Above: Expect more of a “fishing perch” than a “fishing hole” when dip-netting the Copper River in southeast Alaska. Spirit Mountain pokes above the big and fast glacial-fed river that’s full of silt and very cold. Copper River Reds, the salmon in the net, are some of the most sought after in the world.
The river is also an excellent of the Weekly Photo Challenge of boundaries. Rivers are some of Earth’s most common boundaries. For the fish in my net it is a boundary of left and death, or for a person if they fall in.
Sometimes sweeping is necessary — a time- and labor-intensive technique during which the fisher sweeps the net with the current, resets and repeats.
Even when fishing is done much work is left to be done. Here a king salmon is butchered.
Above: A full moon and city lights are reflected in Green Lake, a suburb of Seattle. April 13, 2014.
The weekly photo challenge is nighttime. A perfect opportunity to share a serene scene in a Seattle suburb.
I’ve been posting photos from a recent road trip, which fits perfectly with the weekly photo challenge, “on the move.” This iteration is going to travel a large distance, between Vancouver, BC and the Oregon coast.
All the pictures show movement somehow – often other people in their daily routine dotted throughout pictures.
So here’s round three of iPhone pictures. I also find my iPhone is very handy while on the move – small, very quick to access camera and also very quick to share. Soon I’ll be back to my posts about Europe.
Church backdropped by skyscrapers in downtown Vancouver, Canada.
Truck towing a truck with a truck on the bed. Not pictured: a truck towing all three.
Rotating bridge on what I believe to be the Columbia River.
Taking the brewery tour of one of my favorite brands, Deschuettes Brewery.
Florence Beach, Oregon coast.
Climbing sand dunes on the Oregon Coast
Icy and windblown conditions on Mt. Bachelor, Oregon.
Above: A quiet and foggy beginning to the 2013-2014 season at Skiland. December 7, 2013 at 10:12 a.m.
December 7, 2013, marked the start of the downhill season at Skiland – the farthest-north chairlift in North America. Opening day is often a mad dash; wake up after a party; corral people, some gear, and grub; then try to get there for first run at 10 a.m., because last run comes quick at 2:30 p.m.
This year was relaxed, waxed boards the night before and went to bed at a reasonable time. The next day lots of clouds made visibility difficult, but unseasonably warm temperatures – over 10 degrees fahrenheit – complemented a snowpack that hide reasonable numbers of rocks!
Not much lifts the spirits in dark and typically cold December then an early opening at the downhill. Here’s a few examples of rapidly-changing light from the chairlift.
Sitting in a cloud, prepping for the second run of the season.
Visibility remained elusive, even worsening as the morning progressed – 10:42 a.m.
By 1:58 the sun was in decline, and direct sunlight had all but passed.
With one hour left to snowboard, at 1:48 p.m., the sun had broken some clouds – revealing spectacular scenery.
Above: A leashed cat sits on a chair in downtown Seattle, Washington.
Unexpected is the current weekly photo challenge, and what a great challenge it is for photography. Photographers live for the unexpected, I constantly scour scene and surrounding looking for good light, an event or the unexpected.
As the saying goes, “expect the unexpected.” Fantastic advice to increase success in any endeavor. When it comes to photography “expecting the unexpected” often means a split-second reaction – always have a camera ready. It can also mean working a scene longer until some action develops – be patient.
My images from the unpredictable streets of Seattle; juxtaposed birds and early-bird special sign, a young woman stretching on drift wood on the waterfront, gorgeous light cascading into Pikes Place Market, and a row of neatly arranged lunch boxes in a barren entryway.
Click on any image to view in carousel.
Early birds get the rice adjacent to an early-bird advertisement.
She stretches by the seaside
Lot’ O’ Lunch
Entrance to Pikes Place brewery.
Above: The silhouette of a tree creates abstract patterns as colors cascade across Green Lake in Seattle, WA.
Using layers effectively can be a powerful way to captivate an audience. The effect of taking a three-dimensional scene and rendering it two-dimensional can be greatly minimized by offering multiple layers as focal plains to create depth.
An easy trick to think about is having something in the foreground, mid ground and background. Shoot through objects like fences, window frames or tree limbs to instantly add depth. Clouds, fog and mist all help individual layers stand out from each other, and adding a reflection can quickly increase depth.
The edge of a window, clouds and shoreline make for three very distinct layers.
Multiple rooms with varied lighting and window reflections create a confusing set of layers.
Foreground, mid ground and background to create layers, with complementary colors to boot!
Above: The much smaller wolf spider can be seen in the clasp of an orb weaver.
The weekly photo challenge for Nov. 1 through Nov. 7 is eerie. Of course it was announced just one day after I posted about the Paris Catacombs, which would have fit the bill perfectly. Not uncommon for me to have great ideas ahead of their time.
So for this challenge I’m heading to the archives. In 2010 I was slowly experimenting with digital – and often forgetting to make sure I was shooting RAW files.
I did have some extension tubes to attach to my old Canon Rebel XTi. Extension tubes increase macro capabilities by moving the lens farther away from the sensor. So when I saw a large orb-weaver spider killing a smaller wolf spider I ran to grab my camera.
Spiders are eerie enough when they aren’t cannibalizing other spiders.
Reservations for one.
Securing the prey for later consumption, July 11, 2010.
Above: A riverbed in late fall offers little more then a creek winding into Mt. Rainier.
The horizon, like the end of a rainbow, is unreachable. Constantly changing – expanding and contracting, becoming more open or more obscured. Horizons inspire adventures and dreams, spawn stunning sunsets and create wonders.
Horizon is also the weekly photo challenge.
Paradise, located 5,400 feet up Washington’s Mt. Rainer, can supply spectacular views. As well as keep them completely hidden. I got a taste of both possibilities hiking there August, 2012.
Clouds lift, if only for a moment, to reveal a expansive view.
This time clouds descended to create a more abstract horizon line.
Again clouds create the horizon, no panorama today. Panorama Point, elevation 6,800 feet.
Focus – a powerful concept that applies to so much more then photography. Naturally, when thinking of focus I think equally of the opposite, unfocused. The difference is apparent as black and white. Sharp or fuzzy. Crisp or cloudy. Clear or muddy. Focus is a powerful tool to draw the eye and attract attention. Focus is necessary in all aspects of life – from reading and writing to work and sports.
In photography focus is fairly straightforward. Often my first question when editing a photo: What is in focus? Little is more disheartening then finding a lovely composed and well-timed shot, then realizing the subject matter is out-of-focus. Worse, nothing in focus.
The following two photos are Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris in the background and roses in the foreground. The different focal point and shallow depth-of-field provides a dramatic difference in the images feelings.
With the roses in focus the image feels soft, almost delicate.
Roses and Notre Dame Cathedral 1. July 8, 2013.
The following photo, with Notre Dame in focus (perhaps almost in focus,) feels more grandeur.
Roses and Notre Dame Cathedral 2. July 8, 2013.
These are two images from six weeks I just spent traveling throughout Europe. I will continue to post images of my travels, many with history about the subjects. So please stay tuned!
The golden hour is the current weekly photo challenge. Around sunrise or sunset the sun’s low angle causes more diffusions in the atmosphere and casts long shadows. The result can be spectacular light. I used to strictly time my photography around this time, until one day a teacher asks when the best time to take a photo was. I replied “the golden hour” to which he responded, the best time to take a photo is anytime. While I still prefer catching the dramatic and soft lighting prone to the golden hour, that piece of advice has stuck with me and greatly influenced my photographing habits.
These two images were recently taken in the town of Versailles, France.
Apparently weary of my camera, a dad plays with his son during sunset.
Pedestrians cast long shadows walking by packed cafes.