Category Archives: The Intimate Landscape

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

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. 

 

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.

Mixture of Color and a Little Imagination

Cherry Trees – Heather Heights Orchard

Color, Color, Color is everywhere I turn.  Greens, yellows, oranges, reds. and even a little brown fill my eyes.  It looks like an abstract painting.  My mind opens up for creative possibilities.  Here is one:

Cherry Trees Abstract

All it takes is a little reverse “C” swipe and imagination!

A Walk in the Orchard

Neighbor’s Cherry Orchard

There is an old cherry orchard just up the road from our house.  In fall, the leaves turn shades of yellow and orange.  The grasses turn to a golden straw color.  Birds are everywhere fluttering about.  A hawk frequently perches on an overhead orchard fan.  It is a nice place to walk and explore during all seasons of the year.  

Sections of the orchard are being removed each year to make room for new young trees.  I do not know how much longer the old stand of trees will remain.  So until then, I will explore as often as I can.  I will present images of a walk I took about a month ago in my next few posts.

“Energy”

“Pure Energy”

How can I make a simple branch covered with frost pop out from its surrounding???  Just move around to position something interesting behind it.   I found a faded clump of Japanese Forest Grass for a background.  Using a shallow depth of field caused the grass to look like a radiating energy force field. I could feel the energy emerge as I recorded the image.

When You See Red … Shoot, Even on a Cold Day

“Don’t Pass Me By”

Brilliant beauty is everywhere.  This single red maple leaf, edges covered with hoarfrost, made me stop in my tracks.  It was just hanging there waiting for me to discover.  Just a few ice crystals held it captured on the branch.  After taking several photos, I turned around to look for other treasures.  I glanced back, the red was not there.  The leaf had fallen to the ground.

Lesson Learned:  Never pass up a gift!