Saturday, December 11, 2010

Photos Selected for the 2011 PortlandHikers Calendar

The weather has been lousy for hiking recently, and I’ve been cooped up indoors, reading my notes and journals and looking through photos from hikes this past year. It’s been hard to get motivated to get up in the dark to hike in cold rain, and as a result, I haven’t been hiking for almost a month. One positive thing about being cooped up was that I submitted photos for inclusion in the 2011 calendar, and two were selected.

February, main photo.

This photo was taken in July at Lake Perfection in the Enchantments, on the third day of a backpacking trip with two friends. As we rounded the lake, the view opened up, and nearly simultaneously, one of my friends and I stopped just several feet apart to take photographs. His photos are virtually identical to mine – taken at the same time and place, from the same angle, and differing only in whatever settings our cameras were on.

Dark storm-clouds swirl over the soft contours of Little Annapurna, and the bright green spires of pine mirror the craggy ridge. The snow and ice feel more wintery than mid-summer, and the somber blue-grays of the sky and granite contrast with the pocket of blue sky and sun in the center of the photograph. The reflection and the framing weren’t planned – we just saw the view, and stopped, and drew it in.

The Enchantments were the highlight of my outdoor year: incredible scenery and adventure at every turn. I remember taking this photograph – it was a breathtaking view in person – and it happened on a section of trail growing progressively more challenging, with bare granite and meadows turning to snow and ice, and with rain starting to fall. We’d already hiked a long way, and had a long way to go. And that was fine with all three of us. Scenery like this deserves to be savored, and out of several hundred photos I took on that trip, this is easily one of my favorite five.

November, inset.

This is the original photo that was cropped for the calendar. To me, the expression on the goat’s face is what makes this shot. This is another of my favorite photos from the Enchantments, and it comes with a story.

After climbing above Lake Perfection, we began to see mountain goats. They approached without fear and I took a lot of photos. This particular goat walked up to us while we took a break climbing steep snow above Inspiration Lake. We used a large slab of granite as a table, and I snapped this pic as the goat circled the outcrop. One of the things that struck me about mountain goats is how well they’re adapted to their environment, and I think this shot captures a bit of that. There’s not a lot of color here, and the goat is staring right at the camera. I don’t know what he’s thinking, but he exudes a wry patience and a natural intelligence. Mountain goats simultaneously seem wise and bemused, and this photo always makes me smile.

1 comment:

  1. I am surprised and disappointed that they did not choose one of a late summer sunset gently reflecting off my balding pate. Hmm. People have no taste, anymore.