Giants Foot

A giants foot in Olympic National Forest Canon 5D II 21mm, F11

I have had many photographs over the years that I really like. Some a lot more than others. Some of them I look at and don’t understand why I can’t be in the mind frame to take shots like that all the time. My favourites are probably not the most conventional, or properly composed ones I have ever taken, but they strike a cord with me.

In the Olympic forests of Washington there are plenty of quiet places to get away and take your time composing. I think this is what makes those shots some of my favs. It’s more about the place, and how it makes you feel that produces great photos. Even if nobody likes them, or you never sell a print. Or like me, you don’t even hang them on your walls. They mean something, and over time you look at them, and are transported back to where you feel good. And isn’t that the whole point in the first place?

For this one I wanted to focus on the massive structure of these great trees. They are so old, covered in fantastic moss, even the wood is so saturated with water that it is soft. And they just goes on forever.

I treated this like I do with most of my landscape shots. It’s an HDR, with a couple of soft tricks you can do in Ps, or Lr. It is a cool little trick known as the Orton Effect. This is where you use a Gaussian blur, and push it really far, so that the image is so blurry it looks like it’s underwater. Then start pulling back the opacity till it’s around 15% or so. And you will start to see the image as it was, with this amazing glow about it. As if it were shrouded in fog or mist. Really amazing for forest shots like this.


The Abyss of Chaak Tun


Deep in the Chaak Tun cenote Canon 5D mark II 21mm, F16

If you are ever travelling to Mexico and want to know what the best beaches are, or highest rated hotel to stay at, I have no clue. I honestly don’t put much thought into that. But if you are looking for some get away places that are more of the bucket list type than the relaxing, I might have some suggestions.

This place was one of mine. Not the location specially, as I visited many cenotes while on the East coast of Mexico. But the caves themselves are some of the most otherworldly places I have ever been. Being able to swim and travel through underwater cave systems was like something out of a National Geographic. Truly spellbinding. And I don’t use that term lightly, or often!

The unfortunate part of these magical places, is that they are all on private land. It’s the equivalent of striking oil in your backyard. And as so, most of these wonders are subject┬áto amusement park type theatrics. Which as you can imagine, lessens the experience greatly.

The reason I chose to visit this one is because it was the most beautiful and untouched of all the ones I had researched. But because they are on someones property, you are not allowed to wonder around and take all the pictures you want. Especially with a tripod!

So I put on my best smile and very politely asked the guide who was taking us through if I could go back and take a photo. He reluctantly said yes and we ran back in ninja style! Grabbed a few shots and got out while my wife and kids distracted the owners with theirs undeniable cuteness.