Olympic Peninsula (3/3)

Landscapes, Photography, Travel


Only a few hours drive from the beach leads to the Hoh Rainforest, one of the largest temperate rain forests in the U.S.

My grandma — who inspired the trip around the peninsula — didn’t advise visiting Hoh Rainforest for the very appropriate reason of rain and big trees being all too easy to find in Washington. But it was close, so I went and enjoyed a rare sunny afternoon walk. 

The depth and patterns created by luminous leaves made for lovely photographic subjects. 







Olympic Peninsula (2/3)

Landscapes, Photography, Travel

Of the approximately half-dozen beaches visited on the Olympic Peninsula, Klaloch and Rialto seemed in a league of their own, each vastly different.

The Dungeness Spit, technically in Olympic State Park, earns an honorable mention for one of the longest sand spits in the world and a light house.

At Klaloch, limited but amazing camp sites overlook truly vast expanses of gently sloping sand and minuscule tides. A quaint resort is nearby with cabins for rent.  Rialto beach is the opposite — strong waves crash into pebble beaches, pushing rocks up the shore before drawing them back out to sea with an almost violent crackle. A lovely 1.5 miles paved road connects the campground to the beach — perfect for a light jog past a pond of croaking frogs.


Sun streaks through smoke

Abstract, Landscapes, Photography, Travel


A sunset on Orcas Island, Washington, illuminates smoke from a nearby campfire.

I like how the qualities of the above photo mesh with the two following abstracts photos: grass floating in water. All three pictures have a smooth quality and share cool green tones. The sun streaks, a more literal picture, still offers plenty of room for the imagination to wander. In contrast the two grass pictures offer very little reference, perhaps a few small dragonfly if you look closely. 

Orcas-4 Orcas-5

Dreamy cherry blossoms

Macro, Photography

Above: Water on whimsical cherry blossoms.

Dreamy is the current Weekly Photo Challenge. To me, dreamy conjures feelings of contrast. Dreams are often simultaneously crisp and cloudy. Things that don’t make sense feel true. Entire dreams can be vague narratives shrouded in mist, except for one hyperreal detail — perhaps a pair of eyes.

In these photographs a shallow depth of field helps create a dreamy and uncertain aesthetic. 


Moss on Mt. Rainier

Landscapes, Photography, Travel

Above: A small stream snakes through vibrant green moss on Mt. Rainier in Washington state. The picture reminds me how alive and diverse the mountain is, from the thunderous cracks and groans of enormous glaciers to the smallest bubbling stream sustaining a secluded ecosystem. The picture is a rough scan of color positive film, shot on Hasselblad.

Colorful Seattle Streets

Landscapes, Photography, Street, Travel

Above: Walking the docks at sunset in Washington Park Arboretum.

It’s time for a few more pictures form the streets of Seattle, featuring some fantastic fall colors. Not much to say about these – just an exercise in editing and blogging!

Vibrant leafs expand across the frame as a couple enjoys a walk near the Ballard Locks.

Vibrant leafs expand across the frame as a couple enjoys a walk near the Ballard Locks.

Canoeing around - Washington Park Arboretum, Oct. 13, 2013.

Canoeing around – Washington Park Arboretum, Oct. 13, 2013.

Old yellow stables at Discovery Park.

Old yellow stables at Discovery Park.

Taking a sunset run on the docks at the arboretum.

Taking a sunset run on the docks at the arboretum.

WPC: Unexpected, On Seattle Streets

Photography, Street, Travel, Weekly Photo Post

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.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Layers

Abstract, Iphone, Landscapes, Photography, Street, Travel, Weekly Photo Post

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.

Reflections and multiple rooms with varied lighting create a confusing set of 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!

D-Day: My Grandma and The Michigan Daily

Photography, Portraits, Travel

According to my grandma, Claire Thomas, D-Day June 6, 1944, was a day everyone knew was coming. The question was, when? At the time Thomas was the editor of her school newspaper, the AP syndicate and still operating Michigan Daily. I am incredibly impressed by the ability of my grandma not only to rise to the position of editor, but to do so through what must have been very limiting sexual discrimination. Her hard work and attention to detail surely played a role. That attention to detail often finds typos in my writings, for which I thank you grandma.

When I was visiting a few years ago she had recently found a copy of the very issue printed on D-Day. Listening to her anecdotes of waiting by the phone, rushing to the office late at night to put the paper together, and the tension felt by Americans from every upbringing was fascinating. In retrospect it would have been a great conversation to record.

Here she is holding the June 6, 1944 issue on the porch of her house, Lake Washington in the background.

Claire Thomas holds a copy of The Michigan Daily from June 6, 1944. She was editor of the paper during the D-Day invasion of Europe.

Claire Thomas holds a copy of The Michigan Daily from June 6, 1944. She was editor of the paper during the D-Day invasion of Europe.