Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Chasing the Light

I need to stop chasing the light.
"Chasing the Light" a popular phrase in landscape photography, has become too literal to me.

No I'm not giving up photography.
It is in the interest of bettering my photography, that I say this.
No more, leaving the house after the light looks good.
No more driving around like a mad woman hoping the stoplight doesn't change red before I get through it.
No more searching out subject matter that "will do".
No more adjusting my camera settings while I drive.
No waiting for whoever thinks they're going with me.
No jumping from the vehicle, struggling with my tripod, as the sun dips below the horizon.
No more racing up a mountain, trying to be faster than the sun setting behind a different one.
 There will be no more chasing the light.

I will already be there. I will know where "there" is, in advance. I will go by myself. 
I will drive safer. I will be at peace. I will enjoy the experience. 
I WILL be a better photographer.

From this day forward, whenever possible,
I will "Wait for the Light".

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Top 12 of 2010

Many photographers post a yearly top ten list, usually around the first of a new year. I've always meant to participate, but never have. I know I'm late to the game this year, but still thought I'd go ahead and post my favorites. I don't know if there are any rules to this...I've seen top 10 posts on everything from best selling to most popular based on facebook feedback.
I'm just going with personal preferences, but most all of them I feel deeply connected to based on the experience of being in that particular place and time.
I stopped myself at 12.

I had an October morning at Mt. Shuksan for a couple of hours all to myself. There had been a light overnight snowfall, huckleberries were ripe, views were amazing, atmosphere was spectacular and silence was grand. An easy favorite.

On the same autumn weekend, a walk along Whatcom Creek in the lush green of Whatcom Falls Park, Bellingham.
I was blown away by the  beauty of this place. This moss covered tree clinging to life on the creek bank, with its roots visable above and below water and the
contrasting red of the fallen leaves is very intriguing to me.

 My first visit to Teton National Park where I was actually there for photography. While the experience of shooting elbow to elbow with other photographers is nothing I'm excited to do again, there is no denying the majesty of this place.
I took this shot after the masses left,
but the morning sun had not yet reached the trees or river.
 The color layers on this shot of the Purcell Mountains in North Idaho is what I love about it. I took this on my birthday,
along with the next two. A very nice day of photography.

This is the Bull River Valley in Western Montana. I had fun here watching the sun set several times, just by repositioning myself. I loved that beam of light hitting the gold patch of western larch. I don't think it's an exceptional shot but knowing I took it at the end of a truly great day is why it makes my list.
Finding this patch of planted trees with perfect repetitious spacing to create a seemingly endless view was thrilling. I've been looking for such a location for a long time.  
Photographed millions of times from this vantage point, St. Marys Lake in Glacier National Park makes my list for the unforgettable memory of a close encounter with a black bear within moments of taking this shot, and the beam of light that emerged from the clouds after enduring drenching rains and howling winds,
which made it all worthwile.

I caught a glimpse of the green forest floor from the road in the Coeur d'Alene Mountains, and stopped to investigate. It was raining, and everything was wet. I liked this composition, but when for just a brief moment, the sun broke through and created these beams of light, it truly was magical.
I love the mood of this shot of the old pilings in Wolf Lodge Bay. Shooting when the sunlight is so naturally filtered can be amazing. Sloshing around in the mud, can make you feel 30 years younger.

 I love getting a good sunstar without the accompanying lens flare. This one in the golden aspens of Teton National Park is one of my favorites.

Water is one of my favorite subjects, and this springtime shot of Beauty Creek makes my list just because of the time I spent there listening to the stream, enjoying the coolness and waiting for the sunlight to soften on the water. I could have stayed for hours.

This image I am trying to decipher as I type this.There is something contradicting about the calm mood of the water under a sky in turmoil. I think the blue is full of emotion and the flower wisps represent a bit of hope. Maybe that was all a little sappy, but it speaks to me. A well know spot in my town, a yet it could be anywhere, and few recognize it. I like those type of shots.

So there they are. Not my best, most popular or most sold. I guess that's why they are personal favorites.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Mid Winter Blues

January....My least favorite month of the year. And it has nothing to do with snow or cold temperatures.
I've always fought a bit of January depression.

Lake Coeur d'Alene

It's not as bad, now that I've found my purpose in photography, but still, with taxes looming and the evergrowing list of things that weren't accomplished last year, it takes a bit of resolve to get through these winter months.

Athol, Idaho

On the up side, for me as a photographer, fresh snow is quite literally a gift from above.
Sanders Beach, Lake CdA

I can't begin to explain the joy of searching out a photo opportunity and finding one after an overnight snowfall.
Rathdrum Prairie

Elk, Washington

Coeur d'Alene Forest

Those sub-zero temperatures make the waterways steam beautifully in the morning sun.

Spokane River

They create shoreline ice sculptures.

Lake Pend Oreille

Lake Pend Oreille

Additionally the shorter hours of winter actually provide longer hours of prime low angle lighting,
so important to good landscape photography.

I was also fortunate enough to have a little mid January getaway to the North Puget Sound area. 
A change of scenery is therapy for my soul!

I would be more than happy to have another good snowfall before spring.
I guess that's why I was born and live in North Idaho.