Moments of Quiet

There are moments in the Nature so quiet and peaceful that I’m reflexively holding my breath afraid that the mere whisper of breathing will destroy the magic of the place.

I love nature, I love wilderness not only for what it is but also for an opportunity to run away from the noise, chaos and often purposelessness of our civilization.

That’s why I so much like to go to Olympic National Park in winter. The weather is less than inviting most of the time that keeps most tourists out and I often have places crowded in summer to myself. They become something else allowing truly appreciate their beauty.

When I find such a place where I experience a sense of harmony with my surroundings I put  camera aside and just enjoy those moments of quiet and peace; following leisurely moving waves on a lake or slow floating clouds in the sky. And I feel like I belong here.

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Crescent Lake

Second Love Like First Love

I used to be in love with waterfalls ages ago. Then for some reason I stopped photographing them. Maybe I photographed too many of them. Maybe because in area I live in they are very common and photographing them was a cliché. Or maybe I stopped seeing anything new in them.

I don’t know if it is a mere coincidence but after visiting Death Valley – one of the driest places on the Earth – last spring I fell in love for the second time with waterfalls and with moving water in general.

Fortunately I live in area where waterfalls are common. I’ve been driving like crazy around visiting waterfalls that I have not visited for ages. I’ve been photographing creeks with water tumbling over the rocks. I might get stuck at one place for long time finding new and new images in the same spot.

Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal Veil Falls, Washington

Freeway Poppies

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:

Olde Town, WA. The Beginning

since it loves us
and forgives everything,
why was it abandoned forever?

Lyubov Sirota

What an exciting moment start of a new project. That is of cause when you know you start it. This project has begun before I knew it…

I’ve been traveling a lot to an area in the Eastern Washington called Palouse. This area offers really beautiful landscapes with rolling hills and patches of fields. Some call it American Toscana. While looking for beautiful landscapes to photograph I was driving thru small towns in this area and sometimes stopping, looking around and photographing of cause. Over time collection of these photographs grew and I was not sure why I was taking those photograph and what to do with them.

Riding from Seattle (where I live) to Palouse is a bliss – 4 hour drive across Washington state from West to East at about 70 miles per hour. There are quite a few towns you pass by on the way there. I used to drive thru them without ever stopping. Except once I travelled with a fellow photographer who wanted to get a coffee and we stopped in Ellensburg. Ellensburg turned out to be an interesting town, its historic center had a lot of old buildings. While walking its streets I realized that this is what attracted me in all other towns. The historic centers of many towns in Central and Eastern Washington look very old. And it is not like they are preserved for a history. They look abandoned like orphan children, they want some attention but don’t get it. While passing thru some of them I would find their streets empty almost like ghost towns. Some towns are slowly disappearing. In others people for some reason have moved away from their historic centers.

Once I noticed this pattern I begun to stop in every town on my way and capture those old town centers in their vanishing act. And thus the project “Olde Town, WA” was born.

Antiques Antiques

Getting Out There

The best thing you can do for your photography – get out there and start photographing. Don’t wait for the right weather, don’t wait for the right light, don’t wait for the right mood. Just pick up camera, drive or work or ride somewhere, and start shooting. Photographs will come only to those looking.

My son has grown up quite a bit and does not need as much continues care – he can play by himself and with other kids. Which means I can get out there and start photographing again. So I did last weekend with a fellow photographer. And what a joy was that!

We’ve planned for this trip for a week. Saturday morning though looked miserable. The weather forecast did not promise anything good – rain for weekend for central Washington and Oregon, where we planned to go. We were ready to call it off. Then my wife said that I must go, if I did not go, I would regret later. She was right – we went and it was great. The weather was nice and I brought back a lot of photographs to work with.

I think Jay Maisel put it best once when he said “Don’t be afraid to fail, be afraid to stop trying.”

Here is one of the first photos I’ve made on the trip: