This tree is like an old friend I like to visit each year or every couple years. The conditions were simply perfect, a heavy drizzle, swirling fog and sublime colors.
I first discovered this spot many years ago with a good friend of mine, Chris, while we were out scouting new locations in search of stunning autumn colors. That was during the days of film when both of us were using Fuji Velvia. We were quite thrilled when we came upon this sublime spot….
This time I was here with my wife Heather and our dog Stan. Heather and Stan enjoyed walking around in the drizzle while I worked under an umbrella as the drizzle was turning heavier by the minute.
The air was cold and rich with moist autumn aromas. The fog moved like a ghost along the face of the vertical wall and the gentle rain fell on the leaves as the creek swiftly flowed out of sight.
Brilliant autumn cottonwood growing along the edge of Nason Creek | Cascade Range, Washington
As various obligations take priority over photography it is often difficult to be creative. There is no time or energy to get out and make new compositions, no time to work on more recent digital archives and definitely no time to scan transparencies from years past. Then I begin thinking and wondering why I even bother with this blog. Very few people look, almost nobody comments as the attention span of the average viewer may be no more than that of a hummingbird pausing at a flower…on to the next thing. There is no engagement, no conversation, no thought that lasts more than 7 seconds. And perhaps most viewers want to see very cooked up and unrealistic images that have flooded the digital world. Does anyone care to see something more honest? Or is a sunset with colors never seen by the human eye somehow more fascinating than the one that can take your breath away while you are witnessing it?
Does anybody get out to see the real world and appreciate the beauty? Perhaps not. Some questions for thought. I know, I shouldn’t care, but somehow, at least at some moments, I do.
. . .
In the meantime, here is an image I made several years ago along a busy highway (not a pleasant experience at all). It was drizzling and the colors were saturated from the wetness. As this scene was farther away and not very accessible I set up my camera with a 200mm telephoto lens. The rain began to increase and within seconds after capturing this scene I had to quickly pack up and run back to the vehicle.
I love the myriad of colors here, the blue berries on the bush toward the bottom left, the depth beyond the aspens. There is a peacefulness to the scene…and looking at it I see the beauty and hear the gentle rain. The noise of the road has been forgotten and erased by my mind, there is just the glory of the scene and thankfulness for witnessing something real….
A beautiful forest scene in late autumn | Central Cascades, Washington