Or maybe I should have titled this post “The Lure Of The Trail.” Both are appropriate and actually meld into one another. I love leading lines – they are my favorite theme – and my favorite type of leading line is a trail. That trail leads the viewer’s eye deeper into the composition and onward to whatever adventure awaits. And trails within forests are my favorite, if for no other reason than the forest’s interior glow surrounded by green and brown shadows.
All of the images above were captured with my Sony Alpha 7riv and a 16-35mm lens during my 2020 October visit to Redwood National and State Parks. And all of these images were captured along one of the many trails in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park in northern California. The tops of the trees are veiled a little bit in mist, as this trip was during the height of all the wildfires in California. Smoke drifted in from everywhere.
If you are out and about (and a good distance apart from any other hiker) in a nationanl park or national monument or national forest, then after viewing the wide-angle vistas before you, take a look at the greenery that makes up the scenery, since it’s the little things that flesh out a landscape’s Big Picture.
“May you have all the happiness and luck that life can hold, and at the end of all your rainbows, may you find a pot of gold.” … of course, you might have to engage in some sort of shillelagh fight with a leprachaun to get that pot of gold for yourself, but I know you can do it.
Here’s a fun fact for your Monday: the Hoh Rain Forest in Olympic National Park gets over 12 feet of rain a year. So, when you go visit, make sure you take along a rain jacket.
The image below was taken during late summer, and it was actually a dry day. In truth, all the days I was there in the park were dry days – well, ok, except for the last two days, when I visited Hurricane Ridge.
Yeah, I’ve been posting quite a few tree and forest interior images. It’s what you do when you visit Olympic National Park. This shot was captured during a hike along the Sol Duc Falls trail in the Sol Duc Valley. There are all sorts of lovely, deep, quiet, photo ops and the trees always look very interesting. This tall tree in front appears to be growing right out of or at least, very close to, the tree behind it, if you look closely at the root structure at the bottom of the trees.
The moral of this story is that you should observe the scenes around you and not keep your head down as you head toward your sole purpose of hiking the trail in the first place (in this case, to get to Sol Duc Falls). The more you observe, the better your compositions become.
I’m glad I visited Olympic National Park when I did, because it’s got some rainy weather going on now and probably will for the foreseeable future, I am guessing. Fall is coming. Winter is coming. Lots of rain and wet are coming to the Olympic Peninsula.
I captured this image because, as I was wandering the Hall of Mosses trail in the Hoh Rain Forest, I noticed the sun peeking through the trees. It created what is called a “single point light source” and is great for producing photographic sunbursts. I’d already set the tripod and camera up to photograph the interesting roots, and that little bit of sunburst light was a cherry on top.
I used my Pentax 645z medium format camera for this. I don’t use this camera as often as I should, because it produces wonderful images. As a matter of fact, I’m taking it with me on my forthcoming Yellowstone trip. I’m not even going to tell you how heavy the camera pack is, or the fact that I am carrying one of the long lenses in my laptop bag so I don’t have to put anything in checked luggage. 😁
While photographing the Hoh Rain Forest, I noticed my compositions were so “busy.” Lifting my eyes away from the viewfinder, I took a really good look at the scenery and realized that the rain forest is, indeed, full of “busy-ness.” There is a riot of tree limbs, branches and trunks, mosses draped over the limbs and carpeting the trunks, ferns and other flora blanketing the ground, and so many shades of greens and browns.
I can remember when photographing a forest was sort of an afterthought. Now, I love walking into the forests to photograph the myriad shades of green, the different patterns and textures, and perhaps, if I am lucky, to capture the inner glow of a forest.
The forests of Sol Duc are old growth. They are different from the mossy rain forests of the Hoh and Quinault in that they are taller – or, at least, they stand straighter, like toothpicks – and it’s a bit drier in the Sol Duc. That’s not to say there isn’t moss coating the trees, because there is, just not as much, I think.
I was heading out of the Sol Duc and on to Lake Crescent when I stopped to photograph the Sol Duc River. I spied some interesting scenes within the shadowed interior of the forest across the road and noticed there was a trail – the North Fork Sol Duc River Trail, I believe. So I took my tripod and camera and set up on different portions of the trail to photograph the tall trees and green fern-carpeted forest floor.
A tripod is the best way to photograph the shadowy forest interior. That way, you can use a low ISO (200) and a slower shutter speed (5 sec) while keeping your aperture relatively small (f/9).
I would imagine that with the onset of fall, things are probably getting a little wetter out there now. I think I went at just the right time.
I’m pretty much all packed for my Olympic National Park trip. The camera batteries are charged. All I need to do now is pack up the cameras and lenses. Since I’m taking my own car, this means I can have that “kitchen sink” mentality and take whatever I want, because it’s better to have it and not need it, as opposed to needing it and not having it.
The thing about this national park’s rainforests is that there are so many different shades of green and so many different leaves and plants. And,there’s that sort of “glow” within the forest interior. It can be difficult to capture on digital “film,” but when you do, it’s something to be very pleased over.
It’s Forest Friday! Yeah, still trying to work on those alliterative terms for the photos and days of the week. Sometimes it works, other times are iffy.
As for this image, when I was growing up, even into my early 30’s, I was never really interested in the forest. Hiking through it was boring and a means to an end of getting to some awesome mountain vista. Then, my digital camera days began, and things changed. I began to actually observe my interior forest surroundings. Even though green has never been a favorite color of mine, I began to discern all the myriad shades of green a forest possesses. I began to see the different mosses on the trees and nurse logs, and I began noticing fungi, from large, dish-shaped ones to teeny tiny delicate little ‘shrooms growing out of the side of a decaying log. That digital camera opened up a new world for me – one that had always existed but for which I never had much time or inclination to explore, and I began to actually *observe* my forest surroundings, which, in turn, has made me a much better photographer.
If you look at this image and keep peering at it and through it to as far as your eye can make out, you’ll see all sorts of different colors and textures and patterns, thanks to the waters of the Pacific Northwest.
All images on these posts are the exclusive property of Rebecca L. Latson and Where The Trails Take You Photography. Please respect my copyright and do not use these images on Pinterest, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, Snapchat or any other business, personal or social website, blog site, or other media without my written permission. Thank you.
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