One of my favorite places in Italy is the Val d'Orcia. It is a beautiful valley in Tuscany that features rolling hills, fields, vineyards, olive groves, those great cypress trees and Medieval castles. In certain spots you have magnificent “big” 360 degree views of the countryside that never fail to impress. It is no wonder that UNESCO included this area on the World Heritage List in 2004.
Once the plug of a volcano, Hvitserkur rises nearly 50 feet from the sea. Over the years the craters surrounding the rock plug gave way to the pounding Atlantic Ocean leaving only this unusual outcropping behind. According to Icelandic legend, the rock was a troll who forgot to retreat from the light and was turned to stone in the sunrise. From this angle it resembles a rhinocerious drinking from the water.
Jökulsárlón lagoon about an hour before sunset. The clouds were layered high and low with light sneaking though creating this crazy golden lighting effect. It didn't last long though, two minutes later the low clouds blanketed the sky and all light was lost.
The Harbour Town Lighthouse and Marina on Hilton Head Island just after Sunset. I was actually trying to get a nice sunset photo, but the sunset was colorless. What followed though was much more interesting.
I took this from our hotel room around 5:45 a.m. (we still had jet lag, so we were wide awake), just as the sun rays were hitting the top of Mt. Cook. The clouds in the valley parted just enough to reveal the peak.
On the Hooker Valley Track there is a raised path for a short segment of the hike. I found it strange (to find a man-made wooden path cutting through the valley with nothing else around), but photographically cool, adding a bit of perspective to the enormity of what was around it.
Venice is easily one of my favorite cities in Europe. Its narrow winding walkways, numerous bridges and maze of canals make it a truly unique place to visit. This view, looking out over the Grand Canal to the iconic Church of San Giorgio Maggiore, has been photographed countless times…and is one of my favorite spots in the city.
The sculpture "Mother with her Dead Son" by Käthe Kollwitz. Found in the Central Memorial of the Federal Republic of Germany for the Victims of War and Tyranny. Placed directly under an oculus in the ceiling, the statue is exposed to the rain, snow and cold of the Berlin climate, symbolizing the suffering of civilians during World War II.
The Moeraki Boulders are a group of very large spherical boulders scattered along Koekohe Beach on the South Island of New Zealand. According to local Maori legend, the boulders are gourds washed ashore from the great voyaging canoe Araiteuru when it was wrecked upon landfall in New Zealand hundreds of years ago.