I was treated to quite the sunrise on my first morning in Mt. Assiniboine Provincial Park. I had initially planned to go to a more iconic spot up the hill, but when I hiked past this lake on the way up, I could think of no reason to want to be anywhere else. British Columbia, 2016.
Sunrise casts a subtle spotlight on the peak above an exceptionally dramatic High Sierra backcountry lake.
The Snow-Spangled Banner
A coat of fresh snow blankets Minaret Lake at dawn.
A beautiful fall morning in Mt. Assiniboine Provincial Park. British Columbia, 2016.
Yosemite National Park's Cathedral Peak bathes in warm evening light.
Crater Lake at sunrise. Realizing this particular vision involved blending several exposures from different angles, times, and locations. Oregon, 2017.
Frozen in Time
Melting ice creates fascinating patterns that frame remote spires in the Sierra wilderness.
The Ramparts reflect in the Amethyst Lakes during a dramatic sunrise. Jasper National Park, Alberta, 2016.
Indian paintbrush flowers bloom in front of Reflection Lake, Mt. Rainier National Park.
A Moraine Morning
Moraine Lake is quite possibly the most beautiful place I have ever driven a car to. Banff National Park, Alberta.
Our Place in the Universe
A thirteen-image panoramic stitch reveals the Milky Way among a sea of stars and clouds with a touch of moonlight.
A fiery sunset over a wild tarn in the High Sierra backcountry, with the last of winter melting away leaving a few icebergs in the water. This kind of scene is only possible for a short period each year. Eastern Sierra, California, 2016.
Ray of Hope
The first time I saw the sun after three snowy days in the Canadian Rockies.
Serrated and Reflected
Some of the most remote, difficult-to-access peaks in the continental United States glow fiercely at sunrise.
Evening stormy cloud patterns create drama in a mostly frozen Minaret Lake.
A Sierra Moment
A spectacular sunrise breathes a moment of life into the drought-stricken Sierra backcountry.
A Whisper and a Clamor
Mount Shasta and its surrounding peaks bathe in the last light of the evening.
A real fireball of a sunset reflected in a pristine backcountry lake, framed by pointy granite spires. Eastern Sierra, California, 2016.
After a day of rain and heavy clouds, the setting sun pierces through an opening in the cloud deck to cast orange light on the peaks. Upper Cathedral Lake, Yosemite National Park.
Stars fade into morning twilight as a waning, nearly full moon graces majestic High Sierra peaks towering above an icy lake.
Altocumulus roll clouds appear to radiate from a mountain wall.
A trailless area of Sierra wilderness becomes engulfed in the flames of a once-in-a-lifetime sunset.
Storm on Glass
Soft light from a summer monsoonal flow allows the colors in the lake shore to pop.
A hiker admires a mesmerizing sunset (with a sun pillar) over Bonsai Rock, on the east shore of Lake Tahoe.
This image has a bit of a story. I was photographing the sunrise right here, at Tenaya Lake in Yosemite, with a couple friends. As we expected, the clouds didn't light up very much at sunrise, so we held out for some nice post-sunrise blues and whites, and enjoyed the peaceful scene with incredible glassy reflections of the fast-moving clouds.
Suddenly, 20 minutes AFTER sunrise, with the sun well above the horizon, a patch of clouds began to glow with intense oranges and pinks. Those who are familiar with how colorful sunsets work will immediately say, "wait, that's impossible!" as these kinds of skies are caused by direct light hitting the clouds from underneath, which only happens when the sun is below the horizon. Had we found an exception? What was going on?
Several hours later, with the help of our Escaype CTO and co-founder, Tung, we were finally able to figure out what had happened that morning. The sunrise had indeed not been colorful due to thick clouds blocking past the horizon, but there was a small hole in the clouds about 50 miles to the east-northeast. About 20 minutes after sunrise, direct sunlight, with an orange tint due to the low angle of the sun, streamed through this hole, reflected off the waters of Mono Lake (which we determined to be exactly in this path at those angles, time, and day of the year), and the reflected orange light lit this patch of clouds from below. The light lasted for less than five minutes, and then it was gone. Some other friends, who were less than 10 miles away from us, reported not being able to see the glow, which was consistent with our hypothesis, as very sensitive angles needed to line up for the light to be visible.
So, our plans on doing some moody blues imagery ended up leading us to see something rare and cool. I don't know if any other photographers will capture this phenomenon in the coming years, but we call it the Monoburn.
Down in Flames
An immensely fiery sunset over Convict Lake, in California's Eastern Sierra.
Heart of Darkness
No filters, digital trickery, compositing, or other campers here -- just the light of the silvery moon and the spirits of the silent night.
Evening light, Canadian Rockies. The turquoise blue color in the water is caused by glacial silt.
The Guardian Arbor
A sublime sunrise over a lake in the Bay Area. I consider myself immensely lucky to live so close to scenery like this.
A lone tree peeks out from Crater Lake's harsh winter while Hillman Peak basks in morning light.
A glassy sunrise over Sparks Lake, Oregon.
Ice formations on a lake in arctic Norway in winter.
Moraine Lake in the afternoon sun. Banff National Park, Canada.
Stars fade into twilight as dawn breathes life into the Minaret spires. Ansel Adams Wilderness, CA.
Early morning light illuminates the ridges of one of the more dramatic peaks in the remote southwestern Sierra.
90 Percent Contained
A dramatic sunrise over the high, remote peaks of the Great Western Divide. Sequoia National Park, CA.