J. W. Donley

Writer, Photographer, Programmer

Category: Photography (Page 2 of 3)

PNW Photo of the Week – Wave Interference

Welcome back for another Pacific North West Photo of the Week! Last week I gave you an amazing image of Mt. Saint Helens. And that mountain is huge. I hope that the image conveyed at least a little of the hugeness I experienced when I was there taking the picture.

This week I’m giving you something completely different on the size scale. I’m going from the massively huge all of the way down to the tiny. I call this image:

Wave Interference

When I look out on the waters of Bellingham Bay I not only see the constant undulating large waves but also the tiny waves within these waves, and the waves within those. I love the fractal like behavior of waves. There is an overarching large wave system, and, no matter how closely you look, there is always a smaller and smaller wave system acting within the bounds of the large systems.

I’m sure there is some really cool physics stuff going on here, and if I had unlimited free time, I’d love to spend time learning the intricacies of fluid dynamics and all of the fancy physicy stuff. Some would say learning the mechanism behind these seemingly magical layers of nature take away from that magic. This is not true. As we learn more and more about how things actually work, things become more magical. As we understand things, more questions always arise.

So, be sure to get out there, and not only take pictures of the large sweeping landscapes. But also get down on your knees with that macro lens and look at the minutest details. In the mundane surfaces, such as waves and sidewalks and tree bark and even human skin, you will find ever deepening layers of magic no matter how close you look.

So get out there and take some pictures, and be sure to come back next Monday for the next Pacific North West Photo of the Week!

PNW Photo of the Week – Mount St Helens

Mount Saint Helens, the volcano which erupted in 1980

Last week I shared an image of the local volcano. Mount Baker stands to the east of Bellingham, and can be seen on clear days between the trees. It is a very large and beautiful mountain.

But there is another volcano to the south. One that erupted very recently, well, recent in geologic terms.

I am talking about Mount St. Helens. Recently, the family and I took a trip down to Astoria, OR for our 13th wedding anniversary. On the way back home we took a little side trip to see this giant.

It’s hard to summarize this amazing landscape. Even the picture does not do the real thing justice. Truly, if at all possible, you must go and see this wonder yourself.

It is an experience standing in, what was, the blast zone and seeing the never ending fields of new life. Streams cut deep gashes across the land and flowers are everywhere.

Approaching the viewpoint you drive through forest covered mountains. But as you arrive, the trees disappear. They were all incinerated and/or blow down by the eruption in 1980.

This national monument is reminder of the awesome power beneath our feet, moving continents, creating mountain ranges and islands, and causing destruction.

I give you:

Mount St. Helens

Mount Saint Helens, the volcano which erupted in 1980

PNW Photo of the Week – Mount Baker

Mount Baker

Yay! It’s time for another Pacific North West Photo of the Week!

I’m excited. How about you?

I hope you’ve been liking the black and white photos, because this week, I have one more for you.

This week I bring you…

Mount Baker

I shoot digital, so all of my images are initially in color. This gives me the choice at processing time:

Does this work better as a color or black and white image?

Most of the time I end up going with color. I do love color photography. But sometimes the color in an image does not add anything to it.

In this case there were greens in the foreground trees and very muted early sunset colors painting the western slope. But the true star of this photo is the volcano; the sharp jut of stone and ice hoisting through the clouds.

I felt the contrast of the fluffy clouds, smooth white glaciers and snow fields, and ultra dark stone and trees told more of a story.

I hope you like this week’s image, and I promise next week’s shot will be in color.

Mount Baker

PNW Photo of the Week – Fern Repetition

Black and White Macro shot of Fern Frond

It’s time for this week’s edition of the PNW Photo of the Week!

Last week’s entry was a black and white photo.

And guess what!…

This week I have another black and white photo for you. I love how black and white images have different focal points. As an artist you can use color to control the image or to try and convey something. But with black and white only we are allowed fewer tools to achieve the same amount of impact.

Some of these tools are: contrast, texture, and form.

We have all of these tools in color photography as well, but they are used alongside saturation and interplay of color.

This week’s image is called:

Fern Repetition

I found this particular fern frond on a little walk I took through a small local park. There is no shortage parks and nature trails here, even within Bellingham. (BHam for short)

Ferns are definitely not like other plants, they’ve been around for a very long time. A predominant feature of these is their leaf pattern. Also, note the “sporangia” along the bottom of each leaf. These tiny black spots each contain many spores to help the fern propagate.

The little fuzzy bits caught on the edge of some of the leaves are part of the plant. There were many webs floating around in the air that evening, and they were getting caught on everything. But I loved how the evening light was shimmering through these tiny strands. They create a sort of halo effect.

Black and White Macro shot of Fern Frond

PNW Photo of the Week – Masts, Ropes, and Sails

3 Mast Ship

Howdy everybody! It’s Monday again, which means it’s time to go back to work for the week, for many of us.

But, hey…

It’s only another 5 days of work until the next weekend. Up here in Washington State the family and I tend to get out and about each weekend and explore more and more of our surrounding area. We’ve lived up here a few months now and there is still so much to do and see before the wet season begins.

On a weekend awhile back we went on a little trip to the San Juan Islands. You’ve already seen a few different shots from this trip, but this one is a bit different.

This week’s image is called…

Masts, Ropes, and Sails

There are so many sail boats out here on the Puget Sound. But very few of them are as stunning as this one. This three mast ship is called Lady Washington. You can learn more about this awesome boat here: http://www.historicalseaport.org/ships/lady-washington/

This boat calls Aberdeen, WA home but I spotted it on the docks of Friday Harbor on our San Juan Islands trip.

Here are some fun facts about the Lady Washington:

  • It is 112 feet long.
  • Has about 6 miles of rigging rope.
  • Has 4,442 square feet of sail.
  • And it was one of the boats used in the filming of the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie.

This shot is a fun capture of all of the different rigging and masts. I love all of the different lines constantly leading your eye across the image. It is not hard to believe there are 6 miles of rope on this vessel after seeing this.

3 Mast Ship

PNW Photo of the Week – Chuckanut Forest Scene

Chuckanut Forest Scene

It’s that time again. Pizza time? Oh, I wish. But no, It’s time for the Pacific North West Photo of the Week! I call this one Chuckanut Forest Scene.

The Background

Do you remember that 8 mile hike I told you about a couple weeks ago? Well, this is another shot from that same hike. (You will probably see a some more images from this hike in the future, it was a long day, and I took a lot of pictures.)

Looking at this image, you would think this was taken out in the Hoh Rainforest. But it is in the Chuckanut Mountain Trail System, just south of Bellingham. I’ve lived here almost 2 months now, and I am amazed at all of the trails in and around town.

This was one of the mossiest parts of the 8 mile hike. The hike took me over 6 hours to complete. Most others that do this loop are in much better shape than me and do it in around 4 hours. The first 4 miles are all up hill, as you go from about 50 feet elevation to over 1500 feet. The view at the end was worth it though.

Raptor Ridge

(Bonus Image: view from the Top of the Raptor Ridge Trail)

Here is another photo from that same hike from a previous PNW Photo of the Week.

Chuckanut Forest Scene

As always, I hope that you enjoyed this week’s image. Let me know what you think down below in the comments.

To learn more about the Chuckanut Mountain Trail System go here: http://www.co.whatcom.wa.us/2051/Chuckanut-Mountain-Park

PNW Photo of the Week – Misty Mountains

Misty Mountains in the Distance with San Juan Islands and Sail B

It’s time for yet another Pacific North West Photo of the Week! I hope you’re as excited as I am. This image came out amazing. I call it Misty Mountains in the Distance with San Juan Islands and Sail Boat.

The Background

This is another shot I took out on the whale watching tour with the family. We were heading west between the San Juan Islands to Friday Harbor. While out and about stretching our legs I noticed a portion of landscape that just screamed “Bob Ross painting”. Doesn’t this image just look like something Bob Ross would paint? Look at all of those happy trees. And the bottom edges of the mountains seem to be painted over with a cloudy mist.

I did crop it down quite a bit, but I think the ultra compressed verticle dimension adds to the image. Your eye starts on the left and the bit of land points you across the bottom of the misty mountains and too the lone sailboat on the right.

Misty Mountains in the Distance with San Juan Islands and Sail B

Let me know what you think of this one down in the comments. Also, I would love to hear your suggestions on the type of images you would like to see on here.

Also, be sure to check out past entries for PNW Photo of the Week.

PNW Photo of the Week – Bare Roots over the Path

It is time for this week’s Pacific North West Photo of the Week! It is called Bare Roots over the Path.

The Background

A few weeks ago I took on the longest and toughest hike I’d ever been on. The path was over 8 miles long, but, I’m proud to say, I made it through. Under a mile in I had to stop and catch my breath due to the very steep trail. There I looked down and saw a webbing of roots over the path with the ground worn away around it.

This week’s image is of these roots spread across the trail in the middle of the forest.

What adds to this image is the light. There was a beam of light streaming through the canopy above. I wanted to that light hitting the roots to be the center of the image. Also, I wanted an extremely low angle of view for this image. The texture of the small roots needed to feel like a large landscape across the image. So I got down to my knees with my pack on my back and framed the shot.

The shot came out fairly well, I hope that you all like it as well. Do let me know in the comments below.

If you would like to see more images of the Pacific North West be sure to check out past entries for the PNW Photo of the Week.

 

PNW Photo of the Week July 10, 2017 – Forest View

A closeup look of scaley pine leaves.

It’s time for the third installment of my Pacific North West Photo of the Week! Not every shot needs to be of a sweeping landscape with a forest, mountains, and grandiose vistas. Sometimes we need to look up close at the things around us in order to fully appreciate our setting.

This week I present an image to you that is not a full forest. It is, instead only a tiny detail of one tree. This shot I call Forest View.

The Details

After finishing up a little photo walk through a local park I noticed how the light was catching just a tiny bit of some branches. I love how the colors interacted with the center of the scene and how the light pulls your eye to each of the little bright points at the ends of the branches.

This image shows how even at the lowest level the leaves of a tree are a forest in itself. On each level deeper and closer you get to a subject, the more the subject will reveal to you. Sometimes I have to remind myself of this when I feel that I’ve exhausted all possible ways to capture a setting.

So remember, don’t forget to get down and look closely at the most mundane things. You never know what will be revealed to you.

Of course, you can see evergreen trees anywhere, but this image is representative of the area I live in. There are so many trees everywhere here, including many evergreens of different types. I am sure that, in the future, I will post some pictures of other local trees.

Next week I’ll post something a bit different though.

A closeup look of scaley pine leaves.

If you like this image be sure to go back and check out past installments of the PNW Photo of the Week.

My PNW Photo of the Week – July 3, 2017

It is time for my second entry to my Pacific North West photo of the week!

I call this one Mt Baker from the San Juan Islands.

This week I am sharing a shot from a recent boat outing to the San Juan Islands. We were heading west between a couple of the islands and directly behind the boat was this amazing view of Mt. Baker. I loved how the waves behind the boat led my eye up to the mountain.

I hope you like the shot as well.

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