Category Archives: The Intimate Landscape

The small details, shapes, and textures that catch my eye.

Alabama Hills #4

“Alien”

This image is a repeat of a prior post in 2018.  I was driving through the Alabama Hills, turned a corner and saw this strange looking alien staring right at me.  Chills ran down my back!  I quickly pulled off the road, let the dust settle, and introduced myself.  He didn’t say much and just frowned.  

Beautiful But Cold!

Neighbor’s Pasture

How beautiful the snow is, but it is really cold.  Today was -6 degrees when I got up.  It is “dry” cold, so not too uncomfortable.  Since Punxsutawney Phil made his prediction of an early spring, winter has hit Eastern Washington hard.  We have had our first real snow of the year and the temperatures have dropped below zero.  We are in for more!

The only good advice I have heard is to not trust the groundhog.  Out of Phil’s 103 predictions, he has been right only 39% of the time!  I see that he has about the same prediction accuracy as our regular weather forecasters.

It Is About Time

“First Snow”

It is about time that we had our first real snow of the year.  Our luck of having mild winter weather has just run out.  Last week I was out golfing.  I don’t think I will make it out this week!

This morning was 20 degrees when I went out to photograph.  I came in after about an hour walk around the house.  After warming up, I decided that I would rather review and work on my images instead of going out and shovel snow.  I guess I can’t put it off any longer … it’s time to go out and get to work.

Spooky Morning

Backyard Fog

I looked out the window and watch the fog roll in.  Ghost images appeared where just a few minutes earlier trees stood.  I couldn’t resist going outside to try to capture the feeling.  I was thinking, “Look at all these cool silhouettes!”  It only took a few moments for my fingers to freeze, making it difficult to operate my camera.  I took a few images and scurried back into the warm house.

Winter Trees

Roadside Near Prosser, WA

Bare branches against a winter sky always catch my eye. Last week I was driving along the Interstate when I saw an interesting pattern on the Horse Heaven Hills.  I took an exit to explore with my camera.  After a little walk, I looked up and saw these tree branches against the sky.  It gave me a cold, gloomy feeling.  I couldn’t resist the opportunity.

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.

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.