Growing up in the Carolina's meant the importance of the outdoors was imprinted in me early. This deep love for nature was the very first motivation for me to pursue photography. Exploring areas around the mountains of North Carolina I would find places of beauty that seemed to be calling to me. At the time I was too young to understand the why and meaning of this. Later in life I would learn those beautiful places that called to me were wanting to be 'captured' and their beauty shared.
There is a great thrill from searching and exploring for that beautiful spot and waiting for or even finding the light. You begin your search months before, researching beauty's favorite spots. Then the hunt continues in person, and not just discovering beauty but showing it through your eyes. The high volume of landscape work today makes this more and more difficult, but the challenge makes the capture of a unique piece of beauty that much more thrilling.
Thirty years ago just being in a remote location with a view camera was enough to make unique and captivating images. Now with the easy access to pro equipment and the attractiveness of capturing one of those images, photographers are pushed like never before to become more artistic and ultimately is a good thing for the medium. Every day millions of images are created, just being there is no longer enough.
This challenge is something I relish and makes the art form of landscape photography one that has uniquely evolved in both creative pressure and competition. Two factors that ultimately can have amazing results.
One of the victims of when the partially cloaked Mt St Helen's erupted back in 1980. This decomposing log has a little bit of life clinging to it but no substantial growth has returned to this zone.
A blast so strong that this tree violently splintered in an instant, so fast that it disintegrated instead go being knocked over. The out flow from the scarred canyons show how unstable the land is still today. Despite the clouds hiding Mt St Helens the upslope of the land as it rises is apparent.
Leading to the setting sun the gash left behind from the massive flooding associated with the eruption of Mt St Helens is quite apparent. Farther from the blast zone forests are once again claiming their place.
The Icicle Creek in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness during spring time is home to abundant life trying to maximize the time free from snow and ice. This scene was one of my favorites with the cool soft tones of the river and the texture of the rocks balanced by the spider web like spreading of the moss.
This grove of maples in the Hoh Rainforest has a mystical quality to it in the morning. Hanging low from the tree, moss is looking to absorb every possible bit of moisture from the air while adding a texture and quality that is rarer and rarer.
This twin conifer and the semi-open space of a colony of aspens was so lush and alluring on this misty morning. Branches no longer in use are now a haven for moss that will pull them back to the earth.
Early morning in the Hoh rainforest creates this moody vibrant scene. A stump fiercely hangs on to supporting other life in this lush wetland.
The Burl forest in Olympic National Park has prolific and massive burls on many of the trees. This section of forest have these because of their close proximity to the ocean air. The blooming ground cover spread as far as you could see through the forest.
Along the Quinalt River floods have limited the trees to Beech and these green grassy areas. The patches of sun breaking through the foliage add some nice highlights to this scene.
The ferns in the Quinalt Rain forest are thicker and more dense than they are in the other rain forests of Olympic National Park. That's why I focused on them under the expansive canopy above.
Rolling hills gashed by catastrophic floods created this canyon and the existing lake. Early morning and the mirror like effect of a still, calm, serene setting amplifies this mood.
This canyon is the scar left behind by massive glacial floods. As an afternoon squall ripped down the canyon I couldn’t help but think of the wall of water that tore through the earth here thousands of years ago.
Parched golden fields dotted with sage cover this scarred landscape. Massive glacial flooding carved the cliffs that were once lazy rolling hills.
Once the worlds largest waterfall, Dry Falls still remains the largest waterfall known to man. An estimated 4 miles in length this section still contains some of the original water from the ice ages, obviously diluted with thousands of years of rain water.
This column of Basalt stands defiant as the scene here 10,000 years ago was vastly different. Currents would be ripping through here leaving behind no living thing, now time is the only current ripping through until the next ice age.
Desert sage blooms below layered cliffs harboring vibrant lichen. The sheer cliffs were created during ice age floods that drastically reshaped this region once only rolling hills.
Huge fields of blooms cover expansive areas in Sawtooth National Recreation Area. Growing in almost all open areas theseprovide a beautifully tranquil carpeting.
Hells Canyon in Idaho is one of those places that remains off the beaten path despite the surge in tourism. Jagged ridges, alpine forests and in the spring fields of cover the ground with billions of tiny yellow blooms. A setting crescent moon illuminates the land while still allowing the Milky Way to reveal itself.
The Snake River Canyon in Idaho is a rugged landscape that tells of a harsh and diverse landscape. Close to the river a variety of flowers dance under the galaxy as it drifts over head.
Millions of tiny magenta blooms make a brief appearance in the harsh environment of Craters of the Moon National Monument. This particular spot grabbed me because of the gnarly tree as it tries to hold on for another season yet vibrant youth makes its hasty display.
A hillside covered in volcanic rock does not seem to be a great place for flowers, yet here species thrive. The mound in the distance is all that remains of the Inferno Cone.
The Splatter Cones form a line of extinction as they border against the few plants hardy enough to survive here. The last vestiges of moonlight rake across the horizon as the rising sun will soon flip the influence.