Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Oh, the Places You'll Go!

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...”
Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go!
The sage wisdom of Dr. Seuss can be applied to outdoor photographers.   We will go places and do things that may seem absurd to most people.  We go in directions that normal people would just shake their heads in wonder if we really "have brains in our head". While on vacation, June and I will get up an hour or two before sunrise, stay out until well after sunset and go hard all day long.   When doing that in the Pacific Northwest in June sunrise is before 5 AM and sunset is after 9 PM, which makes for a very long day.  Between those hours an outdoor photographer will spend hours in one spot sometimes photographing the same subject and other times just sitting and waiting for the light to change.  These extended times in one place can be separated by a mad dash to get to the next spot at just the right time.  On an easy day we might go back to the hotel and sleep for a couple hours in the middle of the day.  After a couple days of this we might take our nap just about anywhere like my friend Chuck Barnes.
Chuck Recharging
I am blessed to have a wife who is willing to put up with my craziness.  Not everyone is as lucky as I am.
When we get to the places we have decided to go that day we may do things that make people wonder what made us "decide where to go".  One example of our craziness is what I consider the best way to photograph a waterfall -- standing in the creek or river below the falls, often with the camera a few inches off the surface of the water.  Sometimes this water is spring snow melt, making it not too many degrees above freezing.   By getting to places at the right time and getting into the best place for a shot we can come away with interesting compositions, such as this one of Bridal Veil Falls in the Columbia River Gorge.

Bridal Veil Falls

 I took this at the end of the day when we were both pretty tired but the light was good for shooting waterfalls so off we went.

Shooting Munra Falls
Earlier in the afternoon we had seen this guy taking photos at Munra Falls.  We ran into him at Bridal Veil Falls as well.  He was younger and had more energy than I had left and was climbing over boulders and through the stream to get the best shot.

I'm hoping to hike to some falls in Virginia  this Thursday morning with a photographer friend.   If we're lucky, it will be foggy and raining.  The best conditions for taking photos of waterfalls, streams and forests.   Oh the places we will go!

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