Thursday, August 28, 2014

New Release - Mountains and Rainforests of the Northwest

    In early August, I had an incredible time photographing the diverse alpine and rainforest environment of the Pacific Northwest. The Pacific Northwest is arguably the most diverse area in the United States. Lush rainforest and countless waterfalls; rugged coast lined with cliffs and seastacks; the high desert; wildflower-laden valleys; and glaciers along some of the country's highest mountain peaks - all within just a few hundred miles of one another. 

   My two favorite photos from the trip were taken in Mount Rainier National Park. The first was a stop on an early morning hike up to some snow caves. There no clouds that morning to speak of, so a sunrise shot was not on the agenda. But as is the case many times, Mother Nature had a special treat in store. Just as the sun rose, the side lighting illuminated the wildflowers on the landscape with the Tatoosh Range in the background. The light on the landscape, with colorful wildflowers and mountains beyond made for a stunning photograph. The soft light only lasted for a few moments, and was gone...

"Ever After"

     Perhaps my favorite image from the trip was on my last morning. The weather showed cloudy skies with a clearing to the east, along with a solid marine layer at lower attitudes. We knew the sky was going to light up, but most areas would be socked in fog with the marine layer.... unless you get ABOVE the clouds! So that's what I did. I set out with some friends around 3am and hiked by headlamp up Pinnacle Peak high in the Tatoosh wilderness to an altitude of about 5600 feet. There were patches of heather, lupines, and alpine lilies everywhere. I set my composition looking towards Mt. Rainier with a nice grouping of purple flowers in the foreground to compliment the color of the sky. The closest flower was just a few inches from my camera, and in order to get a low enough perspective, I balanced my camera on a rock just a couple inches off the ground. Just a few moments later the show began. A beautiful glow came from the east which shined warm light on the peak of Rainier, with colorful under lighting of the clouds, and just enough light on the flowers to make them glow. I took close to 50 exposures over the course of just a few moments so as not to miss the very best frame. To make the final image, I combined an exposure for the sky with several exposures for the flowers that were taken at different focal lengths so that everything is in perfect focus. The combination of epic light, alpenglow on Mt. Rainier, the marine layer below reflecting the light of the sky, and colorful wildflowers in the foreground made for perhaps what is my favorite shot ever. Certainly one my best experiences, anyway.

"A Moment in Time"

  The exceptional diversity of this area is captured in many of the other photographs.  In addition to mountains and flowers, there are beautiful waterfalls...


"Emerald Flow"

forest scenes...

"Let it Shine"

"Only Time"

snow caves...

"What Lies Beneath"



rainforest slot canyons...

"Through the Looking Glass"

and much, much more...

 I am pleased to release 18 photos that capture the stunning beauty of the Pacific Northwest. I have reviewed artist proofs for all photographs, and I can tell you the prints look incredible. 

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