Bench View

I took this about four years ago when I was in Ucluelet on Vancouver Island. It’s a part of the Wild Pacific Trail that traces the coastline. It’s a well-maintained trail with benches like this every half mile or so.

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Bench View
A bench with a view along the Wild Pacific Trail

I was here in late August (or “Fogust” as the locals say) when a thick fog would roll in most afternoons. You could see it sitting just offshore, and then at the right time it would approach and before you could say Foghorn Leghorn, you were in it. In this image, you can see it about a mile offshore.

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Benches or empty chairs in an image allow us to imagine sitting there in the scene. Our eyes follow the direction it points, similar to a leading line, only with a different device. When a photo makes us look in a particular direction, it has captured our imagination as we weave our own story in the scene. However, if it has thick fog, that would be something different entirely.

Pining to Go Back

Here is another image from Cathedral Grove on Vancouver Island. I cannot fathom living eight-hundred years. Imagine the stories these trees could tell. After that length of time, I suppose the stories would go on and on.

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Pining to go Back
If these trees could talk…

After looking at these images, I am pining to go back. Knock on wood I’ll have a chance soon. Short of that, I’ll just have to lumber along here in Florida. Forgive me dear blog reader, you do not deserve to be pun-ished this way.

other images with trees

One good thing about living eight-hundred years is that the statute of limitations is on your side. Whatever you did in the last century is forgotten, unless, of course, you’re a tree. In that case, your neighbors know your business. Do trees forget?

If you’ve found this blog post informative, then I’m clearly not doing my job today.

Rare and Endangered

This is from Cathedral Grove in British Columbia. It’s a relatively small area filled with Douglas Fir and Red Cedar. Some of the trees are 800 years old and 250 feet high. The forest is considered rare and endangered, the trees are prized by the logging industry. You can find out more about that here.

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Rare and Endangered
The Red Cedar is endangered due to logging

Having walked through it on a couple of occasions I can say there is a special feeling you get. There aren’t many places like this remaining on the planet, so I hope we can preserve it and the forests around it.

more from British Columbia

We passed by here on our way to Ucluelet from Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. We were so moved by the size and grace of the trees that a week later we stopped again on the way back. On each occasion, we walked in quiet reverie induced by our surroundings. I took a lot of pictures and am just now getting back to some of these images that remind me of this special place.

Wild Pacific Trail

Here is a bend in along the Wild Pacific Trail in Ucluelet BC. While staying here a few years ago I took hikes along this trail and spent hours taking photos of the views. However, in this case, it was the trail itself that caught my imagination.

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Wild Pacific Trail
A section of the Wild Pacific Trail in Ucluelet, British Columbia

The trail itself is well maintained and has spectacular vistas of the rugged coast below. We stayed at the Black Rock Oceanfront Resort which is on the trail itself. All I had to do was walk outside the room and I was on the trail.

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Some stretches of the trail would wind through the woods, and then open up at an overlook of the Pacific Ocean. It was a fun walk because at almost every there was a surprise waiting. The problem for me was knowing when to turn back. I would walk for miles and lose track of time and then have to pick up the pace on my way back.

Roaring Brook Nature Center 2

I took this about three years ago at a little park called Roaring Brook Nature Center on Canton Connecticut. The pond empties down the mountain at a dike and indeed the brook does roar at that spot. Here is another image from nearly the same spot.

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Roaring Brook Nature Center 2
I took this on a nature walk a few years back.

I was here in spring which of course is when all the streams and rivers are full of melting snow. Spring is also the season for pollen and they get it heavily in Connecticut. My rental car was covered with a yellow layer so thick it resembled volcanic ash.

I’ve also been here (not this spot exactly) in Autumn and of course, the scene is quite different. All of New England is ablaze in colors and it’s a great time for a road trip.

more landscape photos from the gallery

This particular visit was a difficult one. We had just lost one of our beloved dogs from an unexpected illness and I was feeling sad. That’s when I looked up this little park figuring it would do me some good to go for a nature walk. When I saw scenes like this it helped take my mind off the pain. Times like that are never easy.

A Place Called Enders Falls

I took this in Connecticut several years ago at a place called Enders Falls. It’s a small gorge off the side of the road with a set of waterfalls that stretch about a quarter of a mile. The trail is short but steep and you arrive at the falls within three minutes of leaving your car.

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A Place Called Enders Falls
A Place Called Enders Falls in Connecticut

I was with a couple of friends as we climbed up and down the falls taking pictures. That was a long time ago and I just happen to notice this image in the archives.

There are no bridges, so to get to the other side of the stream you must cross the water. It was spring so the water was flowing well and I chose a shallow section to walk cross. I remember how icy it was as my feet submerged crossing the water. Despite the chill I managed to stand several minutes while I setting up for a shot from the middle of the stream. It’s funny how we can block out pain in pursuit of a photo.

more waterfalls

In the end it is a happy memory, spending the time with friends doing what I love to do. After we finished we drove to town and had some amazing burgers and talked about photography.

Walk Through the Forest in North Carolina

This was taken a couple years back on a walk through the forest in North Carolina. It was supposed to be a short two-hour hike but ended up taking twice as long and was more difficult than we thought.

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Walk Through the Forest
Walk Through the Forest in North Carolina

Apparently enough people get caught in the same mistake that the rangers and locals have formed a small rescue industry. I felt bad because it was my idea and my wife and sister-in-law were following my lead. But in the end we made it back before dark with a story to tell. We were hungry but too tired to go out so we ordered room service when we got back to the hotel.

As far as photography goes it couldn’t have been better; I’m still finding photos I had forgotten about. Coming from a flat place like Florida it was a big change to be in the mountains and hills. I think that also contributed to our misjudging of the hike, it was downhill going in and an uphill climb coming back. Florida has no hills so elevation never crossed our minds.

I just looked up the step history for the hike on my iPhone; it was 14,000 steps and the equivalent of 43 stories climbed. That may not be Mount Everest but it’s a lot of uphill walking for someone from Florida. When I’m taking pictures I get carried away and it’s probably not fair to the people I’m with.

other forest images from the gallery

I consider myself tech savvy yet I only learned about the iPhone step tracker about a year ago. My phone has been tracking steps for years; who knew? Now I can match it up with some of my photo hikes and see how far I walked. There are a few in there that I can recall very well. But having sore feet is a small price to pay for good pictures. And I’m sure I’ll do it again and again; only now I can check my steps for an added degree of satisfaction.

Waterfall from British Columbia

I was flipping through some old photos and I found this waterfall from British Columbia. What caught my attention was that it was taken exactly three years ago today. This is just below the massive Shannon Falls north of Vancouver. When I took this it was in full flow from the spring runoff, so I imagine it would be the same now.

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Waterfall from British Columbia
Waterfall from British Columbia just north of Vancouver

I took this with the Sony A7R, which was still fairly new at the time. I had had it for only a couple of months and was still learning its ins-and-outs. Looking at this now makes me want to take a trip back to the Pacific Northwest and go waterfall hunting. For a landscape photographer waterfalls are big game.

A lot has transpired in the last three years. In that time I’ve taken close to a hundred thousand images. They’re not all winners mind you, in fact only a very small percentage of them are what I’d consider “good”. In one sense photography is a numbers game. The more you do the better your odds. Eventually you get some good ones.

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When I get asked how I got to where I am the answer is simply that I take a lot of photos; some turn out good. That’s not to diminish the effort, but it’s more repetition than anything. If you get out and take pictures, magic eventually happens. If you want to take good photos, take a lot of photos. Eventually you’ll get some real winners.

Cedar Top Beer

I did a short hike through the Tongass National Park in Ketchikan Alaska. Despite the northern latitude this is a rain forest and Ketchikan receives the second highest amount of rainfall in the world, second only to the Hawaiian Island of Kauai. It goes without saying that the predominant color was green in all directions.

Cedar Top Beer
Cedar Top Beer is made from tops of cedars in Ketchikan Alaska

In fact it was raining during the hike, a light pleasant rain, however it was warm at the same time so a light poncho was all I needed. Tongass is the largest national forest in the US and I saw only a sliver of it.

These cedars are used for a lot of different things including the making of musical instruments. They are also used in the brewing of Cedar Top beer up in Skagway. Don’t bother looking it up (I just tried), it’s a local brew only. I know this because on advice of a guide I tried it at a bar in Skagway. It took a pint to get used to the flavor and after that it was smooth sailing on pint two.

Landscapes from the Gallery

Beer aside, I stopped on the trail when I came to a clearing and took this image. It just seemed kind of mystical with the low clouds over the mountainous terrain. And of course I was wondering how they got those cedar tops into the beer.

Cathedral Grove: A Quiet Path

Cathedral Grove Path
Quiet Path Through Cathedral Grove on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada Obtain a fine art print

Last year I stopped here at Cathedral Grove just outside of Nanaimo British Columbia. These are towering Douglas Firs, the oldest at about eight hundred years old though most are around three hundred years. Even with visitors, the lush vegetation dampens the sounds to provide a quite walk through the old forest. There are a lot of must see places on Vancouver Island, this is at the top of the list. I was here in summer when it was hot, even so the cover the canopy creates its own micro-climate and the whole place is about ten dregs cooler. The grove is reached by a highway leading over the mountains to the pacific coast. I was on my way there to Ucluelet, but even so when I came back I stopped here again. I took a ton of pictures both times.