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.
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.
“Time for a Walk”
It is a beautiful day. The sun is out. The sky is gorgeous. It is 29 degrees. It is time for a walk!
Fuji X-T1, XF18-135mm @ 59mm, f/8.0, 1/120 sec, ISO 1600
It is snowing again today and we are getting ready for another 8-10 inches in a couple of days. Officially, Spring will come in less than three weeks. When will it really come????
Even though I am tired of shoveling snow and chipping ice, I still appreciate the beauty of a snow covered landscape. I hope to be able to get out and explore after the next snow fall.
Pin Oaks in Our Back 40
I am always wondering why one thing is different than another. Here are two twin oaks in our back yard planted twenty feet apart. One loses its leaves early, one hangs on to its leaves until new leaves start to emerge. Why … who knows, but I still wonder.
Fuji X-T1, XF18-135mm @ 52mm, f/11, 1/300 sec, ISO 1600
Walking around our back yard, I always look for different perspectives. The weight of the snow on the foreground pine opened up a frame for the background leyland cyprus. We planted these two trees when we first moved into the area to break up the open pasture of our back yard. Fifteen years later they have changed the feeling of our back yard.
Fuji X-T1, XF18-135mm @ 83mm, f/11, 1/170 sec, ISO 1600
The red twig dogwood adds a little color to the cold winter scene in our backyard perennial garden. Of course, when I see red, I shoot. During our walks in our backyard, Karen and I usually stop here and spend a quiet moment or two. The bench is tucked in between shrubs and trees. It is a nice private place in the middle of our wide open area. Each spring I prune the dogwoods down to about 12 inches above the ground. New shoots pop up to create a 5-6 foot bush each year. Along with our winterberries, the dogwood provides a bright red contrast to the winter landscape.
Fuji X-T1, XF18-135mm @ 31mm, f/11, 1/180 sec, ISO 1600
These chairs, which are our Spring, Summer, and Fall hangout in the early mornings and late afternoons, did not look too inviting on this day. Many hours during the year are spent here relaxing and enjoying our backyard pond and stream. I am afraid it will be a while before we will be enjoying them again.
This photo looks like a B&W image, but is not. The winter haze along with the snow and weathered wood of the chairs create the monotone. If you look hard you can see a little color in the trees in the background.
Fuji X-T1, XF18-135mm @ 35mm, f/5.0, 1/300 sec, ISO 1600
My leaning mailbox looks like the weight of the snow is pushing it over. It adds interest without tilting my camera. As I write this post, we are in the middle of a major winter storm. Once over, I will get out and trundle through the snow to get new perspectives of our yard.
Fuji X-T1, XF18-135mm @ 39mm, f/11, 1/210 sec, ISO 1600
When I see bright color (especially red) contrasted in fresh snow I feel like I have received a gift. These winterberries provide a treat all winter to both to my eyes and the local bird population. Several years ago, we transplanted these out to our perennial garden to be our winter highlight. The three flower supports wait all winter long for our mountain sage to emerge in the spring.
Lesson Remembered: “When You See Red … Shoot!”