Archive for 'Nature'

Megalong Valley Road, Blue Mountains, Australia

Blue Mountains is mostly known for its waterfalls and sheer cliffs, but is so much more. Wherever you go, wherever you look, there is something amazing and unique. It’s all about being present! As I was driving down towards the valley from Blackheath, I was amazed by the lushness of the forest and the beauty […]

Pulpit Hill Creek, Blue Mountains National Park, Australia

A trickle today – a torrent tomorrow. There are many majestic waterfalls in this park. But those are only so during times of plenty. During my stay, at the beginning of autumn, water was rising ever so slowly in the rivers and streams, but not enough to make amazing waterfall vistas. That said, there are […]

Blue Mountains National Park

Blue Mountains is famous and visited by many, and now by me. I expected to see mountains, but was disappointed as the landscape was just hills – even as I entered Katoomba. Elevation-wise it’s not really very high, around a thousand metres, but with mountains in its name I had expectations of peaks. It is […]

Blue Mountains National park

I had only 3 nights here in the Blue Mountains, and a limit to how much I could explore during that time. Thus I selected spots close to my hotel, and revisited these spots at different times of day. This very spot was just a few hundred meters from the hotel, and I went down […]

Blue Mountains National Park

The Three Sisters of Blue Mountain National Park is perhaps the most known of all landmarks in the park, but for the most part seen from a distance. And from a distance they look very interesting to climb, but alas! Up close it becomes clear that they are quite a challenge for novices, and the […]

Blue Mountains National Park

This morning started with dense fog and no promise of any sun rays. I was greeted with lots of bird sounds, but nothing to see. As the morning progressed, I could see glimpses of sun, and within minutes the top cloud layer cracked open. I decided to walk closer to the famous three sisters and […]

Three Sisters, Blue Mountains National Park, Australia.

My first morning in this amazing national park was that of utter gloom as the clouds were hanging all the way to the ground – as fog. Weather changes quickly up here, so I was not deterred and just as I arrived at the lookout point I was greeted with lots of loud Sulphur-crested cockatoos […]

2016 solar eclipse

This might appear like any other landscape photo of a gorgeous tropical location, but this image is in fact displaying some of the last effects (and prior to totality) of the eclipse that many miss after they have seen a total solar eclipse. Crescent sunbeams under trees! Even I almost forgot to look for these […]

2016 solar eclipse

This photo is right before the end of totality, and I remember how I was taken completely by surprise when the sun re-appeared – “is it over already?”, I thought – I ran like mad to my other camera to complete the shots there. A solar eclipse has once again lead me to a place […]

2016 solar eclipse

In this shot you can see something amazing that is only possible to see the few seconds before and after totality – when the sun is but a tiny point or line of light – shadow lines! You can see them as small lines in the lower half of the image where the sun is […]

Raja Ampat twilight

The amazing thing about the total solar eclipse of 2016 is that on my way to see it I got to see so many amazing islands in the north east of Indonesia. As the day approached I reached more and more remote areas, and the location seen here is called Wayag. It’s perhaps the most […]

Wayag dusk

I was hoping to have some moments on a nearby beach to enjoy and photograph the sunset, but it was aborted due to some disturbing news from a sister ship full of NASA people. They had just analysed their multiple feeds on weather and atmospheric data, and arrived at the conclusion that our planned north-eastern […]

Wayag afternoon

Amazingly this is the rainy season! The strong El Nino has changed it all. On an overcast day this sight is also wonderful, but the colors dull and faded. I would very much have liked to stay up here during sunset or sunrise! Perhaps not strong blues, but how this would have been in the […]

Wayag dawn

Dawn at the stunning Wayag, perhaps the most photographed site in all of Raja Ampat! This is the day before the total solar eclipse, and still the location we will see it is not decided – it’s all about the weather which for some reason seems to be clogging up to overcast in our prime […]

Kawe sunset with Indonesian friends

I was the only passenger on this journey through the amazing archipelago of Raja Ampat that did not dive. I had to focus on two activities per day – dusk and dawn. To help facilitate sceneries other than what can be seen from the boat, I was swiftly transported to nearby islands I selected when […]

Kawe sunset

The reds of sunrise and sunset are so short lived in the tropics compared to my regular Scandinavian latitudes, where it can linger on for hours. This amazing cloudscape lasted just a few minutes, and then the sky rapidly turned dark. This location (the island of Kawe) is one of many extraordinarily beautiful beaches on […]

Raja Ampat evening light

This location (the island of Kawe) is one of many extraordinarily beautiful beaches on the myriads of islands off the coast of Sorong of West Papua, Indonesia. This beach was a narrow one, and the tide was quickly rising during my short stay here. The sad thing was that the remaining dry land was littered […]

The best events are free!

The beauty of the Raja Ampat islands in Indonesia is breathtaking and should in itself be enough to leave the smartphone in your cabin. When a moment like this just happens by itself, the best way is to just sit an enjoy it like these people do – fellow eclipse chasers and wonderful people that […]

Raja Ampat sunset

The extraordinarily strong El Nino this year has made the western Pacific much drier than in a normal year, and at this time I would normally have experienced lots of rain and a grey sky. This has also been the reason why I decided to visit Raja Ampat in the West Papua region of Indonesia […]

Raja Ampat – dawn at the next dive site

The two rocks seen in the background is the location for the next dive, this day’s first dive. I’m on one of many boats that service the many tourists that come here to experience the amazing marine diversity around the countless islands, reefs and islets here. I am not here to dive, though! This boat […]

Sunset on a tiny Indonesian island II

With my long lens I was able to capture some local fishing boats catching supper. The Raja Ampat archipelago houses a diverse and protected marine life only these locals are allowed to harvest from. Even if I or those serving tourists run out of food, we would not be allowed to catch or even purchase […]

Sunset on a tiny Indonesian island

I was lucky to reach this tiny island just before sunset, so I had time to find a good location for shooting the remaining light and colors of this day. It’s a densely populated island with no room to spare from what I could see, and as it is a flat island they have a […]

Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) over Oslo

Amazing northern lights over Oslo tonight! Winter solstice is just hours away, and this must be the most amazing way to celebrate that the long nights soon, and very slowly, will get shorter and shorter. I was looking forward to many hours of auroras, but alas, clouds suddenly moved in from the south and thus […]

2015 lunar eclipse

What an amazing night!! Perfect conditions due to a high pressure system. No wind, and no significant clouds during totality. After totality and towards dawn, lots of high clouds appeared. Totality was incredibly dark, and is the darkest I’ve ever seen. Lunar eclipses cannot compare to a solar eclipses, but this one I will remember […]

Svalbard spring

Several hours ago I watched the total solar eclipse which coincided with spring equinox. In Svalbard, March is one of the coldest months, and here you can see the sea is almost frozen over. With more sunny and calm days like this and this will be solid ice! Not spring as most of us like […]

Early morning descent

This is my last day on Socotra, and my early morning descent from my 2 days on top of Socotra. During the descent I found so many beautiful events of nature that I wished I had a week here. Up here in the clouds Socotra holds a treasure like no other – I hope to […]

Skant dawn, Socotra

In this panorama you can see a clearing, which is an old structure with unknown origin. For generations this structure has been used by Socotris, and I too have camped there and had my meals by the wall. You can see the smoke from the campfire. What’s unusual is that the tiny house (on the […]

Campfire on top of Socotra

On top of Socotra you are open to the elements, which often is fog and mist, which makes it very cold after sunset. This evening was a mix of clouds moving in and clear and dark skies, yet it was very cold, and a campfire made all the difference! Add a pot of tea and […]

Skant twilight, Socotra

What can I say – Socotra has touched me like few places on Earth – I’m spellbound! On this island you’ll experience diversity and uniqueness on so many levels! When driving, trekking, sitting, on your back gazing upon the Milkyway, swimming in the crystal clear ocean, or in a stream seeping out from the countless […]

Top of Socotra

Before I came to Socotra I didn’t know much about the mountains of the interior of the island, and thus made a mistake in assigning one day here. First and foremost I didn’t know it took so many hours to walk to the top, my understanding was that it was a mere 2 hour walk, […]

Skant sunset, Socotra

Skant is the highest point of the Haghier mountains of Socotra – more than 1500 meters high! This is the last leg of my 14 day Socotra journey, and how lucky I was! During the first week of my visit all of the Haghier mountains was shrouded in thick clouds, and now I’m on top […]

Socotra bottle tree (Adenium obesum ssp. socotranum) UV

What’s interesting with this landscape view of the bottle tree, is that the flowers appear same color in UV as the lichen on the rocks! Endemic.

Stera, Socotra

Although Stera is beautiful in the soft evening light, it’s equally wonderful during the time before the sun makes it too hot. Add some clouds to dapple the light on the dunes, and it’s something you’ll remember for a long time. Sand, sun, wind, sea – such is Stera! PS: do you see the approaching […]

Stera, Socotra

Yet another gorgeous Socotra vista! It’s a windswept place, and the dunes are here because of it. It was windy when I was here, and you can see the sand blowing off the top of the dune, making the edge look out of focus. This is nothing compared to the monsoon winds in the summer […]

Stera, Socotra

An amazing vista – the mountains as a hard and uninviting backdrop to the soft and mellow dunes of Stera. The tree (Tamarix nilotica) seems out of place here in the middle of a desert, but it is at home and gets to water through very deep and long roots. It can extract the moisture […]

Stera, Socotra

Only when you have a known size in a landscape will truly see the scale, as is the case here with the photographer and the tripod.

Stera, Socotra

A lonely bush (Tamarix nilotica) and a lonely human in a vastness of sand! Socotra has many areas of desert-like dunes, but Stera is perhaps the one most resembling a true desert, as in many places you you don’t see the end of the sand, but walk to the top of one of the dunes […]

Stera, Socotra

Although many plants species are very well suited for life here in the Stera dunes, some one way or another perish, and end up like a skeleton seen here – sand-blasted and dry as bone.

Stera, Socotra

This is from the south of Socotra, and when in between the dunes you only see the sky and the sand, you’d think this is not from an island but a huge desert. I was mesmerized by the scenery! No matter where I turned my head I was in awe. In the back the sheer […]

Stera, Socotra

Yet another shot from my stay in the sand dunes of the south of Socotra. A short while ago I was on the plateau seen in the distant – totally different landscape. Here we’re setting up camp for the night, protected from the wind. There are no tracks in the sand from this vantage point, […]

Stera, Socotra

Sun, sea, sand, wind and no people! Such is Stera.

Stera, Socotra

Another view from beautiful Stera of south Socotra.

Socotra bottle tree (Adenium obesum ssp. socotranum)

It’s amazing how this species is able to thrive on bare rock!

Hoq Cave, Socotra

This is one of several large caves on Socotra, and evidently of the more easy ones to access. This photo is close to the end, at least for tourists. It was very hot and damp in this location. Inside I must say I was surprised how big the cave really is. Without any human or […]

Socotra plant 19

This is high up on one of the dunes in Archer on the northeast coast of Socotra. This was the only one of its species here, and it has survived change in a way that’s quite remarkable. For one this place is sandblasted for months, during which this is not a place even for humans. […]

Archer sand dunes, Socotra

The sand dunes of Archer are popular with visitors. Some climb them for the view. Others to see the unique flora, and some like to slide down the sand dunes on a board! One thing is certain – a lift is not coming anytime soon!

Archer sand dunes, Socotra

With the three humans on the bottom right you can truly appreciate the scale of the dunes, which are much further away!

Erissel – Socotra east cape

Here I’m standing on the very eastern tip of Socotra with my back towards India! I spent the better of a day here, and saw no other humans – just me and nature. What an amazing place to see the sunrise….. A few days ago I was standing on the cliffs right above the boat […]

Archer sand dunes, Socotra

What makes these dunes so special is that they are trapped by sheer cliffs and rocks, and during sunrise or early morning the colors are just spectacular. I visited during the calm period, but when the northern monsoon whips up, the wind is so strong that everything is sand blasted, and I would not have […]

Archer, Socotra

Here is another view of the sand dunes where a human construction will show the true scale of these huge sand dunes. This morning more than 10 fishing boats like this one were swarming around this area to catch fish. It looked rather disorganized to me, but I saw they throw their nests, barter fish, […]

Archer sand dunes, Socotra

From afar these dunes look unimpressive, but nonetheless beautiful. It’s something of an abnormality to see sand dunes bordered by steep cliffs and the ocean – where does all the sand come from one might think. Take a closer look and you’ll see two humans trying to climb it – they both sit in the […]

Kalesan gorge, Socotra

Another angle on this amazing gorge! After rain the water is much higher and dangerous to swim in, but now it’s a tranquil lifeline to inhabitants of this corner of the island. This water is home to crabs, fishes – even eels! Most if not all are found nowhere else but on Socotra!

Kalesan gorge, Socotra

Wherever you are on Socotra you’ll be struck by the amazing landscape and flora. The key to truly appreciate it is to stay in each location for as long as it takes to feel at home with the locale and its goings on. This river gorge is mellow now, but during the wet season the […]

Evening light over Socotra

Some evenings are more beautiful than others, but in Socotra I found beauty wherever I went and in whichever direction I looked. Here I’m standing on a hill on the eastern part of the island, looking towards the high mountains (Haghier) in the interior. When I arrived a few days ago these mountains were cloaked […]

The many caves of Socotra

Socotra is criss-crossed with cracks and holes ranging in size from smaller than a finger to huge caves. The island should have been nick-named the island of a million caves, but that is perhaps an understatement. This wave-like opening is one of countless unusual shapes, and is on the way to Shuab beach of west […]

Gray Mangrove (Avicennia marina)

In the middle of the beautiful Shuab beach there is a small brackish lake and a mangrove forest. From afar it looks lush, healthy and promising, but up close it is a another story. The forest seems unhealthy with lot of dead trees, as well as many cut hard by humans. I doubt this forest […]

On the way to Shuab beach

I was lucky to see parts of Socotra from the sea, and this is on the way to Shuab – one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever been to. From the ocean you can truly appreciate the sheer cliffs, the sea birds, and most of all the fish swimming underneath your boat. I […]

Detwah Lagoon, Socotra

I stayed here two nights and I thought this must be the most beautiful of the Socotri beaches. How wrong I was! This is one of countless beaches, one more beautiful than the other – all with unique features. Here a cave north of the beach caught my attention, and this photo was taken just […]

Socotra sunset silhouettes

The island of Socotra is like no other place on earth when it comes to beauty, but perhaps most of all because of all the flora and fauna that exist only on this island! It makes it all so fragile and vulnerable. Fortunately the war on mainland Yemen is but a faraway problem, as this […]

Paracas

The only feature in a desert like the coast of Peru is that of coloration of the sand or rock, and in some places the shapes of the landscape as is seen here. Here the wind and sun rule, as there is no rain to shape the landscape. On the beach you can see 3 […]