Stillness in the Pines
In the image above, I am standing in the middle of a forest of Ponderosa Pine trees. Imagine walking through the pines in Oregon and experiencing the calming stillness of the landscape. Then stop. And just listen. A distant rustle of pine needles. A soft chirp of a nearby bird. An ever so slight breeze whispering through the pines.
Besides the visual impression I give you, the one thing I wish I could also share is the quiet. With several of the images here today, it was so....quiet. I can't share the feel of the breeze on my skin, or the scents of the forest. But I can ask you to turn off your phone. Turn off the television, the radio. Just look and read in as much of the absence of technology as you can. This is as close as I can get you to standing next to me when I took these photos.
(Stillness in the Pines is the only image you'll find in my online shop of today's post.)
THE REST OF THE IMAGES FROM OREGON
While the images look a bit haphazard as a set, they all have something in common. When I was looking at the images while preparing to write this blog, I noticed they all actually share the theme of "path". Several are pretty obvious, but a few I might have to enhance the photo with words to see if you see what I see.
This is the last of the images from my trip to Oregon last November. All in the series have been film photographs—Portra 400 and Fuji 400H, and then edited digitally by me. These photographs really didn't fit the themes of the prior two Oregon blog posts (Waterfalls and Green—The Beauty of Oregon and The Oregon Coastline), so putting this hodgepodge of images into their own post was the best fit for this series.
In the Lava Cast Forest
The great thing about playing tourist in November is there aren't many tourists! In the Lava Cast Forest, it was quiet as an empty library. The lava flowed through here 7,000 years ago. (Not so quiet then!)
What the live tree in lava photograph doesn't capture very well is that the lava is hard as a rock. Like the rocks in the bottom of your grill! To me, this "field" looks more like the tilled, rich, black soil of the Red River Valley in Minnesota than rock.
I was amazed at how little vegetation there is in the flow after thousands of years, but it is still there and doing it's best to grow. For more information, click here for the Forest Service website. My husband snapped a photo of one of the tree molds. The landscape is dotted with lava molds of the trees that were standing 7000 years ago. Of course the trees burned away, but what remained was the lava cast of the trees.
And contrary to the popular business adage of only showing your best work, I'm showing you that image of the tree holding on for dear life because I had high hopes while I was standing there for a better image. I thought there would be enough separation between that lone tree and the background forest for the "little tree that could" to stand out. But my photographic metaphor for facing adversity was limited by the trail I was on (definitely wasn't going off trail here!), the time of day, and the lens I had with me. I do believe it's the best image I could have made given the limitations I had to work with. And sometimes, that's just the way it is. (The "path" analogy is represented by the lave flow's path through the forest.)
A Bird's Path
Looking up at the clouds and the trees, there is a tiny bird (from my perspective on the ground) that looks more like a speck on the film. With the wide angle lens, I just liked the trees getting "pushed" inwards. Not really a stellar image. (The path -- that would be the path the bird is taking through the air.)
This is Mount Hood. More impressive in person, so I didn't do it justice here. (I actually said "oh wow" out loud when we drove up.) The altitude at my feet was about 5500'. I'm looking up and framing the camera above the ski hill runs and ugly buildings. The snow line was pretty much way up there. All brown at my level. The path? The ski hill runs you can't really see.
Not an image to hang on the wall, but I did like the hairpin curve of this path—all metaphoric with the choice of left or right, up or down, or indecision. I had to wait for several groups of people to go by. More fall leaves on the trees would have made this prettier. Definitely an image that I want a "do over" on.
Vista House Overlooking the Columbia River
And finally, the Colombia River. That would be Washington on the left side. I'm standing in Oregon. The building being hit by sunlight (yes, I waited for that one for the sun to come out through the clouds) is the Vista House at Crown Point. Very cool architecture. And one of the nicest bathrooms I've ever used. (The Forest Service was very proud of them, by the way.)
That's it for Oregon. I definitely want to go back. The only other state I've said that about is Hawaii. Oregon is much closer to Minnesota. :)
I've got another trip ahead of me soon where I'm taking film along again. But unlike Oregon, my digital camera will be making the trip as well. I know I want to do kind of a "deep thoughts" post about my experience photographing with film, but now I'm going to wait until after this next trip. I also think it will be interesting having both film and digital with me. I'm also bringing more film with me on this next trip. I was too stingy in Oregon, thinking I'd run out. Well, I was so conservative with the shutter that I had more than enough left over. (On the plus side though, I had a much higher percentage of "keepers" from Oregon. I was more patient and selective with my compositions while using a film camera. A good lesson no matter what you choose to create with.)
Until next time!