Do I really need to travel far to make photos? Just last weekend I’ve discovered a hike which is only half an hour of driving from my house and yet it has some beautiful waterfalls, creeks and alpine lakes. Well, I have not got to the lakes yet. The two times I went to that hike I got caught up too much with the waterfalls. There are four(!) waterfalls in just the first two miles of the hike.
I still see several image to be made even with closer waterfalls and with the furthest I’ve got to so far I’ve just scratched the surface so to speak. Now I plan to make it all the way just to see everything that it has to offer.
I’m still in awe if the beauty of the place I live in.
In my experience photos with amazing light such as sunsets and sunrises are most popular among viewers. Yet I have a lot of photos that don’t have grand scenery or amazing sunset but tell a quiet story about the place. Such as this one of a seaweed left on the rocks of Rialto Beach as the water recessed during low tide.
I’m not sure what to do about them. They fill small gaps in the story about Olympic National Park, making it more complete. At the same time I feel like the story becomes too long, especially a story about such diverse place as Olympic National Park.
This photo is just for fun. If you let your imagination run wild it can help you see interesting shapes around you. Like I saw a shape of a humanoid caught in a frozen waterfall.
What can be simpler than a single curve in snow. It is like an artist calligrapher drew a hieroglyph with a single movement of hand.
What’s interesting is that I found the same curve in a track of foot steps that a fellow photographer left behind.
The main attraction of the lake by the small town of Nordegg is bubbles caught in the ice. As the lake freezes bubbles of air float up from the bottom of the lake to the surface where they are captured and then enveloped by ice. Those frozen bubbles form amazing surreal three-dimensional structures.
One of the things photographer needs to think about is a depth of field. When photographing grand landscape, I typically set aperture to middle point between widest and most closed to get most sharpness in the image. For a landscape overall sharpness of an image is typically more important than depth of field.
The story is completely different when photographing close-ups. Depth of field becomes extremely important. It can make or break the image. And getting everything sharp is not necessarily a good thing. And I just happened to have two images to demonstrate the difference.
First, an “everything sharp” image. The aperture was closed to the sharpest setting for the lens that I used (f/8). To me the image ended up too flat. There is no separation between the lupine and shed boards, the lupine seems to be carved in the wall.
The second image, which I like, is with the lens wide opened (f/2.8). The lens is well focused on the lupine. It is tack sharp. The wall is slightly out of focus. This creates a three dimensional feel in the photograph, there is a space between the flower and the wall.
Lupine by a Shed
Another interesting thing to note is that I experiment with different depth of field, light, composition while photographing. I took 38 photos of this lupine over two days. Later I reviewed and pick just one of them that I felt worked the best.
We all have some small thing in our lives that we enjoy a lot. One of my things is to be under cover while it is raining. Not inside a house within four walls but almost outside, where I can smell the rain, feel a fresh breeze it is bringing, stretch my arm and feel wetness of rain drops. And yet at the same time feel protected from being completely wet. Like being in an open shed in a forest. Or just being in my garage with garage door opened, standing on an edge of the rain. Moments like that make me feel warm and cozy.
In one of those moments I photographed this iris growing next to my house:
Iris in Rain
California poppies can be found in Western Washington only along roads. I’ve spotted one of such places along one of freeways while driving my son to gymnastics. The hills was burning orange covered with poppies.
The next morning I woke up a little bit earlier to get to that hill and photograph poppies before work. I parked the car at the nearest parking lot next to a store and walked to that hill. The poppies were as good as the day before – an island of the Nature beauty in the middle of a city.
So, there I was, lying on a ground photographing poppies with cars passing by at a high speed. Here are a few photos I took:
As I wrote in my previous post (Good Night, Ladybug) there is a hill close to my house that has various wild flowers blooming every year. Here are a couple more photos that I took at that hill recently.