I add all my hopes and desires to this mountain of dreams.
In the lowest valleys this mountain watches over me.
It battles sever pressure and intense storms.
But it always stays true to form.
I look over at this mountain to spark the life within me.
And through a lot of effort, I climb up it excitedly.
I may not have all the equipment to reach the summit on this stay.
But perhaps I will easily rest on this pinnacle another day.
Just a ripple on the massive wave.
Just a branch on an endless tree.
Just a pebble in this grand mountain.
Just a note in this great melody.
Just a turn on the endless spiral.
A microscopic piece when seen macroscopically.
Just a layer to this complex fabric.
The whole expressing itself individually.
I thought some abstract images from Iceland were fitting for this poem.
This great light
that will illuminate the rest of your days.
Is only a cloud parting away.
All of my steps up mountains.
All of the toil of these preluding acts.
Are justified by a mountain scene at its most stunning;
By a perfect encore.
Gold lines the hills
Such a treasure to behold
For a short while
Change comes through
Alters our place of comfort
Gives a space to grow
You need not worry
About small things below an
This is the start in a new series I will be doing for my blog. This will help viewers and myself get a better understanding and appreciation of the various elements of the compositions I post. Enjoy!
1. This is the coastal variant of the Subalpine Fir Tree, scientifically known as Abies Lasiocarpa. This tree typically grows to a maximum height in the 60-70 foot range, but has known to grow more than double that in exceptional circumstances. It prefers colder environments with short growing seasons. The cones are typically 2” to 4” long. Due to the short growing seasons, it resultantly grows very slowly; a tree 15 inches in diameter may be up to 175 years old. The tree employs protective mechanisms to survive colder climates. The cell walls become more rigid to prevent ice crystals from breaking the tree’s cells; a waxy coating also works to reduce water loss by evaporation.
2. That is 10,781 ft. Mt. Baker, also named as Koma Kulshan by indigenous people. Mt. Baker, which hosts 13 glaciers, is the second most glaciated mountain behind Mt. Rainier in the Cascade Range ,and the third tallest in the state behind Mt. Rainier and Glacier Peak. Mt. Baker holds the world record set in 1999 for the single largest snowfall accumulation in a single season at 1,140 in. It was first ascended by Edmund Thomas Coleman in 1866, which is how the Coleman Glacier got its name.
3. This is Calluna Vulgaris or more commonly known as Heather. Heather is often found on nutrient- poor acidic soils in areas with cold winters and grows to a height around 3 feet. Its bloom time depends on snow conditions and melt , but it commonly blooms during early to mid July in the cascade range.
4. Snowfields often persist on the ridges of Mt. Baker into August. Some snowfields on the North side of Baker may not melt at all during the season.
1.Be open to different alternatives. Being too fixated on one particular composition narrows the options available to you. If you are open to trying out abstract types of compositions and working with multiple types of weather patterns you will increase the likelihood of creativity in your photography. One of my favorite examples of this is choosing to photograph forest and waterfall scenes during sunny conditions; the light in these circumstances can be interpreted by the eye, but the camera still lags behind in that respect. These types of conditions are definitely challenging to photograph under, but if interpreted correctly, they can produce an image with more depth and ambiance than a forested scene under overcast skies.
2. Look at the whole of a scene and see how each part could interplay in your composition. It is easy to get too focused on the immediate foreground subject or the background subject and lose sight of everything else happening around it. Identify which ways you can draw focus to all of the subject matter presented. The mid-ground is often the most complementary aspect to an image with depth.
3. Seek to find the most important elements of the composition and deemphasize everything else. Photography is more of an art of subtraction; employing that idea can work wonders in creating an image with flow to it. Think about ways in which you can use perspective or tripod position to work around distractions in the scene. Often times shadowing and highlighting can be used to diminish or enhance different features of an image.
4. Always give yourself more time than you will need. This is true in a lot of conditions in life, but particularly true with photography. Though it can be thrilling to rush to get to a spot at the right moment (I know from a lot of first-hand experience), it is always helpful to know as many details and nuances of the place you’re photographing as possible. Having enough time also allows you to relax and reset the mind a bit from the rush.
5. Use photography more for the process than the result. When you focus more on the art of capturing or creating an image rather than the image itself your enjoyment thrives. Photography is a medium to help enhance our ways of perceiving the world; and if you look at it that way, you immediately gain from picking up a camera and honing the process.
Recently I had the opportunity to visit the Olympic Peninsula, which is not irregular for me, but the unpredictable conditions steered me away from my original intention of visiting the beaches and drew me to almost exclusive focus on the Sol Duc river. I will share some of my observations from various spots along the river. . .
Sol Duc Falls plunges down the canyon that is now filled with light with the creeping sun. The shaded and relatively cold shadows above the falls transform the spray crystallizing it into a brilliant design around the falls. The spray refracts the light beam and together they paint rainbows of color. The power of the falls is both energizing and deafening.
A light mist billows through the forest and merges with angled-morning sunlight. The forest begins to awake out of a dense silence; a few birds begin to shatter the quiet in their melody. Lichens and mosses become alive in new color with the highlights of the morning sun. Echoes of the rolling Sol Duc river are heard as it moves with a broader chorus with the addition of spring snowmelt; layered in turquoise it rolls and tumbles over large boulders as it moves downstream.
Large old growth trees provide shelter and habitat to a large number of species and act like a sponge and filter for the river. These trees are great temperature regulators; I can feel the cool and crispness to the air as they split the light beams that move over a tributary creek that runs into the Sol Duc River.
The morning sunlight illuminates the light fog that hangs over the Sol Duc River as it is nearing completion on its 78-mile journey. The river begins to shift to a more oceanic ecology as it nears the Pacific; neighboring forests become less dense and the river becomes wider .The westward wind carries fragments of the ocean as it entangles the flora. Contrasted with its powerful beginnings emanating from the glaciers and cutting through the canyons with much force; the Sol Duc is seen in relative silence as it moves softly during a quiet morning.
The moon hangs over the Sol Duc River and warmly lit trees at this popular fishing spot along the river. The Sol Duc River eventually joins the Bogachiel River to form the Quillayute River which leads to the Pacific Ocean at La Push. The Sol Duc watershed is an impressive 219 square miles!
A brief poem I thought up along the river:
When nature comes to life
When silence springs to sound
The complex chorus of the earth
Speaks to the inner stillness that is found.