Biweekly Wow: Norway’s Pristine Beauty

There’s something truly stunning about places above the 60th parallel.  It’s much cooler there (usually), and frozen landscapes make for some of my favorite photography.  How could you not love the perfect white beautifully contrasting the deep blues and bright oranges?  Besides, I’m something of a sucker for snow; it transforms a scene into a magical wonderland.

Snowy lake reflecting the frozen landscape in Norway, in monochrome | LotsaSmiles Photography

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Biweekly Wow: Norway Reflections

You’ve read all the exciting adventures in Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks (and if you haven’t, you should really check them out right here!), so it’s time for the next chronicle of the year: Norway!  As you know, we travel quite a bit, and it recently dawned on us that we’ve managed an international trip every year since the inaugural foray to Japan.  Without realizing it, the travel bug bit us, and we’ve been succumbing to its call frequently.

A rocky hill perfectly reflected in a Norway fjord | LotsaSmiles Photography

In our latest time of weakness, we were drawn to the beautiful and unforgettable NorwayContinue reading

Biweekly Wow: Sunset Point

We visited both Sunrise Point and Sunset Point in Bryce Canyon National Park, and we found they really aren’t very different.  Spaced just a half mile apart, you can get the same views from both.  However, Sunrise gives more of the valley floor and the northern distance, while Sunset focuses more on a little southern inlet.

Fire-orange hoodoos in Bryce Canyon at sunrise | LotsaSmiles Photography

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Biweekly Wow: Sunrise Point

I am quickly finding that most of Bryce is a Weekly Wow.  After all, how many places in the world have these unlikely geological features?  The colors – the rich red of the rocks, the deep green of the trees, the vibrant blue of the morning sky – all accentuated by the pure white of the snow, are hypnotic.  When we were there, we just stared at the valley; the scene never grew old.

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Biweekly Wow: Bryce Canyon’s Fire & Ice

About two months later, and we’re finally to Part II of our little trip to Bryce and Zion National Parks.  Much like Yosemite, we ventured out to these parks in late winter not only to avoid crowds but also in the hopes of finding snow.  We were pretty disappointed in that endeavor with Zion, but Bryce was ready to deliver.

If Bryce Canyon is beautiful in the summertime, with its rust-red hoodoos and fiery vistas, snow only takes it up a notch by contrasting those rich colors with its pure white.  Continue reading

The Zion valley floor from atop the Angels Landing hike with the canyon walls dappled in spotty sunlight | LotsaSmiles Photography

Weekly Wow: Atop Angels Landing

After such a rainy start to our trip to Zion National Park, we didn’t expect the sky to clear out so beautifully.  And when it did, we further didn’t expect it to invite a few elite clouds back into the scene to perfectly diffuse the harsh sun at just the right moment, providing a spectacular view of the valley below.

Yes, we survived the famed (infamous?) Angels Landing Hike (though six people, sadly, have not), and we were in for quite a treat when we reached the top.  I have a more in-depth photostory to share with you about the full hike next week, but for now, I wanted to focus on this one photo.

View of a valley far below the summit of the Angels Landing hike in Zion National Park - Weekly Wow: Atop Angels Landing | LotsaSmiles Photography

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Weekly Wow: Zion’s Watchman

A visit to Zion National Park often comes with seeking out the iconic shot of The Watchman.  Generally viewed from atop the Canyon Junction Bridge, I wanted to (excuse the pun) shoot for something different.  I love getting close to my foreground so I can make full use of my wide angle, so I ventured down to the riverside.

Weekly Wow: Zion's Watchman | LotsaSmiles Photography | Every photographer takes the same picture of Zion's famous Watchman landmark.  Click to see a different point of view!

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Weekly Wow: Sunrise

Welcome to my new Weekly Wow!  Wednesday Wow?  Weekly Wednesday Wow?  I’m not sure.  I can’t promise these’ll be exactly weekly, as I’ll have other stories and adventures to share, but as I mentioned before, I wanted an opportunity to focus more on fewer, better photos than spamming you with an entire album.  We’ll see how it goes!

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