This is the first year I’ve entered the Professional Photographers of America International Print Competition. I came away from the very competitive judging with two award-winning prints that will join the PPA General Collection and be exhibited at Imaging USA in Nashville, Tennessee next January.
“Forest Primeval” was photographed on an ethereal misty morning visit to the Whatcom Land Trust’s Stimpson Family Nature Preserve near Lake Whatcom. It depicts a majestic old-growth western red cedar surrounded by skunk cabbage and ferns in a lush forest scene. Fog in the background gives the landscape a sense of mystery and depth.
A light rainy was falling on this moody day. The rain helps to saturate the colors and the overcast sky creates a very large soft light source. That helps to open up the shadows and reveal detail that would be obscured on a sunny day. While sunshine and warm air certainly make for pleasant hiking, our northwest rain forests don’t look quite right unless it’s a rainy day.
I’ve been a supporter of WLT for a long time and contributed photos for both the original Whatcom Places book in 1997 and the revised Whatcom Places II book ten years later in 2007. In preparation for the second book I visited several Land Trust preserves to photograph. It was on one of those visits that I found this wetland forest below the loop trail. I made several variations on the theme, but ultimately chose this one as my favorite.
I photographed “Into the Icy Depths” during a Bellingham Mountaineers climbing course crevasse rescue training exercise on Mount Baker’s Easton Glacier.
Glacial crevases have an almost unearthly beauty which is best appreciated while safely anchored firmly from above, and with friends standing by to help you get over the lip after prusiking up the rope. My model for this photograph was another climbing instructor. We had both descended into the crevasse to photograph after all our students had practiced getting themselves out and being hauled out by their climbing partners.
The glacial ice is deep blue because the ice absorbs red and yellow light rays, which have less energy, and only the stronger blue rays can escape. Crevasse photography is one of the few times when high noon sun is an advantage as it shines through the narrow slit in the ice to illuminate the interior.
As our climate warms and North Cascades glaciers recede, will it be possible to create a photograph within a crevasse in the future? I hope so, for the slow-motion advance and crackling of the glaciers is an awesome demonstration of the power of our planet’s geology.
Both of these award-winning photographs are available as framed fine-art prints or as canvas gallery wraps for your home or office. Prices start at $865 for a 24-inch print, framed to 30 inches on the long dimension. A 24-inch gallery wrap is $985. Please call or e-mail for details and pricing on larger sizes. Contact info is at the bottom of the page or click Contact and fill out the form.