I had planned to visit the Palouse in June to see the spring greens and yellows. It just wasn’t meant to be. I am yearning to get out with my camera for an adventure. Maybe later on this month I will be able to travel for a couple of days out to the Palouse. It should not be too crowded so I will be able to maintain social distancing during the trip. Warm summer breezes and softly blowing grains will be waiting.
“As the Hills and Sky Roll By” The Palouse, South Eastern Washington
In my last posting, I used a long exposure to blur the clouds in the image. In this image I let the camera do the work as I panned the camera along the rolling hills to create the blur. I saw clear contrasts between the light and shadows on the rolling hills and the white clouds and the blue sky above. In addition, I was gifted the contrasting orange-brown color of the hills against the blue color of the sky. Together they all combined for a nice abstract.
What a wonderful gift was given to me while meandering along some back roads north of Walla Walla in the Palouse. Layers of clouds were moving above. It was breezy and fairly dark. It felt like a storm was about to come in. I had an eerie feeling around me. My partner stayed in the car while I ventured out.
I took a long exposure to capture the movement of the clouds. I looked at my image and got excited as I saw rays emerging from the barn almost fighting with the clouds moving across the image. Two different air streams were layered on top of each other. One set of clouds was moving easterly while the other was moving south easterly toward me.
It is time for me to go to the Palouse to wander again. The rolling hills, old homesteads and clouds are calling. Hopefully some local travel will be possible in the relative near future.
Dogwood Bloom Against Japanese Maple Heatherwood Spring
As I stroll along in our Heatherwood Garden, I always have a camera, at least my iPhone, with me. This Spring, our variegated dogwood only had a few blossoms and they were 7-8 feet from the ground. I looked around to see if I could get a good sky background, but all we had were grey nondescript clouds. I stood on my tip toes extended my arms and tilted the iPhone down just a bit to pick up the deep red of a Japanese Maple as a background. It pays to be tall.
I don’t have to go far for a photographic safari. Everything I need is in our back yard.
The Yakima Area Arboretum has one of the largest and oldest crabapple collection in the country. In the Spring, the blossoms create a mass of whites, pinks, purples, and reds. The trees are all mature and the blossom display is gorgeous.
The Yakima Arboretum collection is the stimulus that has led me to try to develop a little crabapple grove as part of our home landscape. This Spring, we planted a small grouping of six crabapples, all different varieties. Being young, their spring bloom was just a harbinger of what will be in the next 10 years or so. Over the coming years I look forward to watching them grow and mature. I plan to gradually develop an understory that will pull the grove together and complement the individual trees.
Now I am back to reality (partially). I am experimenting working in Infrared to see what works best with Infrared images. Clouds, deciduous trees, and grass are always good candidates. Infrared seems to bring out some of the tonality differences among the various types of trees. Here I see the differences between the deciduous trees which have fully leafed out, ones that are in bloom, others that have just started to have leaves at their tips, as well as the conifers.
This image was created using my standard image processing steps: Balance levels in Lightroom, convert to Black and White in Sliver Efex Pro. then optimize in Silver Efex. Pretty simple!
“A Different Perspective” Yakima Arboretum, Washington
I was a little bored today, so I decided to just play around with some recent infrared images of the Yakima Arboretum. From time to time, I get in a little rut of processing images using my “standard” process. Using advice from Tony Sweet a long, long time ago, when in a rut, try something crazy and different. So I did, using Lightroom, SilverEfex Pro, and Topaz Study, this is today’s result.
I casually walked home through cherry orchard, taking my time and looking all around me. I looked up and saw this protrusion of Selah Ridge overlooking the orchard. I felt like it was a sentinel watching over the rows of trees getting ready to bloom. Blossoms should be emerging very soon. I will keep my eyes open so I can take another adventure through the blooming orchard.
During my walk to the top of the cherry orchard I found a new way to get up to the top of Selah Ridge that overlooks the hillside where we live. There are so many places around our neighborhood to explore. The trek to the top of the ridge from here will be one that I plan to wander and explore.
Looking at this line of basalt rock, I ask myself how this remnant of a lava flow got way up here. Beneath this level of basalt lay strata of limestone-type sediments from an ancient sea bed. How did a sea bed get up here? Piecing the little that I know of the geologic history of the area, the following is what I think happened: First, this area at one time was under the Pacific Ocean. Then the volcanic Cascade Mountains were formed which separated Eastern Washington from the coastal plain. Later, the Eastern Washington, Eastern Oregon, Southern Idaho basalt flows covered what is now the Columbia Basin. Then the moving continental plates slowly forced up the Yakima Folds creating a line of ridges across south central Washington. We live at the base of one of these ridges.
Living out in the country is a wonderful opportunity to get out and explore. I have no excuse to feel “cooped up” inside the house. A 20 minute walk and I am above it all, overlooking an old cherry orchard, the valley below, and the gap to Yakima. How peaceful it is to just stand up on the hillside and observe the wonderful area where we live. In a short time, this orchard will be covered with white and pink blossoms. It is one of the few “old stands” of cherry trees around. Each year they remove a section and plant new trees. Hopefully this section will remain for several years to come.