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Iceland: Autumn at Þingvellir

Posted in Landscapes, Travel on July 13th, 2014

Hearing people laugh hysterically when you tell them you’re going to Iceland in October is not a good start to a trip.  Despite Iceland’s name misleadingly describing it as permanently arctic (not at all the case!), October is certainly past peak tourist season and was a risky shot in terms of weather.  Imagine my surprise when I reached Þingvellir National Park (thing-vet-ler, approximately), part of Iceland’s famed Golden Circle and site of the foundation of Iceland’s parliament, the Alþingi, and the sun was out with barely a cloud in sight!  I guess Iceland was happy I was here.  I did find myself coveting the lush green I’d seen in summer photos from the country, but don’t look gift weather in the mouth.  Take a look at some favorites below from the spectacular valley, Þingvallavatn (the largest natural lake in Iceland), the smooth waters of river Öxará, and gushing Öxarárfoss, first of many waterfalls I’d see in a country with 10,000 cascades.  Keep an eye out for future Iceland chronicles, or explore Reykjavik in the previous Iceland entry!

Iceland: Autumn at Þingvellir | Þingvellir national park Þingvellir Þingvallavatn travel photography oxararfoss Öxará landscapes iceland europe alÞingi  | Anna Gorin Design & Photography, Boise, Idaho (Click to see more photos)

Shoshone Falls, Niagara of the West

Posted in HDR, Landscapes, Travel on July 3rd, 2014

I don’t know about you but I always raise my eyebrows when waterfalls are compared to Niagara Falls – Niagara is simply in a league of its own, and no “These falls are actually X feet taller than Niagara!” statements can change that.  But that said, even if you may not be able to walk right to the edge of the water or take a boat to get soaked with the spray or stay in a swanky hotel, Idaho’s Shoshone Falls does its fair share to live up to the “Niagara of the West” claims.  The majesty of the falls does depend on the rainfall and time of year (and how much of the Snake River is being diverted), but it’s an Idaho must-see!  I’ve found myself there several times over the past years in different conditions – take a look at some favorites below:

Shoshone Falls, Niagara of the West | waterfalls twin falls travel tourist destinations sunset southern idaho snake river shoshone falls photography long exposure landscapes idaho  | Anna Gorin Design & Photography, Boise, Idaho (Click to see more photos)

Sawtooth beauty: Goat Lake

Posted in Landscapes, Nature on July 2nd, 2014

Things I cannot recommend:

– Hiking on an afternoon where the smoke from nearby wildfires is so thick you can barely see the Sawtooth Mountains
– Tackling Goat Lake without knowing it’s considered one of the most “expert” and dangerous hikes in the Stanley area
– Hiking down a steep mountain in a thunderstorm
– All three on the same day

That said, if it’s late summer and not a bad fire season and there are no storm warnings for the area, give Goat Lake a shot.  The unmaintained trail to the lake itself can be difficult to find and is extremely steep (and not too fun with several pounds of gear including a tripod on your back), but Goat Lake is a ghostly deserted beauty in a league of its own.  I was very disappointed to be chased away by a thunderstorm so soon – I could have stayed at the lake hours longer taking photos!  I didn’t have a chance to get all the shots I wanted, but check out a few favorites below.

Want to hike it yourself?  I found Hiking Idaho’s guide extremely helpful.  Margaret Fuller’s Trails of the Sawtooth and White Cloud Mountains is a great guide for Goat Lake and beyond as well.  Stay safe and enjoy!

Sawtooth beauty: Goat Lake | trails stanley smoky sawtooth mountains nature mountains landscapes lakes idaho hiking hikes goat lake fire season  | Anna Gorin Design & Photography, Boise, Idaho (Click to see more photos)

Iceland: Reykjavik

Posted in Landscapes, Travel on June 24th, 2014

This past October, I had the amazing opportunity to visit Iceland for the first time, and I’m excited to share some favorite photos from that trip!  Unlike neighboring mostly snow-bound Greenland, Iceland is much less icy than its name implies and is actually quite accessible, especially in the warmer months.  With glaciers and very not-dormant volcanoes all around, Iceland is truly a land of ice and fire (not just a filming location for one), and don’t even get me started praising the thousands of waterfalls!

Like most tourists, I started in Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital city.  With a population of approximately 120,000, it may sound small, but trust me, after later circling the rest of the country, Reykjavik seems like a giant metropolis in comparison.  Population aside, it’s an adorable (albeit windy) town of colorful architecture and art pieces speaking to its viking past.  Take a look, and stay tuned for more Iceland photos!

Iceland: Reykjavik | travel sunrise sun voyager solfar reykjavik landscapes iceland hallgrímskirkja europe blue lagoon  | Anna Gorin Design & Photography, Boise, Idaho (Click to see more photos)

Storms over Emmett, Idaho

Posted in HDR, Landscapes on June 22nd, 2014

I’m usually no storm chaser but when I saw this dramatic stormy spring evening light in May, I just had to trek out to northern Eagle and Freezeout Hill in Emmett to find spots to photograph it!  Here are a few favorites from that night:

Storms over Emmett, Idaho | sunset storm landscapes idaho hills golden hour freezeout hill emmett eagle clouds  | Anna Gorin Design & Photography, Boise, Idaho (Click to see more photos)

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