Stephen Penland [stp]

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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.