Saturday was spent with family and good friends out on the water. On a moonlight cruise back home after dinner, I took these unusual long exposures of the Seattle waterfront. I played with zoom and focus during exposures lasting four to twenty-five seconds, which combined with the movement of the boat to create some pretty out there images.
I have four prints hanging at my new favorite workday coffee joint, Wheelhouse Coffee. Great, great coffee, and the space has the most unbelievable light. I wanted to hang photographs in there from the moment I walked in.
Come join us for a happy-hour reception later this week (they serve beer and wine too):
Thursday, August 8th, 5-7pm
I've spent the last couple weeks combing through my library looking for images to explore in black and white. Recent years have been almost exclusively about color, so I thought it would be an interesting challenge to get back to my roots. More to come.
In the ten years I've lived in Seattle, somehow I've never really gotten around to exploring the Columbia River Gorge.
On my way back home from last week's quick trip to the Oregon coast, I thought I'd venture in and see what I could find. The Eagle Creek trail has been on my list for a long time, so that's where I decided to start.
This trail's a keeper. There are two sizable waterfalls on a quick out-and-back hike — Metlako Falls at about 1.5 miles, and the magnificent Punchbowl Falls (shown above) about a half-mile further.
If you want to see Punchbowl Falls at eye-level, take an unmarked spur on the right side of the main trail, about a quarter-mile before the falls. This spur drops several hundred feet down to the creek, where you'll hear the falls but won't see them. Follow the bank past the end of the spur trail until you dead-end at a moss-covered cliff.
If you're there during the rainy season when the water is high, prepare to get wet. You'll need to carefully work your way into the creek so you can see around that cliff (it appears this might not be necessary when the water is lower.) Once you've gotten to about the center of the creek, the falls will reveal itself through a narrow gap.
Despite my rain pants and knee-high overshoes, I got soaked. I spent about an hour in the middle of that creek, fighting intermittent rain and slippery rocks — but this is good, relaxing fun as far as I'm concerned. If this trail is any indication of what I'll find as I continue to explore the Gorge, I can't wait to go back.
I never learned about Lewis and Clark in school — or if I did, I certainly don't remember any of it.
So in the interest of continuing my education, I recently read Stephen Ambrose's seminal work on the subject, Undaunted Courage. What a story! Meriwether Lewis and Thomas Jefferson's charming bromance, William Clark's experimental spelling and general liberties with the English language, Lewis's reckless heroism, political naïveté, and eventual descent into madness — all this was exceedingly rich, regrettably new information for this 33 year-old history buff. I blame the schools.
I decided I wanted to try and see the great Northwest as these two did, so earlier this week I packed up my tent, my camera, and my copy of the pair's journals and headed down to the Oregon coast. My timing was right: reading their entries from early March of 1806, Lewis complained bitterly about the perpetual rain and gloom — the same rain that kept my camera safely tucked away in my bag for the whole first day of the trip. A lot of things can change in 207 years, but rain in the Northwest isn't one of them.
By Tuesday morning the rain had let up enough for me to spend some quality time down on the beach at Cape Kiwanda. The shot above is of one of three sea stacks along the Oregon coast that share the name Haystack Rock, this one being the biggest of the three. In fact, it happens to be the fourth-largest sea stack in the entire world. And if you're at all familiar with my work, you know I love me some sea stacks.
Only after coming home did I learn that there's a replica of Fort Clatsop, the expedition's winter quarters, not far from where I camped at Cape Lookout. Sounds like I'll need to make another trip.
I have a dozen prints on display at Caffe Senso Unico, on Olive Way and Seventh Avenue in downtown Seattle.
Get on down there if you have a chance, check out the largest prints I've made yet (three 24"x36" canvases) and order up a perfectly pulled espresso from my man Mario.
Caffe Senso Unico
622 Olive Way, Seattle, WA 98101
A beautiful Christmas Eve in Tucson, Arizona.
If you're familiar with my work, you know I spend a lot of time capturing images of California's Capay Valley, where my mother-in-law owns a ranch.
I've been pushing north in recent trips, into an area where the valley closes in and becomes a canyon, shaped by Cache Creek. It's a beautiful and fascinating place, with large tracts of backcountry rugged enough to be spared the intense agriculural activity that surrounds it today.
Sometimes, in the course of searching the horizon for grand landscapes, I remember to look down. This images records one of those times.
Looking west from Carkeek Park this evening, using a strong ND filter.
My second night on the mountain, I headed over to the Paradise area. I had done some short hikes around the visitor center in the past, but this time I really wanted to push myself.
I left the visitor center at about 4pm and headed up the east side of the trail system. I spend a whole lot of time sitting at a desk at sea level, so the hike up to 7,000 feet took its toll on my thighs and my lungs. But, with plenty of breaks I made it up just in time to watch the sunset light play over the volcanoes of the South Cascades.
As I watched from just above Panorama Point, a massive fog bank rolled in below me, and there must have been some ragged clouds on the western horizon because I watched the most fantastic play of light on Mount Adams. Pinks and purples rippled over the western face for about a half hour.
A single shot doesn't really do the scene justice, so consider this a poor substitute until you can make the trip yourself.
I spent a couple days up on Mount Rainier last week. My first afternoon and evening was spent hiking in the Sunrise area, on the north side of the mountain.
Being unfamiliar with the area, I decided to be conservative and mapped out an easy 4-mile loop from the visitor center. After an encounter with a totally laid-back bear (my first sighting!) I decided I had more in me and pushed on to the Mount Fremont Lookout — which ended up being completely socked in.
On the way back down, the fog dissipated and I bagged this shot as I descended through Berkeley Park.
I'm totally not pronouncing it right, but, uh, "пожар".
Siberian wildfires are giving us particularly red sunsets here in Puget Sound this week. We watched this one from our back deck.
A minor victory, for sure, but I was pleasantly surprised to learn that one of my personal favorites was selected for mention in ViewBug's Empty Spaces Contest. Always nice to be recognized.
Taking advantage of a short break between jobs, I took off for the coast last week. This time I had one photo in mind — the one you see above.
Previsualization, in which you imagine a scene in your head and then set up the conditions in the real world to make it happen, is a technique much discussed in nature photography. My typical experience is that the intended image ends up a wash while other images I take along the way end up being the good ones. But here I think I got myself to the right place at the right time, and managed to pull it off.
I've never spent much time hanging out with chickens outside the kitchen. These ones belong to my mother-in-law, and they've never liked me very much. But for some reason, on this evening they tolerated me mixing it up with them.
One thing's clear: when you get down to eye level with them, the fact that they're descended from dinosaurs becomes unnervingly apparent.
Here's a timelapse from this year's Easter egg hunt at my in-laws’ almond orchard. My nephew Bailey and I used an app called Miniatures to capture the video on my iPad.
That's Buttercup the dog at the end.
I went up to Larrabee State Park last week after reading Alan Majchrowicz's blog post recommending Clayton Beach. And wouldn't you know it, I found him right there, shooting at the beach with BC photographer Michael Russell.
I had the pleasure of shooting the Washington State Combined Fund Drive's Volunteer Appreciation Night tonight, with my lovely wife emceeing the whole affair.
Food was eaten, awards were awarded, and a fun time was had by all.
Just found out I won a drawing for a Gura Gear Kiboko 22L+ bag from Outdoor Photo Gear. I've been really curious about this bag ever since I heard Andy Biggs talking about it on the This Week in Photography podcast. This is a premium piece of kit.
Plus, today's my birthday so, well... happy birthday to me! Thanks OPG, you shouldn't have!
P.S. — Outdoor Photo Gear owner Chris Klapheke is a fantastic avian photographer. Check out his work here.
Some friends generously offered me the use of their vacation home in Hoquiam last weekend. With that as my base I wandered up and down Highway 101, returning with some new additions to my Olympic series.