The Way I See It

Archive for July 2011

Seven Past Sundown

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I got home around 8 last night. Driving home, I noted how nice the golden sunshine looked (and felt!). From the house, I could see far west enough to know that this was not going to be a blow-your-mind sun-below-the-cloud-cover evening. But nonetheless, the glow in the sky was interesting enough that I grabbed some gear and headed down to Carkeek Park, hoping to maybe catch a reasonable Olympic Mountains silhouette.

Seven Past Sundown

Seven Past Sundown

To bring the mountains close, I made this image with a long telephoto zoom lens. I set the ISO to 200 and shot the image at a wide f/5.6. Not the most optimal aperture, but I had been lazy and not set up the tripod – in order to get a reasonable hand-holdable shutter speed (1/15 of a second in this case), I was forced to compromise. In addition, I braced the camera against a sturdy fence to help keep it still. That bright horizontal line at the bottom of the frame, btw, is a patch of water that is reflecting light being bounced off the clouds.

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July 29, 2011 at 4:15 pm

Contemplating Rainier

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Contemplating the Mountain

Mountain View

She stepped into the frame, not noticing that there was someone several feet away. Click. “Oh, Pardon Me! Am I in your way?” “No, no!” I replied, “You’re fine.” “Okay, just checking, thank you.” She went back to her silent contemplation. I backed up a couple of steps. Click. Click-click. Her unexpected appearance in the frame was fortuitous, for it allowed me to add a bit of context into what would otherwise have turned out to be another tourist snap. We were at Sunrise Point, the you’re-almost-there just-above-the-treeline hairpin turn that gives visitors their first jaw-dropping view of the mountain and another 270-degrees of alpine panorama. Today, the sky is clear as can be with just a few odd fishtail-shaped clouds that accent the brilliant blue. Click. Click. Click.

And the mountain? Rainier, a dormant 13,211 foot (4,027 m) volcano about 50 miles southeast of Seattle. It’s massive white outline dominates the landscape for miles around and on a clear day, it can be seen from places as far away as Portland, Oregon and Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Saturday was a pleasant, clear summer day so we decided to make the drive to Sunrise, on the eastern slope. I’d made this trip many times before. Yet the clean mountain air, the intoxicating fragrance of the pines,  the pristine alpine fauna and the jaw-dropping views did not fail to disappoint. It felt like my first pilgrimage all over again. Just like all the times before.

Sunrise Road

Sunrise Road

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July 25, 2011 at 12:58 pm

Seattle Gray

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Seattle, from Kenmore

Seattle, from Kenmore

We’ve had a very mild – sometimes even downright cold – summer so far. I made this image on one of those gray, overcast days. I was making my way around the top of the lake (Washington) when I spied this beautiful streak of low clouds making it’s way up the water. Pulled over, shot a few with the phone, then shot a few with the big guy. This is one of the ones from the big guy.

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July 23, 2011 at 8:14 am

For Yui

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July 17, 2011 at 2:03 am

Pilgrimage

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Pilgrimage

Pilgrimage

Sitting amidst a high-country pine forest on the Tibetan Plateau, the Temple of the Five Wisdom Buddhas is regarded as one of the most sacred of locations for Kham Tibetans. The temple dates back seven hundred years. Devotees come from throughout the region to pray for good health and to be blessed with children. To raise their karma, they release chickens and other animals previously slated for slaughter and afterward, they walk clockwise around the grounds in meditation.

We got to Ringha late in the afternoon. As we made our way in, the wind whispered amidst the trees and stupas as the flags that seemed to adorn everything flapped gently in the wind, releasing their mantras and prayers to the heavens. In the waning sunshine, we made our way around the hill, stopping now and then to take in the view but mainly, we walked in silence, in awe of the sacredness of the place.

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July 10, 2011 at 11:22 pm

Goddess and Guardians

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Goddess

Goddess

I made these images at the Jade Water Village (玉水寨) outside of Lijiang (Yunnan province, China). The Village houses the Dongba cultural center of the Naxi, one of the indiginous peoples of the region. This goddess greets visitors at the entrance of the cultural center, while the line of guardians stands ever so vigilantly at the entrance to Dongba Shilou Temple, which sits on a hillside on the same grounds. Why is it that deities in this part of the world are almost always gold in color?

Standing Guard

Standing Guard

 

 

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July 6, 2011 at 12:38 am

Cycle of Life

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Rebirth

Rebirth

My banana plant recently dried up and withered away. In her stead sprung up two young ones. This is a new leaf forming on one of the babies.

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July 4, 2011 at 12:48 am

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