Not just a photograph…

but a memory.

DSC_0879-EditPhotography, as a powerful medium of expression and communications, offers an infinite variety of perception, interpretation, and execution.

Ansel Adams

Winter landscapes are for me some of the most beautiful to capture.

Like a blueprint of time they contain a wealth of information; information that remains until the next wind blows and covers the tracks, or snow continues to fall burying that day’s history.

I knew immediately when I saw this image that I would render it in black and white.

Ansel Adams used a red filter to darken the sky in one of his photographs of the monolith in Yosemite. He already had in his mind the final image, not as he saw it but how he visualized it being.

Photography is a medium that allows for an immense amount of growth and how we choose to interpret that which lies on the other side of our lens is an intensely personal process.

Knowing this, accepting this, and staying true to this is the difference between a snapshot and a photograph.

A photograph is not only the image that it portrays but the memory that it holds.

When I look at this I am reminded of a very gentle man, a farmer, who several years ago during a challenging time showed me the true depth of his spirit and I hope that when he sees this he will recognize himself in the description and know that he made a difference.

The apex…

of scenting ability.

DSC_0770-3Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Years ago while involved in Search and Rescue I was introduced to tracking by a man named Jim Marshall. He cultivated in me an appreciation for awareness and personal space and the second nature to be always looking for indicators.

Today, one of my greatest joys is to find signs of animals passing through the wilderness and letting my imagination run wild with the back stories.

The discovery pictured above, along with a huge pile of hair laden scat, was heart rate elevating!

I searched for the perfect track to photograph and my mind raced with thoughts.

As a former bloodhound handler and instructor of scent theory, I’m well versed in the abilities of certain animals because of physiological makeup to be scenting machines.

Here I was in close proximity to one of the animals at the apex of this description…the grizzly bear. An animal purported to be able to scent 300 times more than a bloodhound.

This is the beauty of photography. Each time I look at this photograph I will remember the cold, the heightened awareness, the silence, and the joy that we felt when we saw it.

I had hoped to see elusive bear number TEN  of the year but I’m okay with it not being this particular bear.

Was he watching? Very likely.

Was I? Always.

Nature’s magnificence…

and coming back.

DSC_0446-Edit-2-Edit-3I wish that all of nature’s magnificence, the emotion of the land, the living energy of the place could be photographed.

Annie Leibovitz

This week has been a reminder of and an eye-opener to the scars that we bear.

This stand of trees still soars majestically skyward but bore not the brightly colored leaves of autumn, only blackened trunks and open wounds from the Kenow fire that swept through last year.

I find myself listening more and looking beyond the outer shells.

I find myself more willing to speak openly and wonder if that energy is being felt.

I find myself coming back.

Autumn…

equinox, is winter upon us?DSC_3037-Edit-2There is a harmony in autumn, and a luster in its sky.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

The autumn equinox is upon us; the days will become shorter, and soon, if not already, the snow will begin to fall.

Today there will be equal hours of day and night and rituals abound for marking that sense of balance.

One of my favorite stories comes from Greek mythology and Persephone who was abducted from her mother,  harvest Goddess Demeter, and taken to the underworld to become the wife of Hades. She eventually got her back only to lose her to Hades for three months of every year. During this time Demeter would refuse to grow plants resulting in “winter”.

I don’t share Demeter’s sense of loss when winter comes calling. For me it’s a time of stark, clean landscapes and crystalline structures.

Enjoy every moment, not just the ones that are perfect…that’s what is important.

Just…

be.

DSC_1848Dream, struggle, create, prevail. Be daring. Be brave. Be loving. Be compassionate. Be strong. Be brilliant. Be beautiful.

Caterina Fake

It’s been a long time since I sat at this desk and it feels really good.

I’m taking time to be.

To enjoy the colors of fall. To inhale the scent of leaves as they change from green to bright red, yellow, and orange.To gaze upon the sunlit waters where the salmon spawn.

But most of all. I’m taking time to just breathe.

 

A luminous…

halo.
 Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi- transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end.

Virginia Woolf

Sometimes the image finds the quote while other times the quote finds the image, either way I’m happy when I can find words that expand on what I’m feeling when I photograph.

I remember the first time that I saw a halo and the geek in me rushed home to find out what created it. 

That was the beginning of my occasional e-mail chats with Les Cowley of atoptics, a man very generous with his knowledge, and the start of my passion for studying ice crystals in the atmosphere.

These words today though, a semi transparent envelope, as it refers to life deeply resonate with me.

The 22 degree halo in this image appeared fleetingly as we drank from the waters where two glacial brooks converged.

Don’t forget to look up, day or night, and let the luminous beauty of nature envelop you.

You won’t be sorry you did…

Resilience…

in the aftermath.

DSC_0011-2In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.

Aristotle

We were in Waterton National Park last fall and left the day before the park was closed due to a rapidly approaching forest fire that ultimately burned over 47,500 acres.

This summer upon my return I was pleased to see the resilience of nature. Bright bits of green and wildflowers brightened the scarred landscape and all around you could see signs of recovery.

Life is about challenge and waiting for a completely clear path is immobilizing. For every obstacle that is removed another will inevitably take its place.

For me this image is a visual reminder that not everything is permanent and that the quality we need to strive for is resilience.

Adaptation in the face of adversity.