Only Mountains

There is a saying in Russian culture: only mountains can be better than mountains. So, in this post I’m presenting of photos of mountains and only mountains from my recent trip to Canadian Rockies.

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Texture on a Grand Scale

A month ago with a few fellow photographers I went to Canada. We visited a few places in Banff, Jasper and several places in between. The weather was mild, favorable to me since in chaos of packing I left winter shoes at home and was wearing my summer all-around shoes.

On the way there an interesting texture caught my eye: a side of a mountain was covered in trunks of burnt trees with a dust of snow powder on the ground. It created rather interesting texture on a grand scale. It looked like the mountain was covered with a shimmering fur. Changes in slopes steepness were creating an interesting patterns in this mesh. After short discussion we turned around and stopped to photograph them. Below you can see my take on it.

One interesting thing about them is light. It was an overcast day and the light was very flat but I think it was perfect for this type of texture. It made photos more abstract.

No Hibernation!

A while back I wrote that I tend to fall in kind of artistic hibernation in winter. It is hard to push yourself out of warm cozy home into bitterly cold of winter wind.

This year I did it! I pushed myself out. I started going into the mountains and taking photos. I bought enough clothe to keep myself relatively warm even in wind at temperatures well below freezing.

So, this year I can show a few winter photos starting with a few simple ones.

The Lost Coast

Back in May my family and friends took a trip to Shelter Cove. It is a very small town located in the area with an intriguing name The Lost Coast. It is the only section of Pacific US coast that does not have Highway 1 following the coast. Once you get there you’ll understand why. Mountains with steep drop-offs come directly to the ocean. There is a small piece of flatland squeezed in between the mountains and the ocean. And that’s where Shelter Cove is located.

The road there is hard: long, narrow, windy and slow. That kept the place remote and less developed than the rest of the Pacific coast. There was no cell phone coverage, no Internet access, which made it into a nice experience. Suddenly there was so much time for family fun and games once those distractions were removed.

While this was a family vacation there was still a little bit of opportunity for photography. With the next few posts I’ll share the images and experiences I captures during the trip.

Rhododendrons or Not?

Recently I went with a fellow photographers to photograph rhododendrons which are common on eastern hills of Olympic mountains. We were hoping for fog to have a good separation of rhododendron bushes from trees in background.

There was fog but not where we needed it. The only option left was to use shallow depth of field. My fixed 50mm lens got second life. I had not used it for a while but it was most appropriate in that case since it had the widest aperture of all my lenses.

Rhododendron
Rhododendron

The other options was to let it blend with with forest, make it part of it.

Spring Green
Spring Green

Did I mention there was fog but not where we needed it? Well, we ended up spending most of the time photographing that fog that was somewhere else:

Fog Over Lowlands
Fog Over Lowlands

Fog Over Puget Sound
Fog Over Puget Sound

Soft Light

There is no such thing as bad light.

When I just started photographing the only good light I knew was a sunset or sunrise. Then I added daylight with sunlight breaking thru the clouds which was creating an interplay of shadow and light on the ground. But for longest time I thought grey overcast day is bad light that is not suitable for photographing anything.

Well, I was wrong. I just did not develop my eye enough to see what a beautiful soft light an overcast day can give. That’s the best light for photographing deep in the forest where direct sunlight falling down thru a thick canopy of leaves and branches create extreme contrast.

Overcast day on the other hand creates nice soft light that is smoothly descending thru every opening and canvasing the ground with soft highlights.

What a perfect opportunity to photograph this flower that is blooming deep in Pacific Northwest forests whole spring and summer. I love its perfect triangle of three petals and three leaves.

Walk into Fall

This post was supposed to be about fall and beautiful foliage colors I captured last fall during my visit to my home town in Ukraine. But as I was preparing an image to include in this post the topic of the post changed because of my struggle to fit large image with lots of details in a small viewing area of a screen and make it as enjoyable as original.

Here is the image I’m talking about (you can click on the image to see it in a bigger size):

Walk into Fall
Walk into Fall

In full size it has every leaf with its unique color and details. The whole image is vibrant and lively. You practically want to follow the dirty trail covered with foliage and walk into fall. After reducing it to such small size all the colors blended together into something more or less average.

That’s just another reason I still enjoy more prints over images on a screen. Just to show what I’m talking about here are a couple of snippets at full resolution.

Foliage

Foliage

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