#landscape

Paro, Bhutan by Jon Norris

Paro Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery, Paro, Bhutan  [Canon EOS R, ISO 100, 47 mm, f/9 at 1/100 sec]

Paro Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery, Paro, Bhutan [Canon EOS R, ISO 100, 47 mm, f/9 at 1/100 sec]

June 2019 | Big Bear | Istanbul | Bangkok | Bhutan

I first traveled to Bhutan about 20 years ago on a work trip and although I spent a few days in the country I had no time to explore … I pretty much just saw the airport, hotel and the aircraft that I was inspecting. Ever since I’ve wanted to go back.

Last year I turned 50 and as a present to myself arranged to return to Bhutan … this time as part of a guided tour. I spent an amazing week exploring Paro, Thimphu, Punakha and the Phobjikha Valley. The tour was organized by Bhutan Lilly Travels who I can’t recommend highly enough.

The highlight of the trip was the last day’s hike up to Paro Taktsang … the Tiger’s Nest Monastery. The hike takes 4-5 hours and climbs over 1,700 feet to reach the monastery at 10,232 feet. It’s a steep climb up … but the views are worth every step.

Sedona, AZ by Jon Norris

Cow Pie Mesa from Schnebly Hill Road, Sedona, AZ  [Canon EOS R, ISO 100, 24 mm, f/9 at 1/320 sec]

Cow Pie Mesa from Schnebly Hill Road, Sedona, AZ [Canon EOS R, ISO 100, 24 mm, f/9 at 1/320 sec]

May 2019 | Flagstaff | Sedona

I’ve lived in California for almost 5 years and even though I’ve traveled a lot I hadn’t had the chance to visit Arizona … until this May. I travelled to Flagstaff with a friend to attend and camp at the Overland EXPO … and after the cramped camping on-site we were desperate to get out into the wilderness and find a dispersed campsite.

Schnebly Hill Road runs from just outside Flagstaff to Sedona … and it’s a great drive … rough and rocky for the most part … but the views are just incredible. As you drive towards Sedona the view opens up as you reach the edge of the plateau … and wow … amazing rock formations and mesas. We found a great dispersed campsite on one of the forest roads and got a good night’s sleep.

Pennine Way, Derbyshire by Jon Norris

Pennine Way signpost near Snake Road, Derbyshire, UK  [iPhone XS, ISO 25, 4.25 mm, f/1.8 at 1/1,900 sec]

Pennine Way signpost near Snake Road, Derbyshire, UK [iPhone XS, ISO 25, 4.25 mm, f/1.8 at 1/1,900 sec]

April 2019 | Hamburg | Joshua Tree National Park | Edale

The Pennine Way was the first long-distance footpath established in the UK back in 1965. The trail runs 268 miles from Edale, in the northern Derbyshire Peak District, north through the Yorkshire Dales and the Northumberland National Park and ends at Kirk Yetholm, just inside the Scottish border.

I first walked the Pennine Way back in 1985 and have been wanting to repeat the walk for a long time. I had the opportunity this month as I had a long weekend in the UK between two conferences … so repeated the first two days of the walk. The weather was incredible (for April in the UK) … sunny days and a clear sky. This taster has given me the impetus to plan to repeat the whole walk in the next couple of years.

Joshua Tree National Park, CA by Jon Norris

Sunset from Keys View, Joshua Tree National Park, CA  [iPhone XS, ISO 25, 4.25 mm, f/1.8 at 1/10,500 sec]

Sunset from Keys View, Joshua Tree National Park, CA [iPhone XS, ISO 25, 4.25 mm, f/1.8 at 1/10,500 sec]

March 2019 | Hollywood | Joshua Tree National Park | Shanghai

One of my favorite spots in Joshua Tree National Park is Keys View … which is a great location to take in the view of the Coachella Valley (from the San Bernardino Mountains to the Salton Sea.

There is a lone Joshua Tree up near the view point that makes for a great silhouette against the back drop of the setting sun.

Bear Peak, CA by Jon Norris

L to R: San Gorgonio Mountain, Jepson Peak, Charlton Peak and Anderson Peak from Bear Peak, Big Bear, CA  [Canon EOS R, ISO 100, 60 mm, f/7.1 at 1/640 sec]

L to R: San Gorgonio Mountain, Jepson Peak, Charlton Peak and Anderson Peak from Bear Peak, Big Bear, CA [Canon EOS R, ISO 100, 60 mm, f/7.1 at 1/640 sec]

February 2019 | Big Bear | San Diego

I was back in Big Bear for the third time in 2019 to try and ‘conquer’ Bear Peak (Sugarlump). Setting off early I snow showed the 1,700 feet of ascent up through the Bear Mountain ski resort (much to the incredulity of the skiers passing overhead on the ski lifts) to the summit of Sugarlump.

The view across to San Gorgonio Mountain, Jepson, Charlton and Anderson Peaks was stunning … and for once completely clear.

Bear Peak Trail, CA by Jon Norris

Sugarlump Bear Peak Trail (2N10), Big Bear, CA  [iPhone XS, ISO 25, 4.25 mm, f/1.8 at 1/530 sec]

Sugarlump Bear Peak Trail (2N10), Big Bear, CA [iPhone XS, ISO 25, 4.25 mm, f/1.8 at 1/530 sec]

January 2019 | Big Bear | Las Vegas

Ever since moving to California in 2014 I’ve wanted to visit Big Bear in the winter to go snow shoeing and to explore the mountains. I hadn’t used my snow shoes since leaving Toulouse in 2000 so was somewhat rusty however it’s a bit like riding a bike … and I soon got back into my stride.

There had been snow overnight so when we arrived in Big Bear and parked up there was 6 inches of fresh powder on the ground and the sun was coming up. Perfect conditions for a winter walk. There had been so much snow over the previous few weeks that we missed the trail we were trying to find (to Sugarlump) and ended up heading up to Snow Summit instead.

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, CA by Jon Norris

Sandstone Canyon, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, CA  [Canon M5, ISO 100, 22 mm, f/4 at 1/1250 sec]

Sandstone Canyon, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, CA [Canon M5, ISO 100, 22 mm, f/4 at 1/1250 sec]

December 2018 | Anza-Borrego Desert State Park | Miami

I finished the last few days of 2018 with friends on a camping trip in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. We drove the 14 miles off-road up Fish Creek and into Sandstone Canyon in search of a dispersed campsite … and were in luck. Just before the Rock fall that blocked the end of Sandstone Canyon we found a flat area at the base of a rock wall and setup camp.

The morning started with a scramble up the slope opposite our camp site looking for a different perspective and view of the canyon. The morning light on the bush contrasted with the rock face and I think works well in black and white.

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, CA by Jon Norris

An Ocotillo plant stands tall at Ocotillo Flat, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, CA  [Canon M5, ISO 100, 22 mm, f/8 at 1/500 sec]

An Ocotillo plant stands tall at Ocotillo Flat, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, CA [Canon M5, ISO 100, 22 mm, f/8 at 1/500 sec]

October 2018 | Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Our first trip to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park was a huge success … what a fantastic place to explore.

This shot was taken on the way back from exploring the Lower Coyote Canyon trail … which is a fun drive. We turned back after reaching the water crossing having decided that it looked a little deep. Will be back to do it again when I’m with friends who can help me out if I get stuck.

The afternoon sun, broken clouds, long shadows and the expanse of open desert really help to set off this Ocotillo.

Palm Springs, CA by Jon Norris

Looking down on Palm Springs from the North Lykken Trail  [iPhone 8 Plus, ISO 20, 4 mm, f/1.8 at 1/2200 sec]

Looking down on Palm Springs from the North Lykken Trail [iPhone 8 Plus, ISO 20, 4 mm, f/1.8 at 1/2200 sec]

September 2018 | Palm Springs | Las Vegas | Boston

Had a great weekend in Palm Springs with my (much) better half and enjoyed an early morning walk along the North Lykken Trail. It’s a steep climb up from the town but well worth it for the views across Palm Springs and beyond.

Knowing that it was forecast to be a very hot day we set off at about 6am so that we could get back down to Palm Springs before the heat built up. Once back down in town we enjoyed a healthy hearty breakfast at Fruit Wonders on N Palm Canyon … delicious!

Joshua Tree National Park, CA by Jon Norris

Ominous storm clouds brewing over Joshua Tree National Park  [Canon M5, ISO 100, 23 mm, f/10 at 1/160 sec]

Ominous storm clouds brewing over Joshua Tree National Park [Canon M5, ISO 100, 23 mm, f/10 at 1/160 sec]

July 2018 | Sag Harbor | Joshua Tree National Park

I love Joshua Tree National Park and try and visit once a month … sometimes for a camping weekend or otherwise just for a quick road trip. This was the first time I’d ever experienced a storm in the park.

The sky gradually started to darken over the course of about 30 minutes and then there was some very light rain on and off for the next half-hour. Soon after I took this image the sky darkened more quickly and then thunder could be heard approaching from the South. I decided it was time to head home as the forecast was not looking good … and jumped in the car to make a hasty retreat. Within 5 minutes the flash flood warning alarm went off on my phone … scaring me half to death as I didn’t know there was such a thing … and then the heavens opened … it poured with heavy rain, reducing visibility to less than 20 feet.

Within 10 minutes torrents of water were running across the road. Ahhh … so that’s what flash floods look like. I continued heading up Park Blvd towards the North entrance with more and more water building up on the road. Upon reaching Twentynine Palms Highway every intersection was under a foot of water … fortunately the Tahoe plowed through without a problem.

Joshua Tree National Park, CA by Jon Norris

A star and fire lit night at Black Rock Canyon Campground in Joshua Tree National Park  [Canon M5, ISO 400, 24 mm, f/10 at 30 secs]

A star and fire lit night at Black Rock Canyon Campground in Joshua Tree National Park [Canon M5, ISO 400, 24 mm, f/10 at 30 secs]

May 2018 | Miami | Cancún | Joshua Tree National Park

It was great to spend 4 days camping in Joshua Tree National Park ... getting some much needed time to relax, reflect and to immerse myself in photography. This image required a long exposure (30 secs) so that I could capture the sky, the stars, the silhouettes of the Joshua Trees plus the lights from the teardrop trailer and the fire.

Renting the teardrop trailer was great ... a comfortable bed for the night, electrical power (thanks to the solar panel on the roof), water, a double-burner gas stove and a fridge. For anyone based in SoCal who's interested in renting a trailer get in touch with Off The Grid Rentals.

Joshua Tree National Park, CA by Jon Norris

View out of Joshua Tree National Park towards Three Sisters Peaks West from the High View Nature Trail  [iPhone 8 Plus, ISO 20, 3.99 mm, 1/1800 sec at f/1.8]

View out of Joshua Tree National Park towards Three Sisters Peaks West from the High View Nature Trail [iPhone 8 Plus, ISO 20, 3.99 mm, 1/1800 sec at f/1.8]

January 2018 | Joshua Tree National Park | Las Vegas | Dubai

We started off 2018 camping in Joshua Tree National Park (at Black Rock Canyon Campground) on the 1st January ... enjoyed the most amazing super-moon that night which kept the campsite well illuminated throughout the night ... and encouraged lots of howling from the park's coyotes.

On the 2nd we hiked the High View Nature Trail and were rewarded with a number of lovely views ... including the one above ... out towards Three Sisters Peaks. 

San Clemente, CA by Jon Norris

Lifeguard station on San Clemente beach  [iPhone 7 Plus, ISO 20, 3.99 mm, f/1.8 at 1/1800 sec]

Lifeguard station on San Clemente beach [iPhone 7 Plus, ISO 20, 3.99 mm, f/1.8 at 1/1800 sec]

August 2017

Another month without any business travel ... meaning more time at home and getting back into a regular routine. On the weekend one of our favorite walks (with Tilly of course) is along the path next to the railway tracks in San Clemente. These lifeguard stations are located at regular intervals along the length of the beach.

One of the other draws to come to San Clemente is for coffee and crepes ... at Bear Coast Coffee and La Galette Creperie respectively ... both firm family favorites.

Sag Harbor, NY by Jon Norris

Late afternoon sun through the grasses at the edge of Long Beach, Sag Harbor  [Canon M5, ISO 100, 22 mm, 1/640 sec at f/2.0]

Late afternoon sun through the grasses at the edge of Long Beach, Sag Harbor [Canon M5, ISO 100, 22 mm, 1/640 sec at f/2.0]

July 2017 | Sag Harbor

Every year we take 2 weeks vacation on the east coast and stay with family in Sag Harbor, NY. It's always really relaxing, enjoying quality time with the family and doing plenty of home cooking with the amazing fresh produce from Serene Green.

This shot was taken late afternoon through the grasses that line the edge of Sag Harbor Long Beach.

Joshua Tree National Park, CA by Jon Norris

In my happy place … setting up for a sunset shot over the Coachella Valley from Keys View, Joshua Tree National Park  [iPhone 6s Plus, ISO 32, 4.15 mm, 1/30 sec at f/2.2]

In my happy place … setting up for a sunset shot over the Coachella Valley from Keys View, Joshua Tree National Park [iPhone 6s Plus, ISO 32, 4.15 mm, 1/30 sec at f/2.2]

March 2017 | Joshua Tree National Park

We're lucky enough to live just 120 miles from Joshua Tree National Park ... and my idea of a great day out is to take a hike in the park and then end the day watching the sunset from Keys View.

This was one of the last times I used my 5D MkIII before trading it in for the M5 ... one of Canon's mirrorless cameras.