New photos from Clayton Beach at Larrabee State Park in Bellingham, WA.
A winter sunset at Clayton Beach in Larrabee State Park – Bellingham, Washington State (-click to enlarge-)
In March of 2012 I visited Larrabee State Park in Washington State. Both of these photos are from Clayton Beach and show the interesting foregrounds possible on this sort of sandstone beach.
One of my favourite features of Clayton Beach was the sandstone along the edge of the ocean. Most of the “beaches” that I know in this region are either sandy or are a rocky beach that is rather slippery. The usual barnacles, mussels, and algae such as Fucus distichus are still present. As they are on a sandstone surface, however, the rocks are not very slippery even when wet. It feels a bit like walking on sandpaper – and it was nice to not have to worry as much about falling on my butt!
Sunset light on sandstone formations at Clayton
Beach in Larrabee State Park – Bellingham, Washington State (-click to enlarge-)
Other than just providing a non slip surface to walk on, the sandstone provides some great textures and shapes (called Tafoni) for the foreground of a photograph. Both of these images have interesting shapes in the foreground, though the second is more pronounced with more visible pockets of erosion. My previously published photo from Larrabee shows a larger sandstone formation.
I have a new gallery of Ocean Photos on my website which includes more from my trip to Larabee State park. More Ocean themed photos are on their way…
Panorama of Mount Cheam in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia
-click to enlarge-
This is a panorama of Mount Cheam, a familiar sight to anyone living or often traveling through the Fraser Valley of British Columbia. I made this photo by the banks of the Fraser River in Agassiz just after sunset in January. The time right after sunset is often referred to as “Blue hour” and you can see why. I often like to photograph city buildings in Vancouver at this time as you can still see the outlines of the buildings against the sky (unlike when the sky is darker). I find this is also a great time to photograph mountains – so it is worth hanging around after any potential sunset light or alpenglow has faded. Always wait until the light is gone!
Last bit of sunset light on Mount Baker/Kulshan from Artist Point at the Mount
Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in Washington State, USA. (-click to enlarge-)
It always seems that there are either too many clouds or none at all when I have an opportunity to photograph Mount Baker. So sometimes I ignore it in favour of Mount Shuksan or one of the other nearby mountains available at Artist Point in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. This time, however, I like the small accents of light that showed up on the side of the peak, which gives this photo a bit more interest for me than others I made at the same time.
Sunset at the Pitt River-click to enlarge-
I am always learning new techniques in Adobe Camera Raw and Photoshop, and often a consequence of this is the desire to revisit older photographs and reprocess them. A lot of my older photos were processed using methods that were time consuming and sometimes not that effective. Finally learning to use masks was a gamechanger, for example. There are a lot of these photos where I am happy with the processing, but others that I have started to revisit in order to process them with my current vision of how they should appear. Thankfully my new methods are a lot faster, and the occasional revisit to an older photograph doesn’t take me nearly the time it used to.
This photograph is a good example of one where I wasn’t happy with the initial processing. I like this photo – but the initial version has a foreground that was too dark, the colours were slightly reddish, and there were a few other brightness issues I wanted to fix. I think this processing balances the colours much more faithfully to the original scene as I remember it, and deals with the darker foreground. You can read a bit more about the things I learned while actually photographing this scene in the original post.
Mount Shuksan Sunset-click to enlarge-
This is one of my newly processed photos from Picture Lake in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest – featuring the iconic Mount Shuksan. In October 2011 I again photographed this location and now that I have my website gallery organized I have finished off the processing of images from that trip. This photo (and the horizontal version) has a bit of a different look to it than the others I processed from the same evening.
More photos of Mount Shuksan and the surrounding area can be found in my Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest Gallery.
Liberty Bell Mountain
-click to enlarge-
Both of these photos were made at Washington Pass in the North Cascades of Washington State. I am never quite sure how to label these things – always thinking in the past that this was part of North Cascades National Park. Washington Pass lies outside of the National Park boundaries and is actually part of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, though I think the Washington Pass overlook is maintained and patrolled by National Park staff.
Back in October I visited the Washington Pass area with Alan Majchrowicz. We first hiked up to Blue Lake which was surrounded by some great Fall needle colours in the Alpine Larches. I’d not seen larches before so this was especially interesting. Next Alan showed me this fantastic meadow near Washington Pass which has great view of Liberty Bell Mountain (top) and Kangaroo Ridge (bottom photo) and a wide array of interesting foregrounds.
Kangaroo Ridge After Sunset
-click to enlarge-
The first example of these can be found in the first photograph of Liberty Bell Mountain. There were many small patches of water in the meadows, some even containing small fish – which I found interesting considering how long this area is under snow each winter. There were also numerous long dead tree trunks laying horizontally on the ground which made for some good foregrounds as well. In the first photo above I liked how all of these seem aligned to point right to Liberty Bell Mountain.
The second example of foregrounds elements I enjoyed were the Narrow Leaved Cotton Grasses (technically a Sedge – Eriophorum angustifolium) which I had not seen before. The small tufts of cotton like seeds on the stems made them a bit more interesting to me. While I think the nice post-sunset “belt of venus” light in this second photo works better, I do have another composition from the same area that shows off the grasses/sedges a little better.
While I am just beginning to scratch the surface of photographic possibilities within the North Cascades area I think this spot near Washington Pass will definitely be a stop I wish to make next year after the thaw!
I always find it difficult to narrow down a years worth of photographs into one list of the “best”. It is a good exercise, however, to really sit down and go through your work and determine what images best fit your current vision for your photography. I did this back in 2010 and 2011 as a part of Jim Goldstein’s project and I am please to enter my images again for this years version.
All of these photographs are available as Fine Art Prints.
So in no particular order these are the “top” (probably better termed as favourite) photos I have made in 2012.
Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park Spring Panorama
(Coldstream, British Columbia)
Upper Tipsoo Lake
-click to enlarge-
About a month ago I was at Upper Tipsoo Lake in Mount Rainier National Park during sunset. My main focus there was the great display of wildflowers, as the mountain itself was being a bit shy with the clouds. I was lucky enough that while making this photo the silhouette of Rainier showed through the top of the clouds along with a nice bit of sunset light. A lack of a breeze to mar the nice reflection was nice too!
Larrabee State Park near
Bellingham, Washington State
-click to enlarge-
Sometimes I look through my Drafts folder and find a post I finished but never posted. Better late than never right?
In March I was lucky to have Alan Majchrowicz give me a tour of Larrabee State Park in Washington State. Thanks again Alan! We were lucky and had some good light at the end of the day. The rocky shores just south of Bellingham are not like the ones I’ve spent more time on around Vancouver – these are mostly sandstone. Much nicer to walk on the sandstone – its like built in grip for your shoes! The water has also eroded the rock surfaces into all sorts of interest shapes and patterns which makes choosing a composition a bit difficult – there are so many great possibilities! Sunsets like this are not something I have done a lot with in the past, and I even brought out the 6 stop ND filter for some of it. Waiting for a 116 second exposure is not something I am used to – but I quite like the results. I will have to do much more with that filter in the future!