Saturday, 27 May 2017 20:14

Gnarly Duc with Sol

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The great evergreen forests of the Olympic Peninsula, though extensively logged as they were, are surely living visions of what the North American forests once revealed; and nowhere does their majesty seem more obvious than in the mighty rain forests of Olympic National Park, and in the Sol Duc River Valley in particular. The trail to Sol Duc Falls is a wandering through a fairyland of giants, and the forest itself is alive with wonder and magic, even in the gnarly twisting of death and decay. Oneness is the only word that seems to apply. We came here to celebrate Bonnie's birthday and the life of the great Northwest Woods as well, and what "sparkling waters" we have seen. A focal length of 28mm, still wide-angle, gave me the angle-of-view I wanted, over the gnarled roots of the foreground, past a fallen giant, and into the depths of the forest behind where the light poured in. An aperture of f/18 provided depth-of-field and a shutter speed of 5.0 seconds at ISO 200 gave me an overall medium exposure. It is easy to imagine how the first trappers felt when they entered this country, and awe is what quickly comes to mind; gnarly, Dude.

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  • Comment Link Donald McGowan Friday, 02 June 2017 12:19 posted by Donald McGowan

    Good morning Everyone. Wow! Thank you all for joining me for this conversation and for sharing all of your insightful thoughts and observations. Although it was fairly short in its duration, our trip to the Pacific Northwest was very full and rich. In addition to the locations, like the Sol Duc, we were able to visit, we had the chance to spend some time with one of the primary inspirations of my photography career, Pat O'Hara, whom I had not seen in nearly twenty years. It was a wonderful occasion, and Pat is doing well. To him, the Olympic Peninsula is my Great Smoky Mountains.
    Hi Nancy K., it's great to have you with us. I am grateful for your kind words. This Image did seem to embody certain still-life qualities, as do so many scenes in the Olympic National Park. I had to force myself to walk past many of them simply due to shortness of time, but they were there. I couldn't escape this one. It did seem special and I'm glad you agree. I readily understand your attraction for the area, and I will return; and I'll pass along your kind wish to Bonnie.
    Hi Michelle, it's great to hear from you. Thank you for your kind comment. My only regret is that we did not have a month to celebrate Bonnie's birthday, but we thoroughly enjoyed the time we had, and she is, indeed, the best.
    Hey Ron, it's always good to hear from you. I hope your New England spring is going well. I completely agree with your assessment on "heaven." It may well be in the Olympics! We did not get up to Hurricane Ridge, but the rain forests and the sea stacks were exquisite. Thanks for your kind words and thoughts to Bonnie. She will appreciate them very much. Hope to see you one of these days soon.
    Hey Dick! It is so good to hear from you. Tell Jenny I'll now start trying to top this one for her. I really appreciate all of your kind words very much. As I recall, we first spent time together at Grandfather Mountain in 1994 at a GAPW workshop led by Pat O'Hara, and I thought about that during our time with Pat on this trip. Be well, my friend, and walk in Beauty.
    Nancy T., I am so glad to hear your story, not only of these trees, but also of your experience in the Olympics. It make this special to me, and I'm glad I could share it with you. You would never have been able to walk more than a hundred yards down this path because there are so many faces everywhere in the woods. Bonnie and I both commented that you would, indeed, have been in heaven here. Thanks for all of your kind words, and, most of all, for your being you.
    Gnarly Scott, I am so glad to hear from you, and I deeply appreciate all of your caring thoughts and observations. Bonnie and I laughed together when I was trying to think of an appropriate name for this Image, and when I hit on "Gnarly" we hoped you would appreciate the significance. We hope all is well with you and that our paths will cross again soon.
    I am deeply grateful to all of you, our photographic and creative family, for all that you share and all that you do to inspire my creative spark. It is my great privilege to share some of what I see in Nature with you. May you all walk in Beauty always.

  • Comment Link Gnarly Scott Wednesday, 31 May 2017 09:14 posted by Gnarly Scott

    Don, The peaceful,serene and natural beauty of this photograph is breathtaking and not to mention you named this piece after me : ). Love to you and Bonnie.

  • Comment Link Nancy Tripp Sunday, 28 May 2017 20:57 posted by Nancy Tripp

    How many years do you think it took to sculpt this scene? Great contrasts with the new growth in the gnarls. I see a petrified man standing at about 12:00; even his long beard looks petrified. If only he could talk... he would probably say "Happy Birthday Bonnie".
    I spent quite a bit of time in the northwest in the 90's but always on business. I should have found some time to explore the enchanted forests. Thanks for sharing.

  • Comment Link DICK BRANNAN Sunday, 28 May 2017 12:03 posted by DICK BRANNAN


  • Comment Link Ron Belovitz Sunday, 28 May 2017 09:29 posted by Ron Belovitz

    I was fortunate to be able to spend a couple of weeks on the Olympic Peninsula a few years ago......Hurricane Ridge, the rain forests and the stacks on the coast. I thought I was in heaven. Stunning image! Best to Bonnie on her birthday.

  • Comment Link Michelle Jensen Sunday, 28 May 2017 09:11 posted by Michelle Jensen

    Don, This is just exquisite. What a wonderful birthday celebration for Beautiful Bonnie. She deserves the Best, and it sure looks like you found the way to make it happen.

  • Comment Link Nancy Kelly Sunday, 28 May 2017 09:09 posted by Nancy Kelly

    If you had tried to create a still life image you couldn't have done better. Spectacular!! Pacific NW is one of my favorite places in this country. Happy Birthday to Bonnie

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