Category Archives: The Grand Landscape

The overview of the natural landscape.

Fall Wonder #4

Yakima River Canyon

The Yakima River Canyon is always a great photographic opportunity. During the fall it is especially so.  The bright oranges pop out from the brown surrounding hills.  They accent the blues in the river and sky.  The canyon displays different scenes throughout the day.  The morning sun highlights the western bank.  The afternoon sun highlights the eastern bank.  A great day is to drive north through the canyon in the morning, enjoy the shops and galleries and have lunch in Ellensburg, then drive back south through the canyon in late afternoon,. (A Yakima valley perspective.)

Fall Wonder #3

Yakima Area Arboretum

I find that most of my images focus on details and small vignettes.  As I try to portray the larger grand landscape, I tend to fall short..  But I still keep trying.  This scene set itself up for me:  an interesting foreground, a reflective mid ground, and a colorful background that helped frame the image.

The Yakima Area Arboretum is a beautiful place to be on a fall morning.

Same Subject, Different Treatment

Tree Overlooking Meadow, Longwood Gardens, PA

I have walked by this tree overlooking the meadow at Longwood Gardens many, many times.  I must have over 100 images of it, taken over the years.  On my last visit, I stopped again.  It was a nondescript overcast day.  I recorded an image anyway.  Maybe, I could do something interesting in post.

I created this peaceful  overcast feeling by simply adding a texture.  It captures the way I was feeling at the time. It reminds me a little of the Hudson River painters of the late 19th century.

Painted Hills

Painted Hills, John Day Fossil Beds, Oregon

The following is one of the lessons that I have learned from who knows where:  When you see something interesting in the background, find something else interesting in the foreground to add to it.  The red hills in eastern Oregon caught my eye.  I am intrigued by sagebrush.  One plus one equals three.  I can still smell the wonderful aroma of sage as I look at this image.

Milky Way Over Ft. Rock

Milky Way over Ft. Rock Crater, Central Oregon

A few weeks ago, a few of my college friends and I drove out to a remote area in Central Oregon to photograph the Milky Way.  We had scouted the area on the previous day and thought it would be interesting to photograph the Milky Way rising out of Ft. Rock Crater.  The bright object in the lower left is Mars.  The bright object in the lower right is Jupiter.  We were blessed with this interesting symmetry.

Mary Dahlin wrote this following poem about her experience observing the beautiful sight

                                            The Milky Way over Ft. Rock, Oregon

Our galaxy plots a path from a crater in central Oregon.

Fort Rock, a grand and lonely crater,
looms coolly over flat ground, showing remnants
of what spewed forth a hundred thousand years ago,
short in geologic time but long in human time.

The Milky Way seems to jump out from the center of the crater, 
billions of years the product of our Creator, and we look at it

with Mars on the left and Jupiter on the right.  Much of this is a mystery.
We know it is a galaxy, but it is too great to fully understand.

The colors are green, blue, and bright yellowish white,
all colors of life, like the ocean, the plants, and the sun.

What is time, and how all-important are we, really?

These are questions too difficult to answer, but for a moment
we can accept the complexity of the universe and our own
and be filled with wonder.

Beauty of Moloka’i 8

Moloka’i High Cliffs from Mo’omomi

Waves peacefully swirl
Against protruding cliffs,
Inspire wonder inside me.

This is a long exposure perspective of Molokai’s high cliffs shown in my previous post.  My workshop associates were all around me.  I was totally engulfed in the moment and scene in front of me.  I felt completely alone with Mother Molokai’s  wonderful gift.  I long to go back.

Beauty of Moloka’i 7

Moloka’i North Side Cliffs from Mo’omomi

Guardians strongly protrude above
Thundering waves crash below
The spirit of Mother Moloka’i conducts the score

These cliffs protruding from the north shore of Moloka’i are the tallest in the Pacific.  I spent several minutes just gazing in amazement at this magnificent gift of nature before I first pushed down the shutter. 

First Sunbreak

Sunrise on Yakima Ridge

I had been sitting watching the pastels in the sky as the sun was rising over the hills between Selah and Yakima.  The sun rays struck the eastern face of Yakima Ridge.  The color and brightness glowed over the shadowed hill side. A few moments later it was gone.  Time to get my first cup of coffee.

Pastels Through the Gap

Sunrise – Selah/Yakima Gap

I love the early morning.  I am usually up an hour or two before sunrise at this time of year.  I anxiously await for what each new morning will bring.  Today, my gift was this beautiful pastel painting over the “Gap”.  Looking ninety degrees to the east, the sky was on fire.  It was quite a contrast with the soft pastel color looking south over the Gap.

Since moving back to Selah almost 2 years ago, I have photographed this view hundreds of time.  Each new sunrise or sunset presents a new gift.  It is a wonderful way to start the day.