Ooh Baby it’s Cold Outside….

Haunting Oak Is Screaming Winter

Baby It’s Cold Outside!

Okay, enough already with the chilly temps. The cold is messing with my photo taking!  Gloves make it difficult to push the button. I vote we invade the tropical locales of the world and bombard the beaches until well, like March or April, when the rainy, snowy, windy weather subsides. Works for me, now if the rest of you can figure out how to work from home or via satellite then you too will be happy.

I thought of crashing in on my friends who are renting a villa for a month in Spain in February. Image the looks on their faces to merely show up unannounced….hum…No we wouldn’t be that rude to do that but the thought of spending a month in Spain, in February does sound nice. Spain was in my top places to visit. I believe we will have to settle on Hawaii, or somewhere closer.

Heavenly Waters Capricorn Coast AU

I thought Papeete sounded nice. Renting one of the huts overlooking the ocean with the glass bottom living areas so you can see the shark before you decide to jump in the turquoise colored water. No? Well okay, Hawaii will have to do. I’m just saying that I am seeking a location that is warm not cold and wintry. Winter weather is only allowed in December and on Christmas. Although a few weeks on the Capricorn Coast wouldn’t suck either. I love it there. It would be fun to see Delores plow through the sand. That would be a hoot.

Scapoose Bridge

Okay, Seriously, back to reality. Sunday, we had no agenda in mind when we left our house. Never a good idea. No idea where to go, nothing. We need to leave with at least a vicinity in mind when going anywhere.  We ended up in a town called Scapoose, saw this cool bridge and had to stop, in the middle of the street and snap the picture.  The bridge was the only exciting part of being in Scappose. Onward.

Fleeting Gold

So we were driving on the back roads back toward Vernonia. I shot this cool picture from my window as Lloyd zipped along to our next destination, which was to be Vernonia and the Vernonia – Banks Trail head.  When we finally arrived. There was this white stuff on the grown that so resembled snow. I had to take a picture so people would believe me. The next image the forested land of frost, snow and cold to Vernonia. As you can see there was snow and an alder leaf, a bit frozen. We were walking up the trail beginning at the Top Hat Trail-Head. It was freezing cold. But it felt great to be outside taking pictures.

Burr…..Alder Leaf in Snow!

Did I say it was cold! It was. My fingers had a hard time taking pictures, because I had have gloves on. This poor maple leaf has seen better days, and for many of the trees in the area this was true.

Big Leaf Maple, Rocks and Snow

We began our walk up the Top Hill Trail Head. Ice crystals on the maple leaves and along the trail. Did I say it was cold? Freezing, but as the sun shone brightly , we loved every minute of being one with nature. The means by which the sun’s rays bounced off the vegetation, and through the trees,  life seemed to sparkle like magic. Many of the plants crystallized by the cold mist, which made the vegetation appear to glow.  It was very brilliant and cool to see. And no it was not meant as a play on words. It was true, a lot of the vegetation glowed in the sunlight. Nearly angelic. It was something to see. I tried to capture the moments but the scene was so magical, my photos couldn’t capture such essence.

Golden Maiden Hair

The farther we climbed the more white the ground became. And slippery, because many of the leaves had fallen of the trees even those that hadn’t changed to their Autumn colors. At least, the sun on our side was out casting with it a spell of its own magic – the snow was melting. The pretty white dusting of snow was not sticking around. We continued up the trail and like I mentioned many places the trees still had their leaves in others, bare.  This image begins to paint the picture of the scenery we observed perfectly.

Sun and Leaves -The Illusionist

From this picture one can see the leaves along the pathway continue forever, thus transforming one’s imagination into an illusion. The leaves did however completely covered a large portion of the pathway along the trail, that gave rise to mystery and intrigue. We saw about as many people hiking and cycling as we did the last time we were on the trail. It is awesome to see the trail being used by so many.

Row of White

The next photo was perhaps one of my favorites as it the naked stand of birch mixed with alder trees. But for me the leaves were just as intriguing if not much more because of the wind, so many birch leaves covered the entire path like snow for about a mile or two.

Blue Sky and Orange Leaves

It was beginning to get dark about the time I shot this. The number of leaves on the ground could be children’s hay/leaf day as there were so many leaves one couldn’t see where the trail stopped or started.

Maple Leaf on the Trail

The sky was a dark, deep blue, that said it was likely going to be raining soon. So much for more fun in the sun. The next several images depict some of the awesome colors of the various leaves we saw. The colors of the leaves this year have been amazing. Every leaf has its own unique character. This was a a maple leaf begging me for a picture. Who could resist the poser.

Alder Leaves

The next section of trail contained alder stands mixed in with aspen and some birch trees, and some conifers. The dominant deciduous tree was the alder. For some reason, which escapes me, the alder never changed color. The leaves as they littered the trail were all green. Various colors of green, but green.

Darkening Sky in Black and White

The trail was unique in that on side may have alders while the next stretch may have conifers or a mixture of conifers and deciduous trees. The colors were unique to which ever area you were on the trail. Then one come across a pile of leaves blanketing the trail. The next set of trees were pretty because the sun shown with just enough light to cast a violet shadow.

Can’t See the Forest through the Trees

What was also interesting about this particular section of the trail we chose to walk, what on a ten percent grade. So the terrain really changed from elevation. We likely walked only a mile to mile and a half and saw so much diversity. The next image depict the moss which covered many if not all of the firs, spruce and hemlocks along the trail.

Mysterious Moss Covered Jungle

So on one side of the trail you would see the moss covered vegetation, and the other might be the same or may contain a row of deciduous trees like in the photo ‘Row In White’. I was fascinated  by the variation in vegetation along this portion of the trail compared to where we hiked a couple of weeks ago. Elevation makes a big difference portion of the trail versus the other trail head we explored a few weeks ago. It was interesting how one portion of the forest offers more deciduous trees while just a few minutes away, the terrain changes so dramatically.

Rainbow of Color from the Sun

This moss area was unique in the way with with the sun hit the trees and bounced off the trees into a wonderful and dramatic scene of Autumn colors.

So while writing this blog and sifting through my images to put out this week, it suddenly occurred to me that I had several variations of a couple of large oak trees, which apparently I was quite impressed with because I shot eight photos of the same image and they all looked dramatically different.

It occurred to me that it was the  variations of light and color between the different images that dramatically alter the meaning of in each image; this in turn, made me think that how fun it would be to allow you to see how dramatic these changes were for yourself. As you looked at each photo the means by which the light shines either allows or abates the light.

We had a minor lesson in a previous post pertaining to the importance that  paper can have on the final printed image, but light makes or breaks a picture. It also has the ability to alter the story the photographer is trying to convey, as well as how the image is interpreted, and how these two can vary from frame to frame. So here is an opportunity to be heard. The Photo is Called Enchanted Forest and as such are labeled Enchanted Forest 1 through 8. Have fun. I did.

Enchanted 1 – was developed with no filters not alterations of light merely the picture as taken. You will note that the sun shone through the upper canopy cover mystifying the image; this allowed the light to manifest itself like turning on a light switch as you walked into the area amongst the trees. The lichens and moss appeared as they had little light sitting on the top of them.

Enchanted Forest 1

Enchanted 2 – This image was altered by removing the the color and adding a beige finish, leaving behind the look of black and white wiith out being a true black and white image, called a duo tone.

Enchanted Forest 2


Enchanted 3 – This image was taken with increased camera exposures, allowing most light in which completely opened up the canopy and the moss on the trees and branches were clearly illustrated. The entire understory is shown and one can see that the mystery has been removed by merely adding more light, while the intrigue is still present. What remains is the tiny ecosystem. This photo could still have the eerie effect, you will see depending on what light or filter is used.

Enchanted Forest 3


Enchanted Forest 4

Enchanted Forest 4

Enchanted Forest 4, the camera has been exposed for the background light making everything else in the image a silhouette. The filters were chosen because I felt they appeared more natural with the slight violet sky and the yellows representing the sun or warmth which wasn’t present before.

Enchanted Forest 5, was taken using a bluish filter which gives the picture the feel of black and white but also give a coolness to the image thus the silhouette is visible but a slight hint of the moss and lichen cover is hinted.

Enchanted Forest 5


Enchanted Forest 6 used was a natural image with a blue filter to enhance the over story which takes on this appearance on the sunny day.

Enchanted Forest 6

Enchanted Forest 7 – This photo is your typical every day black and white image. Using no filters merely using a standard black and white on the image. Similar to Number 4, the black and white photo No. 7 exudes the mystery and illusion which are present and the darkness only in that the viewer can not see what is under the canopy even thought the canopy is well lit. The viewer is forced to make his own story of what, where, why, and how, and when the image was taken.

Enchanted Forest 7

Enchanted Forest 8 – The last image was also completed using black and white conversion but used a light sepia finish on the image which enable to photo to have the feel of black and white, while also keeping the mystery of image intact.

Enchanted Forest 8

So, there you have it. eight photos each remarkable in their own right, and each tell their own story. My favorite is Number 7 the Black and White version. It adds mystery without taking away or adding anything to the photo. Which is one reason I love to shoot in Black and White. Sometimes color is required to get the message across, while others require no color. So, in the complex yet simple world of photography it is what you make it to be. I love all aspects of the art; I wish that I would have learned that before spending half my life in college. I could be happier with a camera in one hand and a pen in the other.  I hope people that read my blog find it informative and enjoy the photographs as well as my blabbing. Your comments are appreciated. And when you do make comment I don’t know who they are from in most cases. So please chime in. I would love to hear from you.

I hope that all of my readers had a happy thanksgiving with their families. I did. One of the better ones I might say. Now that you are stuffed and finished with the turkey day bird, and finished your black friday shopping spree that began a little while ago, you may need another nap.

Path Full of Leaves

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