Tag Archives: Washington

Working on New Images

It has been a while since I posted new work on my main website.  I guess it was about a year ago now.  Not that I didn’t want to, and not that I wasn’t creating new work, because I have been, but simply other obligations took priority.  In the last few days I have enjoyed working on bringing to life a handful of photos.  Fifteen landscapes to be exact.

Maybe it is something about winter.  Playing around in the snow hasn’t been my thing since I was a kid growing up in Poland.  No lowland snow yet, but autumn has come to a close and places of nature are taking on the sad look of winter.  That’s a good opportunity to reflect on past journeys.

Mossy bigleaf maple at the end of autumn in the Cascade foothills | Washington

Mossy bigleaf maple at the end of autumn in the Cascade foothills | Washington

The images selected are not all made in the last few weeks or months but about half of them are from the last several months.  A couple from the last two years and a couple from longer ago.

Sometimes it takes me a while to revisit certain trips, other times I get very excited right away.  I enjoy having a sizable library spanning about 20 years.  I always find gems in there, some images even mostly forgotten until I have a look and really think about the events.

River stones along the Stillaguamish River in dusky blue light | Washington

River stones along the Stillaguamish River in dusky blue light | Washington

It’s just so awesome to get excited about past adventures, the memories of not just making the images themselves but recollecting the events of the journey.  And there are many wonderful memories that come to new life.

That makes me think of also working on a book, a retrospective volume.

Please do have a look at the new images here.  And I shall continue to work on more….

 

Quiet Waters

So there it was, our anniversary was coming up and we decided that going camping was just the ideal thing to do.  Checking out Lake Ozette area on the Olympic Peninsula had been on the list for no less than a few years…so why not!  We packed up the truck and took off to catch the ferry from Edmonds to Kingston.  Wow, thinking about it now, I miss it all; mind you this was back in 2009.  It is always amazing to be heading out to a new destination.  Even if one knows details about the place, there is no substitute for being there….

Part of the drive was unimpressive due to going thru much logged land…didn’t look short of a war zone.  But once we arrived, there was an incredible sense of isolation and solitude.  One has to be deliberate to come here.  There is nothing beyond here except the vast Pacific Ocean, legends, and history.

Being late summer, the weather was all over the place.  It is Washington after all.  But that was part of the charm.  Imagine cooking in between two huge cedars, their branches spreading wide, trying to protect you from the massive downpour.  Some drops get through and the whole experience makes you shudder and reminds you that this place is greater than you can imagine.  The rain drowning out all other sounds.  Knowing you are not far from civilized places but still feel like you are a million miles from anywhere.  And the love of my life is right next to me sharing in the memories.

And much like in life, following the storm there was brilliant sunshine and quiet….

I made this particular photograph at one of the bays of Lake Ozette just as the sun set below a ridge of trees.  I tried a few ideas, but ultimately found this one, without a polarizer, to be my favorite.  The water was still, the lilies reflected the pure blue of the sky and the reeds reached for the air above.

Lily pads and reeds on Lake Ozette | Olympic Nationa Park, WA

Lily pads and reeds on Lake Ozette | Olympic Nationa Park, WA

‘Ah, Lord GOD! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you….’

Jeremiah 32:17 ESV

Mount St. Helens Rising

This was quite a morning.  We arrived around midnight, enjoyed the mountain for a spell under millions of stars of the Milky Way before we crawled in the back of the truck and slept a few hours until the alarm rang around 5 am.  Looking out I was a bit disappointed that the whole landscape was in thick fog, and I thought that there was little chance of any dramatic light happening. Nevertheless, I decided to look for an interesting foreground, just in case. It was warm, very quiet, and the aroma of the tiny lupine was simply deliciously intoxicating.

As soon as I set up, the fog lifted and exposed this magnificent landscape…enough time to make one composition. Just as quickly as it dissolved, the fog returned and once again the landscape was plunged into silence.

Soon after the silence was broken by a spectacular and chilling song of a pack of coyotes that must have been roaming within a couple hundred feet. I felt extremely blessed.  It is one of those memories that I will always cherish.

Mount St. Helens rising from morning fog | Mount St. Helens National Monument, WA

Mount St. Helens rising from morning fog | Mount St. Helens National Monument, WA

After a couple more hours of sleep, a beautiful warm blue sky day greeted us.  We cooked up breakfast with this glorious view of the mountain and later descended a bit south into the forests to roam about Lewis River.  But that’s another story….

 

Quiet Forest Pond

There are always new discoveries to be made, even if we know a place by heart.  I don’t remember much else from this particular trip to Mt. Rainier National Park except walking a narrow and overgrown path through a forest of subalpine firs to find a beautiful setting.  A quiet landscape of a forest pond surrounded by firs and its shores sprinkled by gorgeous blooming lupine.

Soft sunlight filtered through the trees to add a bit of a sparkle to the scene.  The air was still and filled with aromas of summer forest and flowers, sweetened by the sunshine.

I have returned to this spot many times over the years, like visiting an old friend, but it has never been quite as glorious as this time.  But I have missed the last couple of years…could it have been so breathtaking then?  Perhaps this year God will paint it even more beautiful….

Quiet forest pond graced by lupine and sunshine | Mt. Rainier National Park, WA

Quiet forest pond graced by lupine and sunshine | Mt. Rainier National Park, WA

Glorious Light

It is no secret that western Washington is not lacking in grandeur and it is also no secret that the skies are often gray.  I love light, glorious and dramatic light!  Throughout the years I have been photographing, cloudy skies have been great for many of the scenes I focus on but when a stunning light show takes place in the heavens it is much reason to celebrate.

One particular December, a few days before the new year, we made an excursion to San Juan Island for an extended weekend.  For the first couple days we were blessed with tremendous weather…cold, dramatic skies and fantastic light…sunlight.  And in December seeing the sun is sort of like winning the lottery around here.

Here, a magnificent sunset lights the Strait of Juan de Fuca with distant Olympic Mountains gracing the horizon.

Strait of Juan de Fuca Sunset | San Juan Island, WA

Strait of Juan de Fuca Sunset | San Juan Island, WA

We stood in amazement watching the light, a bit chilled, but nevertheless in awe.  The next day we were once again graced with beautiful light and that was definitely more than we had hoped for!  My words just can’t describe it well enough.

“Light is sweet, and it is pleasant for the eyes to see the sun.”

Ecclesiastes 11:7 (ESV)

Gorgeous sunset as viewed from Lime Kiln Point | San Juan Island, WA

Gorgeous sunset as viewed from Lime Kiln Point | San Juan Island, WA

The last day returned to wind and downpours and grayness but we were living by grand memories.  Perfect to stay in and relax by the fireplace….