Favorites of 2019
2019: The year of mist. It was an odd year. Things just didn’t come together for us living in Yakima, and then the fall was consumed with moving to our new home in the Palouse. I made a lot of austere photographic sketches in the winter and spring, but most of my photography for the year happened on four backpacking trips in the Cascades. It was a cool, rainy summer in the Northwest, and I spent what felt like ages hiking in mist and cloud while waiting for a glimpse of my surroundings. Perhaps these conditions served as a metaphor for my experience of Washington so far – obscured, but with solid ground starting to appear.
The year began with a rather whirlwind January trip to attend Alpenglow Images‘ wedding in Zion plus a quick Death Valley backpack, a much-needed breath of light and color.
January: Braided Geology, Death Valley
Black and white images played a much more important role in my work this year than in the past, as did photographic explorations of darker emotions.
February: Inlet Stream and Ice, Ancient Lakes, Washington
February: Winter Lace, Tieton River Canyon
In the spring, we headed east to look around and see Palouse Falls at high water. Little did we know that six months later we’d be living out here.
March: Palouse Falls Rainbow
I spent a lot of time gazing at Mount Rainier this year, though I didn’t actually photograph it much. But its presence was ubiquitous and overwhelming during an overnight summer soltice backpack near the Cascade crest.
June: Ridge and Pine, William O. Douglas Wilderness
In July, I took a very damp four-day solo trip into one of Washington’s largest wilderness areas. Many hours of walking and waiting in whiteout conditions eventually yielded some very beautiful moments.
July: Cloudland, Glacier Peak Wilderness
July: Fog in the Suiattle Valley, Glacier Peak Wilderness
July: Alpine Sketch, Glacier Peak Wilderness
A trip into the Goat Rocks Wilderness was not much drier, but did have some clearer patches.
July: Sunlit Mist, Goat Rocks Wilderness
Although I find many aspects of Washington’s plant life to be rather frustrating, the wildflowers here are amazing!
July: Paintbrush, Goat Rocks Wilderness
A second round in the Goat Rocks at last gave me some clear weather. The Goat Rocks strongly reminded me of a scaled-down version of Colorado’s San Juan Range.
July: Lupine before Dawn, Goat Rocks Wilderness
I love frogs and this one made me smile.
July: Frog with Grass
Some lucky breaks and two months’ of effort relocated us to the eastern edge of Washington, just in time for some fall color. Golden larches are something I had never seen before, and they turned out to be quite abundant.
October: Hillside and Larches, Palouse
One of my best days of photography for the entire year came just before Christmas in the hills of the Hells Canyon region: another day of mists, but a very beautiful one! Though I have shots with golden light and rainbows which I’ll post later, this one with its sense of blue expanse and loneliness is my personal favorite from the day. I’m looking forward to spending a lot more time in this region in the coming year.
December: Floating Mountain, Grande Ronde Canyon