Stephen Penland [stp]

Member Page View Count: 52K +

Total User Views: 1M +

I grew up in Montana, graduated from Whitman College (BA), the University of Puget Sound (MS), and the University of Washington (PhD) with majors in biology and wildlife science. I served for two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines, and I worked for the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife for 24 years, retiring in 2008.

I prefer landscapes. There are two reasons for my choice of subject matter. I grew up in a family in which alcohol and the unpredictability and chaos it produced were constant themes. In contrast, I find natural landscapes to be solid, stable, and following laws of nature in a predictable way. Landscapes may always be changing; indeed, one of the good aspects of photography is that I can go to a place repeatedly and it is a different photographic experience each time. But this change is within limits and can be predicted, including potentially violent aspects of storms. Tornadoes do not appear out of a blue sky.

Another reason that I prefer to photograph landscapes is that I had cancer in the 1970s, and that experience did away with any sense of complacency about life that I may have had. The silver lining to five years of radiation and chemotherapy is that it is impossible for me to take the beauty of the natural world for granted. Trying to capture the essence of a natural place through photography simply enhances the experience of being there.

In February, 2013, I sold my home and lived full-time in a camper on the back of a pickup truck. That lasted for four months; then I decided I needed a shower. I found a house (with shower) in Enumclaw, WA.

Country: US


Marine Shorelines


Prairies and Farms

Badlands and Deserts

Rivers, Lakes, Waterfalls



Ancient Forests






Most Recently Posted Photos




Second Beach sunset

Ramona Falls

Death Valley sand dunes

Carbon River Old Growth

Walkway in the Fog #2

Water Lilies, IR

Walker Mountain rhododendrons

Sonogram in the air, reworked

Not my time

New day

Illumination, southern Iceland

Sunset at McKenzie Pass, Oregon

Single Tree in the Palouse

Winter Tree

Old-growth Maple

Latourell Falls, vertical

Bridal Veil Falls, Columbia Gorge

Gulls and Crying Lady Rock

Merging of Sea and Sky


Primordial Rocks

Rising from the Mist

River to the Sea

Shoreline Trees in Fog

South Puget Sound

Tree and Cumulus

Twilight Rocks

Zen in a Tide Pool

Blue Cascade Mountains

Crescent Moon

Moonrise over Rainier

Saint Helens Alpenglow

Blue Mountain Sunrise

Cabin and Hoarfrost

Cloud & Tracks


Geese and Twin Barns

Glasgow Tree

Hermit Cottage

Palouse Farm

Soft Morning Sun

Square Butte Thunderhead

Storm after Harvest

Thunderhead and Bales

Walla Walla Hills-1

Winifred Cabin

Crescent Moon

Moon and Star

On the Straight and Narrow

Red Flowers and Granite

Teddy Bear Sunrise

Two Rocks

Crater Lake

Lake Twenty-Two Stream

Nisqually Willows

Sol Duc Falls

Sol Duc Tributary 2

Sweet Creek

White Cliffs Storm

Autumn in the Columbia Gorge

In My Dreams

Japanese Maple

Matriarch Maple

Nisqually Boardwalk

Nisqually Golden Morning

Olmsted Pine and Boulder

Ponderosa and Hoarfrost

Snow Lake Snags

Staircase Maple

Canada Goose


Female Red-winged Blackbird

Hawk in Tree


Ring-necked Duck

Shorebird flock

Hoh Trail

Ancient Forest Complexity II

Ancient Forest Complexity

Rising fog

Ancient Cedar

House Under a Cliff

Lava Mountain

Mountain and Lake

Rapids amid mossy rocks

Red Rock Waterfall

River Valley 1

Road across moss

Steam Vents

Iceland Valley

Waves of Rain

Statue in Fog



Quiet Gathering

Tombstones 2

False Hellebore


Gnarled Protection

Log and Autumn Sumac

Vine Maple Portrait

Receding Into the Past


Sandhill Crane in early morning light

New day at a Bosque del Apache wetland, revised


In-flight maneuvers

Bryce Canyon in pre-dawn light

Yucca and White Sand

White Snakes

Mountains and White Sand

Passing the Time Away

Jumbo Rocks in Sunset Light

Early Morning Light on Joshua Tree Granite

Last Light

Riderless Silhouette (re-post)

Sunset on another day's work

Done for the Day

Palouse Patterns

Palouse Contours

Red Barn

Long Shadow on Fallow Fields


Spirit Shadow


Rainier Pre-Sunrise

Shadow Side of Mount Rainier

Yellow Sky in the Morning

Eastern Montana Sunrise

Standing Still

Stripped, Empty, and Quiet

Silent Church Bells on the Prairie

Montana Elevator Company


Silos Sunrise

Lifting Fog Revealing Rainier

Rainier Sunrise

Edge of a Storm II

Edge of a Storm III

Edge of a Storm IV

Grand Canyon Haze at Sunrise

Saguaro Silhouette in Moonlight

Keeping the Lights On

Photographer And His Shadow

Ripples in the Abstract

Sculpted by Wind

Dunes and Clouds

Dune Abstract 1

Dune Abstract 2

Moonset, Zabriskie Point, Death Valley

Four small trees -- repost

Vista House, B&W

Catching Some Rays in a Dark Forest

Early Fall in an Old Growth Forest

Bits of Light in a Dark Forest

Fall Season in an Old-Growth Forest

Caspian Tern Across a Morning Sun

Structural Soul

City, Suburb, & Rural Area

Vapors and Rocks

Frosted Leaves

Where Seldom Is Heard....

Turbines and Clouds

Wind Turbines About to be Challenged (View Large)

Radio Tower II

Fountain in a Winter Park

Winter Tree

Keep My Space Heater Running

Three Wind Turbines at Sunset

Against the Wind

Begin the Day Humming


Moving in circles

Rising from the Fog

Lone Tree in Freezing Fog

Frosted Tangle

Quietly Ending

Winter Silence

Standing Alone

Winter Tracks


On Ice

Montana Evening Landscape

Three Evening Clouds


Four Minus Three

Mount Rainier Panorama Sunrise

Rainbow at the Edge of a Thunderhead

How much......?

Death Valley - 20 Mule Team Canyon II (View Large)

Stealthy Predator (Fly-fishing)


Spring Wheat

Small-town America

Odd Couple

Twisted Skeleton

End of the Road

Wind Turbine

Morning Light


Wave Imprints

Out of the Mist

Road through Old-Growth Forest 1

Road Through Old-Growth Forest II

Light in the Old-Growth Forest

River Valley

Last Light

Passing Storm

Quiet Time for Trees

Waiting For Spring

Floating Fisherman in Fog

Heading to the Sunny Side

Huddled Masses



Evening Rider

Racing the Sunset

Backlit Grasses

Here Lies David Sample, date unknown


Wind Turbines at Sunset II

Wind Turbines at Sunset III

Autumn on Highway 410

Father Bagan

2 years, 7 months, 16 days

Two Bare Trees and an Empty Table

River Pilings

Fall Trees Reflecting Under a Basalt Cliff

Pond in Autumn Colors


Large Wooden Cross in Frosted Fog



White River, Mt. Rainier National Park

Crescent Moon and Broken Windmill


Unlikely Companions

Church at Night

Dormant Army

Early light in Joshua Tree

First Light in Joshua Tree

Lines and Panes

Glass Sculpture in Pool II

Frost & Fog


B&W Barn in B&W

Raptor, reworked



Winter Trees

Come Together

Nature in the City

Work Downtown

Irrigation Wheels

Riparian Rainforest

Please, Come This Way

Small Stream and Beach Rocks

Rocks in Fog on a Shiny Beach

Turbines I

Turbines II

Turbines III [Morning Dance]

South Rim #1

View from South Rim at Sunrise, #2

Sunrise on the Watchman, Zion National Park

Sunrise on Towers of the Virgin, Zion N.P.

Zion Sandstone Peaks

First Light on The Organ, Zion N.P.


Cedars & Redwoods


Antelope Canyon #3

Dock in Early Morning Light

Kayakers on Kintla Lake, Glacier National Park

Cascading light and sand

Antelope Canyon

Light shaft, Antelope Canyon


Big Rock on the Oregon Coast


Storm Over Slickrock

Storm Over Slickrock #2

Standard Oil Products

First Light of Dawn

Dipper in a Mountain Stream

Cloud Over a Peak

Storm Near Bryce Canyon

Storm Over Bryce Canyon

Columns Glow, Bryce Canyon National Park

Road Through Old-Growth

Breaking Fog

Zabriskie Point

Mather Point Sunrise, Grand Canyon National Park

South Rim Sunset, Grand Canyon N.P.