In the Wake of Winter





When I look out of my window right now, it’s not really very inspiring. It’s grey, drab and dark. It’s almost in the middle of the day, but it feels more like dusk. Dark clouds are gathering over me like doomsday is imminent. Rain is pouring out of the sky like a deluge. I do like winter, but I like the cold winter, with snow and crisp air. With a sun hanging low over a horizon as it does at this latitude this time of the year. But this? I don’t know…

So today I am going to let myself carry away on a dream about hot summer, sunshine, blue sky and sweet days. While waiting for the winter to show up for real… These pictures are taken during a hike into Canyonlands National Park in Utah, USA and up to Chesler Park. We did the hike earlier this year. Probably unnecessary to say, but I had a fun time photographing, even if I am not a nature photographer as such.

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89 thoughts on “In the Wake of Winter

  1. I can imagine the outlook you are describing Otto, here in the UK, the sun is shining, but for how long, I know not. So, these images are enough to brighten any day, the colours are stunning, and the area looks magical, thanks for sharing.

  2. Hi,
    Very beautiful photos. The colors are magnificent, I also like number 2, I love the way the rock is reflecting in the water, and the shadows of the clouds.

  3. For me these are among those best images, i have seen in your blog till now. I love the beauty of nature. And in these pictures Nature is at its best. Love all these photographs.
    Enjoy this years winter to it’s fullest. Lets hope winter will bring all those things with it, as per your wish list. 🙂

  4. Every day I find an email letting me know you’ve blogged I’m happy.
    As one who also backpacks, I enjoyed seeing your photos today. I have only just begun hauling my heavier camera on trips. So many years I shot with a lightweight compact camera. But, who cares. Just getting “out there” is something that adjusts my attitude in such a special way. How few people get to see all the beautiful beyond the trailheads!

  5. Beautiful photos! Absolutely stunning!
    But today is not a day you should lose to dreaming! It’s the 12th of December, which means you should go home and make ‘lussekatter’. The bright yellow is guaranteed to cheer you up!

    1. For those of you who aren’t from these parts of the world «lusekatter» are some kind of sweet rolls that we obviously make here in Norway on the 13th of December in remembrance of St. Lucia (which was more than I knew before I checked it up)

  6. Wonderful photographs, very colorful! I live in the tropics and we don’t have any snow or extra cold weather for winter time, so I can relate to these photos a bit, although around here is a lot greener. I can imagine it’s very cold over there, regardless.

  7. It’s great to get lost in a dream, that’s what keeps us going. Wonderful photographs, brings back my own memories of hiking in Utah. Thanks for sharing.

  8. There’s something about the Utah landscape that just can’t be found anywhere else. I toured Zion, Bryce and Arches parks in 1994 and was mesmerized by the variety of the rock formations and the brilliant saturated colors. Took my share of photos, too–a couple of watercolors I did from them are long gone to happy collectors.

  9. We had the same grey..Today the earth is getting replenished with rain. Your photos are beautiful! I lived in So. Utah for four years. Did you get to visit Zion National Park? I remember the snow on the mountains. It always reminded me of Oreo Cookies with the layer of rock and then snow..So very pretty..

  10. I have seen some pictures of this place! And what is really amaze me is the different tones that every photographer capture. I like the whole series but I enjoyed the last one a lot. That cloud shape creates something especial. Cheers!!

    1. The reason you see so many different tones in pictures taken here is that the colour of the canyons changes dramatically with different light. At sunrise and sunset the colours are intense, but during midday hardly come out at all, but are bleak and interesting in a different way. In addition you will find that many photographers crank up the saturation on these kinds of pictures, which for me makes them all very unnatural. For the more technical interested I can add that I process the canyon pictures in the Lab Colour space (instead of the usual RGB colour space). The big advantage is that you tweak colours and the grey scale completely separately.

  11. It’s pretty bleak and depressing here too as far as the weather – thank you for sharing these warm and beautiful photos to help us through such days as these!

  12. I am heading to Denver tomorrow. I usually leave the dreary weather of Belgium to spend time with family and lucky for me they live in Denver and Aspen. Winter with snow is my favorite time of year and to photograph. But then I love go home to Belgium to enjoy the beautiful spring.
    I love reading how everyone gets through winter.

  13. Beautiful photographic memories! I have boxes and boxes of amateur photos of the most beautiful canyons, mountains, oceans and skies. I so badly want to capture what I see and always hope to have an outcome I’ll appreciate! Alas, it’s not my talent, but I really appreciate your ability to inspire and transport through your beautiful photography. Thank you for sharing with us. These photographs are breathtaking. Debra

  14. Um… you are definitely a nature photographer. 🙂 Beautiful photos. And I enjoyed the description as much as the images. Dark and dreary where you are, but you can change all that with a glimpse to where you’ve been. Phenomenal images.

  15. Dear Otto, I am same with you about this dark and cloudy days but I also don’t like winter days too…I just like it in the pictures/photographs, etc. 🙂 In here, one day cold the next day like a lovely autumn day… But today there is a sunshine day… I hope and wish the sun be with your there too. Your photographs are amazing. What a great place… You captured so nice moments, compositions. I wished to be there too… Thank you, with my love, nia

  16. I am reminded of my trip to Moab last year and how I cried at the beauty of the stones. I wrote a song about it called A Piece of Red Clay. You can check it out on my blog under music. I started taking photos that year and tried to capture what I saw but it wasn’t always easy. There is so much majesty in those old stones.

  17. Wow, I was breathless for a while. Amazing colors and works of nature. You have a gift to move and touch people with your photos. You are trully blessed my friend. Thank you for sharing them. I’m not into Winter too. Your photos remind me why I celebrate Summer so passionately. Merry Christmas to you and your family. Best wishes to you always…,

  18. Oh oh…sounds like Otto is visiting in Seattle! If you are, I’m due North. The sun graces our landscape with shocking brightness and raises the spirits of countless inhabitants…but never long enough.

  19. Thanks everybody for the wonderful support and fun feedback. It’s really, really inspiring to have you visit and comment the post. May all be well with all of you, whether you are in winter or in summer or something in between.

  20. I send you my best wishes for 2012 Otto. Your posts have been inspirational, your photography has been awesome, and I mean that truly. I look forward to what you have in store for us, in 2012.

    Best wishes to you, and yours.
    Val

  21. Such beautiful scenery. My corner of the globe has been grey almost all week too. I’m looking forward to the weekend as we’re supposed to have a mostly sunny (but cold) weekend.

  22. Otto your photos just took my breath away. What time of day were you hiking? How did you get such rich colours?

    Although Canyonlands National Park is in driving distance from L.A, I’ve never been there. I can’t wait to go now.

    1. The hike went over a couple of days, so the pictures were shot at all times of the day. Those sandstone formations, rocks and canyons that you find everywhere in the South-West are all extremely colourful. It’s just amazing. But the intensity of the colour really comes out at sunrise or sunset. As written before I processed the photograph in Lab Color space and tried to bring out the colours and the light as I saw it.

  23. what a splendid experience here, your presentation is amazing in its totality, I have appreciate first of all your sense of space, in even depth are splendid, my compliments Otto.

  24. As beautiful as your photo’s are, as bad is the weather here (in Belgium) too: grey, wet, not cold, not warm. The question ‘Are we getting a winter or not?’ seems to fill everyone’s mind.
    Wishing you Happy Holidays with clear, cold weather!
    Paula

  25. I love the feel of driving out West in our US. I wonder if folks on the European continent have such treasures. I have often thought, to see the Grand Canyon, Bryce, Zion, Monument Valley and Canyonlands changes one forever. I am so glad as you visit our US you have included these land formations.

  26. You have such a gift for managing the play of light and shadow in your photography, Otto, and these photos showcase constrast so well. I’ll soon be spending time in the deserts of So.California and everyday the play of sun on the surrounding Santa Rosa mountains treats us to beauty.

  27. We have exactly the same weather here! These photos are amazing. I love the reflections in the second one and the contrast of the blue sky and red rock is just gorgeous.

  28. This is a gorgeous series. Stunning. The colors are wonderful, and it’s nice to see blue sky. We’ve had a lot of clouds and rain here, too. I much prefer the snow and ice. 🙂

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