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

Braided Canyon

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

Basalt Lace

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 solstice backpack near the Cascade crest.

June: Ridge and Pine, William O. Douglas Wilderness

Ridge Pine

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

Cloud Land

July: Fog in the Suiattle Valley, Glacier Peak Wilderness

Glacier Peak Breath

July: Alpine Sketch, Glacier Peak Wilderness

Alpine Sketches

A trip into the Goat Rocks Wilderness was not much drier, but did have some clearer patches.

July: Sunlit Mist, Goat Rocks Wilderness

Sunlit Mist

Although I find many aspects of Washington’s plant life to be rather frustrating, the wildflowers here are amazing!

July: Paintbrush, Goat Rocks Wilderness

Goat Rocks Paintbrush

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

Lupine in twilight glow before sunrise, Goat Rocks Wilderness, Washington

I love frogs and this one made me smile.

July: Frog with Grass

Grass Snout Frog

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

Hill and Larches

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

Floating Mountain

10 thoughts on “Favorites of 2019

  1. Braided Geology is a beautiful portrait but I think that the Suiattle Valley image is my favorite of the year. You have an incredible canvas to work with and you’ve obviously taken advantage of all of it. Hope your 2020 is equally as excellent!

  2. I always enjoy your photo collections, Jackson (including your annual collections of your son). Of this selection, my favorites are Braided Geology (I’d love to be standing near that wall of rocks right now…), Winter Lace and the Palouse rainbow. I hope that your new home and new community turn out to be a good fit and that you enjoy your new surroundings in 2020.

  3. I love the minimalism of “Alpine Sketch” and the gorgeous colors and composition of the lupine photo. Inlet Strem also has a lot of appeal. Moving is so disruptive – I’m impressed that you got out as much as you did. Here’s to a more stable 2020. :-)

    • Thank you! Yes, Washington’s wildflowers proved to be pretty irresistible. I’m loving the Palouse so far, though its proximity to Idaho is a big part of that. Thanks for dropping by!

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