Monday, April 1, 2013

Hanging out and Shooting in Seattle...

I was born on the Long Island outskirts of the Big Apple, hung around Los Angles, found the corner of Haight and Ashberry in Frisco. Turned 18 in jail in Dallas, cruised Portland (as in Oregon), checked out Denver, Chicago, and a few other cities. Not a bad itinerary for a 'country boy', but I really like Seattle. The northern, marine clime, the proximity of the mountains, both Cascade and Olympic ranges, and the people. Seattle is an eclectic blend of old wool sweater fishermen families, to fading hip rockers, tons of pulsing energy from university students intermixed with a strong cross-cultural current of Indigenous Natives, Asian, Hispanic, and many other ethinic origins. There still a strong contingent of the LL Bean crowd, although here it is a dispersed following of Jim Whittaker and the R.E.I. movement. Plenty of red-necks to fill a suped-up monster truck ralley and a number of military bases to keep an active wave of furlough soldiers, sailors, and air-force recruits moving through the area. It's gay, it's straight, it's hip, it's old fashioned, it's Seattle.

Enjoyed capturing this image of two of the Northwest's icons: a section of the Pike Place Market and one of the Washington State Ferries heading on a crossing to Bainbridge Island.
Inside Pike Places Market, Seattle                                                                                          photographer - J. Foster Fanning

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Here is an image I caught through a pilothouse portal of the Schooner ZODIAC looking aft onto her starboard deck. The ZODIAC is 160 feet long, 26 feet beam, displacing 145 tons and was launched in 1924. The vessel is currently used for charter, research and education.
The historic schooner ZODIAC, seen through her pilothouse portal                                        photographer J. Foster Fanning
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While on the Elliott Bay waterfront I caught this image of the Washington State ferry during transit to Bainbridge Island during a rich sunset over the Olympic Mountains. And the gull? Lucked out: right place, right time.
Washington State ferry in transit off Elliott Bay waterfront                                               photographer J. Foster Fanning

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Monday, May 28, 2012

Kettle River Valley slide show

Experimenting with on-line slide show formats. Here is one I created from a number of recent images from the Kettle River Valley. 

Friday, March 30, 2012

Outdoor Photography...

No surprise if you've viewed these blogs previously, my photographic interests tend to lay in the natural world. Here are a few more images which follow suit along that line. All of these photos are from early 2012 sessions...

Transitioning out of a long Pacific Northwest winter I’ll start with the image of three rocks bedded in the Kettle River locked in a winter’s ice sheath. The simplicity of form, the stark contrast of light and dark, the line of composition remind me of a Japanese sumi drawing.

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Waiting for Spring…

An old cottonwood along the banks of the Kettle River reaches up into the cold, early March sky. Not much thawing of the ice flows today. Snow lay deep along the trail. Listening close I could hear the whisperings of ice and water as the river enters the transition from the cold season to one slightly warmer. For a moment the thick clouds parted and rays of sunshine found a distant mountain. It soon passed. The message was clear – not today, not today…

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The patient fisher...

This bald eagle patiently perches atop the cottonwoods overlooking a mountain river, watching the cold waters below for a sign of the whitefish run of late winter in northeastern Washington State.

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Mount Index...

While the valleys shed their coast of ice and snow the NW highlands remain winter bound this time of year. Mount Index is a classic mountain peak of the west. Located within the North Cascade Mountain Range, the vertical fingers of Mount Index can be easily seen from the Salish Sea and many points across the region. This inspiring rock lies south of the Skykomish River and despite its relatively low elevation, it is both a dramatic and famous Western Washington landmark. Mount Index is composed of three pointed spires rising steep from a low base. Persindex, Mount Index and Philadelphia Mountain the latter is the highest rising over 5,500 feet above sea level from a base of just over 400 feet.

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Big Horn Run…

This is one of the many lower ridgelines within the Kettle Breaks of Vulcan Mountain, along the northern shores of the Kettle River. Big Horn sheep frequent this rugged area as do local rock climbers and trekkers.

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Young Big Horn Ram taking in the warmth of a late winter’s sunshine while browsing on thin, dry grasses from last year as the new ‘green up’ has yet to grow…

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Burning Snags…
As winter gives way to spring, the grasses and other wildland fuels dry with the coming of warmer weather. In the wildfire ecologies east of the Cascade Mountain Range spring fires are a common occurrence like this one started by a careless burner it charred forty acres of upland meadow and Ponderosa Pine litter before firefighters brought it under control. But even in such events as wildfires there is an inherent, natural beauty as witnessed here with the embers of a burning snag floating through the air in the late evening light as other ground fires burn nearby. Such is nature…

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Early Summer 2011

Often it is the time spent around, on, and contemplating water wherein I find images that resonate for me. Such is the case here with these photographs taken recently. I'll start with the most recent and work back over the course of a few weeks.
Sailing into the afternoon sunshine...
Bright sunlight, reflective water, dark shadows and the sharp angulation of a sailing vessel ~ all of which are enhanced here with a young woman riding the wave tossed bow of the boat. Really enjoyed bringing this image into focus. One of those moments when you pick up the camera and know the shot in the can is going to be a good one.
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Lake Roosevelt and the Kettle River Range...
The continuous interplay between sky and water often fascinates me. The varying detailed textures of this image caught my eye as the sunset and the clouds changed so too changed the water's surface.
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I am delighted to have captured this image of the woman and the waterfall. The subject here appears to be communing with the continuous flow of pure water cascading down the moss cover rock face.
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The Sailing Vessel AQUILA and 1st Mate Catherine Brown...

I really like this image for several reasons, not least of which is the fact that Catherine had just run the vessel through her paces in a pre-regatta sea trial during a substantial breeze. Thus seen here she is fully at ease with her vessel and ready for what's to come. The dramatic evening lighting lending to the silhouettes adds to the over-all affect of the composition.
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Three Mergansers lining a log along the waterfront...
Mergansers are some of the most intriguing of the waterfowl. Not only do their distinctive appearance set them apart from other aquatic birds but their behavioral patterns are also unique. From the perch aboard our vessel we have watched a swimming flock on Mergansers hunting as a pack, curving their approaching line to trap small fish against the shore line and taking turns diving into the trapped fish. Here they are at rest upon a floating log as the morning sun warms and drys their fluffed feathers.
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A cluster of sailboats crossing the starting line of a regatta race...
The shape of a vessel under sail is something I find pleasing to the eye. The concept of harnessing the wind to travel has led to this ancient practice amongst humans. Technology changes the equipment and design but the movement and reflection of boats in the water remain the same.
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Crescent moon reflected in the lake...
This simple image captured my attention and became a photograph while we sat aboard watching the start populate the evening sky. Often I find myself drawn to simple compositions of light and dark with shadows in between...
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Northern Franklin D. Roosevelt Lake, the Columbia River, NE Washington State...

It was the pastel colors of this dawning day which caught my attention and led to the creation of the photographic image. A calm body of water and the promise of a new summer's day. Doesn't get much better.
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Storm Cloud Sunset...
I've chose this one to close with as I find it to be a powerful image. As a firefighter, sailor and outdoors photographer the weather is not far out of focus for me at any given time. When nature gives one of her brief showings like these few moments were I am always thankful to be there to capture it. 
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Saturday, April 2, 2011

Spring 2011

The natural world holds great fascination for me. Viewed through the lens I am often amazed at the captured snapshot of time and place, illumination and weather that come together forming the image of the photograph. Here is a collection of my images created during the last of winter / beginning of spring 2011. Remember to double click on an image to enlarge. Hope you enjoy…

"Nature gives to every time and season some beauties of its own; and from morning to night, as from the cradle to the grave, is but a succession of changes so gentle and easy that we scarcely mark their progress." - Charles Dickens

The winter snow cover leaving the landscape is part of the natural world theme at this latitude in the Inland Pacific NW. Pictured here is the Columbia River Valley, near Chelan Falls. The image captured on an overcast day carries the mood of the weather over this historic river valley.
Often this time of year the late winter / early spring storms push off the Pacific Ocean, over the Cascade Mountain Range and deliver more layers of snow into the high country as seen here with a March snowstorm just breaking over the Kettle River Range.

Another look into the Kettle River range this time between Sherman Peak and Snow Peak we see the transitions of the northern hemisphere seasons at work on a micro scale. Spring conditions in the valleys / winter conditions in the mountains.
A couple of weeks later there is a clear change approaching as the snowlines retreat upslope to the higher elevations as the spring thaw encompasses the lowerlands. Tis a fine time of year in the Okanogan Highlands.

Leaving the mountain landscapes but continuing on with images from this transition period of the early seasons of 2011:
I always enjoy the opportunity to photograph Snoqualmie Falls but to do so when the winter snow melt is in full flow is a powerful experience.  Had been about a year since I last visited this 268 ft (82 m) waterfall on the Snoqualmie River. Snoqualmie is also the name of the People, who have lived for centuries in the Snoqualmie Valley in western Washington. The falls are central to their cultural beliefs, and spirituality. This area is a traditional burial site, and it is the belief of the Snoqualmie People that the falls are “the place where First Woman and First Man were created by Moon the Transformer” and “where prayers were carried up to the Creator by great mists that rise from the powerful flow.”During a beach walk on Bainbridge Island, Puget Sound, chanced upon this driftwood composition. It fit the lens just right...

This session will close with one of the images from this spring I'm rather fond of ~ an aspen grove in the Kettle River Valley near Curlew, WA.

"Keep close to Nature's heart ... and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean." - John Muir

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Mid winter meanderings ~ 2011

 There are moments, especially in winter, when I set aside time to rummage through my photographic files. Occasionally this is simply an excuse to revisit old images that serve as gateways to memories of people, places and events. Other times I find myself scanning negatives, slides or enlargements into digital format. And still other times I am reworking or putting finishing touches on a photograph that has been on my digital darkroom table for awhile. These few images are from just such a rummaging...

Remember to click on the images below to see a larger version...

It is winter, like many northerners my thoughts ramble on to memories of summer. What more enticing recollections of the hot season can there be than the promise of fresh, garden tomatoes and sweet peppers. This still life above captures my attention  in subject, composition and it's sense of time and season...






Saturday, December 11, 2010

Autumn 2010 Series...

This autumn proved a fruitful time for photography in my home area. An ever changing intermix of mountains, clouds, sunshine captured in vivid moments were the rewards of many photographs. Here are some of the best that managed to find their way out of my digital camera.

In the first image, above: Northern Reaches of the Kettle River Range. 
We have the following three mountains: Scar Mountain ~ 7,024 feet (2,140.92 meters) Wapaloosie Mountain ~ 6,942 feet (2,115.92 meters)  and Columbia Mountain ~ 6,765 feet (2,061.97 meters). This area is the upper reaches of the San Poil River, north of Republic WA.
If you are interested in the Kettle River Range and would like more info I have developed a fairly extensive page on these mountains hosted at this location:

Curlew WA, at the Cougar Corner Junction seen in October is image number 2 of this series. The Kettle River winds it's way through the golden cottonwood trees in the middle ground of this photograph. You can find this photo on Goggle Earth if you happen to be looking at the Curlew area.

For image number 3 we move just north of the above photograph to the state highway bridge crossing the Kettle River just upstream of the town of Curlew.

Nehi Alpit Qha is the Salish language name for the Kettle River. Nehi Alpit Qha Dawn is the name of photograph number 4 of this series. In this image we are looking east into dawn and the Kettle River Range.

Image #5: Kettle River Reflections; a deep, rich, colorful photo of the river and flora reflections in it's still, October surface.

Little Vulcan Mountain makes image #6; an early November photograph full of textures of clouds, vegetation and landscape. Bamber Mountain is in the background of this shot.
Photograph #7 is: Snag Overlooking Kettle River Valley. That sweet intermixing of cloud, mountain-scape and lighting as the autumn skies are in a perpetual state of transition. I bracketed quite a few images to assure this moment was captured.
The Face of Little Vulcan Mountain makes image #8. Actually Little Vulcan, Vulcan Mountain, White Mountain (north) Snow Dome and a few minor peaks are all part of the same dome heaved up during plate collisions 45 million years ago forming part of the western foothills of the Kettle River Range.

Thought I'd close this set with this image; Fire and Snow: As part of my day job I was burning slash piles on a very steep slope overlooking the Kettle River Valley. After starting ignition a thick, cold front closed in bringing driving snow and high winds. It was an intense moment by the large fires that I rather enjoyed.

Take care, take photos and thanks for stopping in.