Category Archives: Landscape Photography

History in My Backyard

Selah – Naches Irrigation Flume

A few days ago we had a light snow.  I gazed our from my kitchen window and became fixated on the wonderful piece of history in my backyard.  The snow provided a nice contrast between the irrigation flume’s wood structure and the sagebrush speckled background.

This piece of history was built in 1892 to provide irrigation water to the Selah Valley.  Over the years, much of the canal has been upgraded and the wooden flumes torn down.  I am lucky to have one of the few remaining sections above my home.  I currently get my irrigation water directly from this flume.  Sadly, it won’t be for too many additional years.  Plans are to replace this section with an underground pipe.  So until funds are available, I will enjoy what remains of our little bit of history.

The Story Behind the Picture

“The Fog”

Does anyone remember the 1980 horror film, “The Fog?’  I had a remarkable spooky experience last weekend.  As my friend and I were returning from a trip to Portland back to Central Washington, we decided to take a little side trip to the metropolis of Bickleton, WA.  We headed up the Roosevelt grade from the Columbia River.  I was expecting some very interesting scenic overlooks as we drove up the switchbacks, but is wasn’t meant to be.  Quickly after we started climbing up the grade, a thick fog engulfed us.  I could see only about 20 feet ahead of me.  Curves on the switch back were difficult to see.  We crept along going about 15-20 miles per hour following two large trucks.  I was hoping that another vehicle would not race up and rear-end us.  My driving partner was a little relieved, she could not see the steep grades sloping down toward the river.  All we could see were the lines on the road.  Our gas level was getting low!

We finally reached the top of the grade and drove into Bickleton.  It was like a ghost town.  The town’s few buildings were all closed up.  There were no signs of inhabitants.  No gas here, we decided to drive on.  About 10 minutes later, without any warning, we jetted out of the fog onto a wide open plain.  It was bright and beautiful.  We drove a couple of minutes, then looked back and saw the huge thick bank of fog from which we had emerged.  I quickly stopped the car, got out, and grabbed my camera to try to record the sight.  Too, slow … the fog was rapidly coming toward us.  It engulfed us before I could click the shutter.  I felt that I was being swallowed by the creeping fog.

We drove several minutes more and emerged from the fog again.  We drove a mile or two this time before we stopped to photograph “The Fog.”  This time, I was able to capture a few images of the moving fog.  We quickly got out of “The Fog’s” path before it could engulf us again.

P.S.  We made it to the next little town, Mabton, got gas, and then made it safely home.  It was an interesting drive!

 

Winding Walk

Gravel Walkway – Yakima Arboretum, WA

A straight line is not always the best way to get from point A to point B.  The path’s gentle bends direct my interest in multiple directions:  a beech grove to the right, a crabapple grove to the left, and a Japanese garden forward.  Each bend encourages a little side trip off the path for further exploration.

My Focus for 2019

Mighty Oak, Yakima Arboretum, WA

Over the years, I have taken multiple courses and attended many workshops to help me improve my photography skills.  I have practiced, practiced, and practiced.  I have experimented with many different techniques and processing methods.  Many times my images are only examples of different techniques and processes.  Many lack feeling or meaning.

This year, my focus will be to purposefully attempt to create the feeling/story that I am experiencing when I click the shutter.  I will attempt to use the different techniques and processes that I have learned in the past to achieve the desired end result.  I will think hard each time I click the shutter on what I am trying to accomplish.  I will continue to play and experiment in order to see what works and what doesn’t for a specific image.  I will continue to create sketch images to explore and find interesting ways to portray what is in front of my eyes.  The difference will be that I will attempt to do the above in a much more purposeful way than I have previously.

The above image is from a walk I took on a brisk winter day in the Yakima Arboretum.  My friend and I had the arboretum almost to ourselves.  Walking along the oak alley, I wanted to record an image depicting the strength, shape, character and size of the oak trees.  I took images of the grove from a distance.  I took images of individual oak trees showing their overall size and shape.  I took close ups of the sun shining on the bark and leaves.  Then I looked directly above me and saw everything come together into a single image:  a strong trunk, the remnant leaves on the lower branches, the delicate branches extending upward to the sky.  I snuggled up to the trunk and shot upward with a wide angle lens setting. I was thinking black and white to match the brisk cool temperature of a winter afternoon. 

 

Belated Happy New Year

Sunrise Over Kalaupapa, Molokai

Happy Belated New Year.  I thought I had posted this entry, but I did not hit the publish button.  Oh well!  

I wish you all a Happy New Year full of new adventures, experiences, and opportunities!

This image recorded on a beautiful winter day overlooking Kalaupapa provides me the hope of a bright new future for the former leper colony on Molokai.  Soon the old colony will be turned into a National Park.  The park will focus on telling a history of the colony’s rather dark past.  It should provide an insight for future generations to better care for our fellow mankind.

Beautiful Way to Start the Day

“Looking Out My Window”

Looking out my window before the sun came up on the Winter Solstice, I saw some bilious clouds forming. I knew a fantastic sunrise was on the way.  I grabbed my camera and just waited.  I was rewarded with this beautiful view from my patio.  What a beautiful gift and wonderful way to start a new day!

End of the Path

Heather Heights Orchard Overlook

The path through the orchard led up to a little bluff that overlooks the valley below.  I am at the end of my “photo stroll” and feel rewarded with the peaceful view below.  I catch my breath and start the walk back through the orchard.  I look forward to seeing new images as they present themselves to me.

Contrast

“Tired Branch”

This tired dead branch looked out of place against the bright colors of the autumn leaves.  Besides the obvious contrast of the dull brown against the brilliant yellows, oranges, and reds, the branch was also a contest of the dead leaves still hanging and the leaves that had just fallen on the ground. Soon they too will turn to the same brown as the leaves hanging above.  We cannot evade the circle of life.

Looking Down

Fungi on Cherry Tree

When walking around, I typically look forward and upward.  I have to remind myself to look down at the treasures at my feet.  This clump of fungi caught my eye with all its lines and colors.  Many of the aging cherry trees had severe scars and wounds, a great place for fungi to start.  Such great color was a gift for my eyes.