch in Westcliffe, Colo! Early morning provided some spectacular lighting!

Click the link right for my full gallery of photos! Link for photos

 

Steamboat Wildflower Invasion

For about two weeks every year, wildflowers explode along the upper elevations of the Rocky Mountains.  This year’s crop was especially bomber as a plentiful snow pack finally melted.  Lots of moisture means lots of flowers.  Some recent rain storms didn’t hurt either!

Steamboat Springs, Colo is our home away from home.  The hiking, biking and photog was spectacular.

Rabbit Ears Pass from two different vantage points.

Along the Continental Divide Trail

Evening hike up the West face of Steamboat’s Howelsen Hill.

Gilpin Lake, my favorite destination in the Zerkel National Forest (45 minutes NW of Steamboat).

I also had an opportunity to explore State Forest State Park (about 90 minutes SW of Steamboat).  Lot’s of mouse this year (saw 7 on one hike).

Lots more photos to see! CLICK THIS LINK!

 

Snitz’s winter adventure

THE CANADIAN ROCKIES/SOUTHEAST UTAH

First off, if you love the American Rockies, see what they’re sporting up North!  More vert, bigger, Alp-like!  Did I mention crazy foregrounds leading up to bomber peaks?

How about methane bubbles that form beneath the ice and rise to the surface?

Or sunrises to die for?

Perhaps beams of red light projected into the heavens!

On the other hand, back in the states, the Moab area is competing for top billing!  How about some 90 foot high fins at sunset?

I’m a sucker for canyon views!

They even have lunatics paddling around in pack ice.  This guy belongs in Belleview!

Canyonland’s version of dawn patrol.

Ok, I hear you.  YOU WANT TO SEE MORE PICTURES! CLICK HERE!

Snitz Antarctica Q & A

Did you take thousands of penguin photos?  Relax, you only get to view a few. Are there any Alpha penguins who are natural-born leaders?  Yah, the guy in front is the Douglass MacArthur of Sub Arctic Birds (a Gentoo Penguin, the Cadillac of birds). Actually, maybe it’s a she! The rest are Adelie Penguins. I now consider myself an expert in Sub-Artic wildlife. No formal training! Are Penguins good swimmers? While awkward on land they’re guided missiles in the water.What’s the landscape resemble?  Lincoln Nebraska with more water.Are Elephant Seals funny looking?  Take a look in the mirror.When is sunrise & sunset? 10:30pm and 3:30am. My motto is go with no sleep or go home!Is Antarctica far (like compared to Mars)? That’s about right.  A quick flight to Buenos Aires, then 4 more hours to Ushuaia, the southernmost town in South America, followed by a 2 ½ day boat ride along the Drake passage to Antarctica. That’s our boat, a research vessel, used formerly by the U.S. intelligence service to spy on Cuba (not kidding). Is the boat ride rough?  You kidding me! We took a small ship that sleeps about 100, which allowed us to land in remote places larger guys couldn’t access. My nickname for the ship is the Vomit Comet. Our home for 12 days shown against a normal-sized cruise ship.How did you get to shore? We used Zodiac boats, which are stowed in the rear of our ship.

Can you be serious for a second?  Was the trip worth it?  Yes, seeing the “Far end of the Earth” belongs on your bucket list.  I’ve traveled a bit and have seen nothing close to this.  Sort of like plopping the Rocky Mountains in the ocean and sprinkling exotic animals aboard that have no fear of humans (aka you can view up close).  A pain to get to, worth the effort.

Want to see more photos!  Of course, you do! Click the link: https://www.snitzerphotos.com/Nature-Travel/Galleries/Antartica/n-Lz4wfQ/

 

 

 

New England leaf peeping

New England gets the prize this year for the best foliage I’ve seen…ever!  Not kidding folks.  I was lucky enough to spend two weeks shooting, based out of Montpelier, Vt and Bar Harbor, Maine.

Did I mention the leaves were changing color?

By the way, I’m now a drone pilot.  I haven’t shot down any commercial aircraft yet, but I have been able to compose shots that were previously impossible.  The changing canopy of the forest really shows off from above.

That’s not to say you can’t see some bomber stuff from down low.  The view along Acadia NP’s coast isn’t bad either!

I love the smell of napalm in the morning!

Sunset from above Bass Harbor Maine. Buzzing the control tower from above.

Dawn patrol at the Nubble Lighthouse, near Cape Neddick.

 

Click here to see more photos!!!!!

Glacier NP Fall Spectacular!

I’m a huge fan of Glacier NP!  On my third visit to the park (last week), I had the op to revisit some of my favorite spots last week and was greeted by perfect weather/awesome cloud-filled skies.

I started the trip climbing over Logan Pass, which provides access to some great above timberline hiking looking down on Hidden Lake!

Along the drive, I ran into this bad boy.  He appeared 6 feet from my open car window.  Luckily I had my camera handy and he didn’t jump into my lap.

On route East towards my hotel (Many Glacier Lodge), taking a late afternoon break to view Wild Goose Island.  This iconic pullout is also a great place to watch the sunrise.

The Many Glacier Hotel looks West over Swiftcurrent Lake and Grinnell Point.  Talk about a nuclear sunset!

Dawn patrol the following morning, about 200 yards from the lodge (looking in the opposite direction)!

By the way, just downstream from this spot lies Swiftcurrent Falls, an overlooked but spectacular feature of the park.

My first big hike, the 12-mile round trip up to Grinnell Lake.

After exploring Many Glacier for several days, I ventured into the Two Medicine Area of the park (generally more remote/less crowded).  Named for the lake below, the area provides some of the best views in the park for those will to hike a bit (ergo 10+ miles, not for the squeamish).

 

Along the trail, I heard some rustling to my right and rotated to find this Bull about 8 feet away!  My 2nd close up encounter in only two days…eckkkk. Took a deep breath, slowly backed away, fired up the camera and thanked Allah I hadn’t been run over.

 Click here for more photos from the trip!

 Want to see more Glacier stuff from earlier trips? Click here!

Summer Monsoon At Grand Canyon/San Juan Mountains

The Grand Canyon’s North Rim is bomber, especially now, with the monsoon season rolling in.  You get amazing cloud-filled skies and sunsets to die for.  Not kidding folks!

Did I mention that the North Rim is cooler (than the South) and wayyyyy less crowded?  Being remote and offering only 300 rooms, if you’re lucky enough to “get a place to stay” you basically have the place to yourself!  Cape Royal (below) just before 8 pm.

Your fearless leader on a 5 by 8-foot rock outcropping (taking the above shot).  500 feet down if I step backward.

Sunrise isn’t half bad either.

You’ve probably never seen this pic of the Canyon before?  Drove out to Cape Royal after midnight (I need my head examined) to capture this. Why so late?  Because the Milky Way lines up perfectly with the moon illuminating the canyon walls from my behind at precisely 3:30 am.  Happens 5-6 days per year.

On to the San Juan mountains which were blanketed with a massive snowpack this past winter.  That means the best wildflower bloom in decades and waterfalls/streams running wild.

Even at this late date, there is plenty of snow to be found.

Below is the Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad which runs three times per day ( a real steam engine)!

We also had a chance to visit Canyon De Chelly on the way home.  Spectacular but hot (over 100 degrees…ouch)!

Got lots more photos to share folks!!  Click to see the gallery. Click here for more photos!!!

Snitz’s Spring Expedition! Western US.

Your fearless leader has been busy exploring some bomber scenery this Spring.  Much of it at night.

Monoliths, pictured below, near Monument Valley, Utah framed by the Milky Way Arch.

Speaking of no sleep, I started hiking in the dark (with a headlamp) to catch sunrise breaking over Zion’s Canyon Overlook.

Zion is filled with extraordinary hikes, like Angel’s Landing which ends on a small table top with vertical slabs on either side falling away 1000ft! Eckkk…but the views are to die for.  Err…didn’t mean that literally.

A buddy and I also had the chance to explore an infrequently reached slot canyon; literally had the place to ourself.  During midday, the light hits the narrow walls “just right” to create a glowing landscape.

The camping portion of the trip started in the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, home to White Pocket.  This place contains some of the nation’s wildest geology (Mars on steroids).

Then on to a spectacular campsite above Lake Powell (at Alstrom Point).  The roads require some patience and a 4WD vehicle to reach.  There isn’t a better place to view the lake from!  Sunset below:

That’s not all folks! Click to view the gallery. Snitzer Photography Gallery Link

Snitz returns to Iceland!

I fell in love with Iceland last winter and vowed to go back see more of the Country including the more remote Northern Region. This winter I was blessed with great weather (unusual since its typically raining or snowing 60% of the days during the cold season).

The map below shows my journey around the island, starting with the Snaefellsjokull Peninsula and ending in Vik (after circumnavigating clockwise).

Snaefellsjokull offers some of the country’s most impressive coastal views. Shown below is the Katklettur Arch (which is accessed by a hike over the safety fence down an 80 ft cliff). Had the op to do this pre-dawn to capture that sun star!

About 15 mins from the Arch (near Djupalonssandur) lies a remote stretch of Basalt lined beach (a bit of hiking to access) looking back on Snaefellsjokull Mountain. By the way, the mountain is famously immortalized as the access point to the Earth’s center in Jules Verne’s novel Journey to the Center of the Earth.

Winding our way up north I totally hit the jackpot. Not only do I get to check out the Hvitserkur Sea Stack, but view it back lit by some badass dancing Northern Lights. Did I mention the hike down the icy cliff to the beach (wearing micro-spikes) & a headlamp in the dark?

Back on the road heading due East we hit the Lake Myvatn region, home to perhaps my favorite waterfall on Earth, Godafoss. Its crazy blue color comes from water born minerals and the surrounding snow that reflects and accentuate the color. PS. In Iceland if it ends “foss” it’s a waterfall.

On route to the waterfall there are some great lakes/ponds to explore.

I’ve worked my way to Iceland’s East Coast. Driving towards Djupivogur at day’s end a clearing storm is looking pretty impressive. Jump out and run approx. 3/8 mile towards the shore line. The coast is littered with spots like this. Talk about a target rich environs.

Vestrahorn lies about one-hour South. The mountain is framed by some treacherous rocks in the foreground. Easy to get grabbed and taken for a wash (along with your equipment) by the occasional rogue wave that washes up.

The following several days are spent in Jokulsarlon. The area hosts the well known and often visit Ice Lagoon as well as some amazing ice cave (which require jeeps with giant 42 inch tires to access. 40-minute climb onto a glacier).


Excited to see more! I’ve just scratched the surface here. Click here to see more images!

Happy Holidays: Best Snitz Photos of 2018!

What a bomber year!  Honestly, I’m a very lucky duck to have explored some wonderful new locations and returned to some old favorites.  Thought you might enjoy seeing a few highlights. (click on any of the photos or the link at the bottom to see the full gallery)

Stop #1: Namibia, located 2 hours north of Johannesburg South Africa. The combination of exotic vegetation, animals and the highest sand dunes in the world was …I’m at a loss for words folks!

That’s me in (up escalator) Sesruim Sossusvlei National Park!  Fresh sand, zero footprints.

Pictured below are some Pachyderms (Etosha National Park) getting better acquainted.  Love is in the air!

A Quiver Tree forest, lit by a small crescent moon and ringed by the Milky Way below.  The shot is actually a 180-degree panorama accomplished by stitching 8 photos together.

Back in the States, late September/early October brought some extraordinary foliage & color to the Rockies.  My journey included Yellowstone, Teton, San Juan, Arches, Canyonlands, and Escalante/Grand Staircase National Parks.

The image below was captured while trying to outrun an approaching storm in Utah’s Castle Valley.  Ten minutes after the rainbow appeared, I was being pelted by 1/4 inch hail and 40 MPH winds.

The San Juans, in Southern Colorado, featured this fall’s most impressive color.  Starting in the town of Ouray, I ended up taking some extremely bumpy jeep roads to gain access to Aspen and Cottonwood groves ablaze in red, yellow and orange.

As for the most impressive mountains?  Hard to beat the Tetons!  Schwabacher Landing (below) is one of the area’s iconic photo locations!  A clear window of blue sky under some low lying clouds at dusk created the perfect conditions for a fiery sky.

The most unique place visited?  Visually, that’s got to be Iceland. Winter travel involved braving some high winds and a ton of rain.  Totally worth it.

A self-portrait featured below in an ice cave located in Skaftafellsjokull. The bluish glow comes from sunlight overhead penetrating the ice that forms the ceiling of the enclosure.

The town of Vik is home to exotic black sand beaches and majestic sea stacks.

The above shots just crack the surface.  Click the link to see some more of my favs! Link to best of 2018!

In the meantime, wishing you Happy Holidays and best wishes for 2019.

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