It has been an unusually wet winter and spring here in the Pacific Northwest. We moved up here (per my earlier blogs) in March. It was the middle of March when we received our furniture via the moving van and we have been settling in ever since (that’s short for painting every room, updating all three bathrooms, furniture shopping, donating furniture we shipped but aren’t using, new appliances….that kind of stuff).
Having said all that, I have been itching to get back to hiking, but with the wet weather I’ve acquiesced to waiting and the above items have kept me busy. With summer coming and the rains easing up, I’m ready to get back out there!! I’ve attached four captures from hikes I have done up here in the past to get me back to it!!
Back on November 5, 2013 my blog post covered a photoshoot I did in Issaquah, Washington (eastern suburb of Seattle at the foot of the Cascade Mountain Range). Why this is resurfacing now is because I came cross one of those captures in my archives while moving some other prints there (I try and weed through my prints and periodically retire some of them to my personal archive file). I had used it as a background for one of my inspirational prints (also shared below) I created in August 2020. The original print really caught me eye and I thought it worthing of having it on my “TheWallGallery” website.
The shot is very unusual in that this is the last thing you would expect to come across while on a hike in a heavily forested foothill just east of Seattle, Washington. I researched the location and found the background behind the stairs. The site use to be an anti-aircraft facility to protect this area from attack. This stairway along with one other connected what was an area for barracks up to the missiles themselves. For the history of the site and what is now Cougar Mountain Regional Park, click here: “Radar Park” at Anti-Aircraft Peak
I’ve attached three art prints I created using a watercolor technique of hiking trails. The first one was created in 2011 and I just refreshed it as I created the other two this past week.
I love the peace and serenity of hiking specifically in the Pacific Northwest. The dense forest and pine trees create a sense of being one with nature. Because the forest is so dense, I don’t venture off the path as I know in these woods, we are not alone and crossing paths with a bear or whatever doesn’t appeal to me.
On each of these prints, I did an overlay using a thought of mine as it relates to each of our journeys through life. We are each on our own path so to speak and it is our choice as to whether or not we stay on that path or choose to venture off knowingly or unknowingly.
I liken it to being a parent and trying to keep your kids on a path as we raise them. At some point their free will may take them off the chosen path, but we are always there to guide them back if they seek it. As each of us travels our own individual paths, He is always there to guide us back when we venture off the chosen path.
From all of the hiking I have done in the Pacific Northwest over the years, I wanted to share three art prints I did from some shots I took. I used a watercolor technique that uses abstract shapes and clean lines to create a sharp contemporary look.
The first one is of a stump I came across along the trail.
The second one gives you an idea of how narrow the path actually was at this point in the hike.
The third one shows the hiking trail opening up slightly as the terrain leveled off.
I’m always trying to find an artistic look with the captures I take and thought this modern abstract look added a different element to the scene.
This week I wanted to share the captures that were behind three art prints I created using a fauvism technique. The fauvism technique creates a strong colorful and abstract look. All three that I am sharing today are of what I call “Street Scenes”.
The first one is a scene of a downtown sidewalk in Rockford, Michigan. You’ll notice on the photo that it’s Christmas time and on the art print I chose not to highlight that aspect. I didn’t hide it as you will see the red stripes on the street lamps, but didn’t want to make it about the time of year. What I was after was the depth of a view down a long block of small businesses in a small town.
The second series is the 16th Street Mall in Denver, Colorado. This capture is from the eastern end of the pedestrian mall about a block away from the state capital. You get a feel for just how long the mall is when you see the D&F Tower in the very background of the picture. The D&F Tower is on the western part of the mall, but by no means is it at the end of the mall. Again I was looking at depth with strong colors and that abstract approach.
In the third set, this setting is Roche Harbor on San Juan Island northwest of Seattle, Washington. It’s a beautiful setting with a large harbor filled with sailboats. In this scene I was attracted to the architecture of the hotel and the building above it. Again, I like the strong colors and abstract approach to the scene with this style.
In keeping with the sailboat theme from last week, this week I’m attaching two prints I created of sailboats. These prints differ from last weeks post in that the technique I used on these two was a subtle watercolor. The scene is a rainy (drizzle, not heavy rain) day on Bellingham Bay. Both prints capture a subtle rainbow in the background. The technique and coloring reflect the look I saw on that day. No bright colors without full sun, but a more subdued peaceful mood with the light rain.
Bellingham Bay serves the town of Bellingham in the state of Washington. Bellingham is located just south of the Canadian Border and north of Seattle. It’s just one of the many places in the Pacific Northwest of natural beauty.
I wanted to share a little hiking/photo adventure with you from our trip to the Pacific Northwest. My son-in-law and I love hiking and have been on numerous hikes together. For the last few years I have had to succumb to the fact that with my knees continuing to get worse, I was to the point I couldn’t do much hiking at all. As I have mentioned for those of you that follow me, I had knee replacement surgery on my right knee last year and in June of this year, my left knee. My personality is such that I am all over the physical therapy needed to get back to “normal”. I was looking forward to this trip for many reason, one being to get back into my love of hiking in the Pacific Northwest and the photo opportunities they present.
So on his day off, he suggested a specific trail he knew I would like called Lake 22 Trail near Granite Falls, Washington. It’s about 4 miles one way with an elevation gain of about 1500 feet. At the top of the elevation gain is a lake that the trail goes around….perfect!!
On the day of the hike, it’s raining and turns into a steady solid drizzle as we near the trail head. My backpack is waterproof along with my jacket, so we are good to go. The only thing I was concerned with was my camera getting wet. With that in mind, I pre-set everything to a landscape mode with exposure on auto. That way, all I had to do was pull the camera out and snap pictures quickly (I had it hanging around my neck under may jacket). Perfect….we start out and the rain picks up and we are hiking switchback after switchback gaining altitude. When I see a shot worth taking, I stop, unzip my jacket, grab the camera, snap a few and put it back under my jacket before it gets soaked.
As we started the hike, the trail was well maintained and smooth. The further we got and the longer we hiked, the trail turned into a rocky creek. I didn’t realize how long it had been since I had been able to walk by securing my footing on one rock….balanced myself as I moved my other leg to the next rock keeping me out of the water. At first it wasn’t at all natural and I looked like a drunk initially. We were both laughing at it and eventually it all came back to me. But of course he thought it would then be better if he followed me in case I fell, thus the attached two pictures. I got past that issue and all was good. We had a great hike and I took what I thought would be great pictures.
I was finally getting the balancing thing nailed!!
Well, when we got back to their house and I pulled my camera out to put it away, I noticed that the dial had gotten turned to “manual” for all pictures. In other words, somewhere in the “in and out” from under my jacket I ended up losing my automatic exposure and focus ending up with very, very dark pictures that even all of the digital support of photoshop couldn’t resurrect. I tried every trick in the book when we got home, but to no avail except for one capture and that is the one I have added to the end of the post.
This particular stream was halfway up the trail as we climbed in altitude. I snapped it on the way back down and believe me there was more water coming down this little stream then there was when we were headed up.
As part of my continuing series over the last few weeks from our recent road trip to Seattle and back, this weeks post is of Crater Lake National Park. Located northwest of Klamath Falls in the south central portion of Oregon, it was formed 7,700 years ago when a violent eruption triggered the collapse of a tall peak. The collapsed caldera has become the deepest lake in the United States fed by rain and snow and one of the most pristine anywhere on the planet.
In all of our years going up and down the west coast to Seattle, we had never stopped at Crater Lake. I have seen it numerous times from the air flying back and forth, but seeing it up close and personal is an entirely different experience. One of the most recognizable features of the Lake is the island on the western side of the lake. Because of this feature, it makes it easy to spot even at 36,000 feet in the air.
The first thing you notice about the lake is the deep blue color of the water. It looks fake even in person it so so blue.
We drove around the entire lake and as you can see from this capture as we approach the island, it isn’t as small as one would believe, which gives you an idea just how large this lake is.
The next capture (Crater Lake 4) was taken from the drive as it took us around in the upper right coastline of the above capture (Crater Lake 3).
This next capture was a surprise as we continued the drive from Crater Lake 4 going left from that shot.
Love the unique feature that nature created here. Looks like a small castle on an island. To give you a point of reference, the island itself is on the far right side of this capture.
There is so much to do in the Park and so much to see. This just gives you a flavor of the lake itself. Again, the surreal deep blue color of the lake boggles the mind every time you look at it no matter which side of the lake you are on.
My wife and I just got back to Los Angeles from a 2 week road trip back up to Seattle. For those of you that follow my blog, you will remember my post from mid September of the thick smoke in Seattle that we experienced when we were up there then. Yes, we turned around in a couple of weeks and returned this time via car. The early September trip was a last minute one to help on a family matter. This trip we had been planning all summer to take a few days going up, stopping at Crater Lake and Hood River Valley in Oregon. On our way back down we went through Oregon and cut over to the coast to drive down the extreme Northern California Coastline through the many redwoods that populate that geography. So for the next few weeks, I will be sharing some of my favorite captures from our trip.
I’m starting this week with two captures of Marymere Falls located in the Olympic National Park which is on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. This was an awesome day trip we did with our two daughters and their husbands that live in the Seattle area. We took one of the many ferries that connect Seattle to the surrounding islands and the peninsula. From the arriving ferry port, we still had another 1.5 hour drive to the park.
There is so much to see and do with the many trails, etc, but my favorite one for the day was the attached two captures of Marymere Falls. The trail is just a quick 1.7 mile hike and ends with this 90 foot waterfall. There are two viewing platforms at different elevations to choose from. This first capture is from the lower platform and the second one is from the upper platform.
For those of you that have been following me, this post won’t be a surprise. I periodically post different captures from my black and white photography gallery with the reasons I think they stand out more using the black and white motif.
We’ll start with “The Rock”. I love this shot and showing it this way allows the detail of the rock itself to be highlighted. The scene is unique unto itself with this huge rock structure, but it also emphasizes the white surf of the waves coming ashore.
Next is “Admiralty Head Lighthouse 2” which is located north of Seattle, Washington. By showing this in black and white, the architectural details stand out as the center of focus. The subtle lines along the lower level of the first and second floor become more obvious along with the same type of lines along the top of the tower and second floor. The window framing actually pops because it contrasts with the white stucco of the building itself, as does the roof and top of the lighthouse itself.
Admiralty Head Lighthouse 2
“The Unfolding Of Petals” is a perfect example of detail that “pops” out with the absence of color. The color photograph of this rose is stunning and no getting away from the brilliance of the color. Having said that, I did this in black and white because the amount of detail that pops with the petals is intense, from the actual shaping of the petals to the veining that shows on each petal.