I've done a "best of" selection at the end of previous years ... but this year I'm opting for a favorites list. I didn't realize there would be a disparity between the photos I consider my best technically versus those I hold close to my heart. There appears to be only a loose correlation between the merits of an image and my feelings about it.
This fork in the Nooksack is a known spot for Bald Eagles scavenging salmon carcasses in the winter ... the fish now expired after their long haul upstream. The salmon fulfilled their life mission -- leaving their legacy in eggs laid among pebbles of the river bed.
In the Northwest, you're working with multiple environmental factors when making wildlife pictures. From a technical standpoint, the most dramatic adaptation in this gorgeous green zone is light -- both quality and quantity of light. You're always playing the odds with rain, clouds, diffusion, and time.
Water is always in flux, mutable — liquid, vaporous, frozen — evaporating, condensing and expanding. This fluidity of form and purpose fuels life with its hydrological rhythms. I find my own personal cryosphere on a 23-degree day in Seattle. Instead of water bears, though, in this ice I see the planetary and the galactic ...
I get many emails and comments related to this post -- from people interested in micro four thirds (m43) and mirrorless cameras as a wildlife format. I've been shooting with Olympus m43 gear exclusively now for three years and plan to update my impressions before the end of the year.
Jackie was a teaching, healing spirit in the most big-hearted way, rolled up in a teddy bear body, never leaving my side through arduous times and years, through unexpected illness and loss, transformation and relocation. She helped us muddle through life’s travails, and was also the source of our biggest joys. We called her ‘velcro cat,’ because wherever we were, there she’d be, jockeying for a spot somewhere pressed up against one or both of us — touching our faces, our arms, our hearts with her plush little rabbit feet.
After the Snow Geese stippled our little Honda with their version of a Pollack drip painting, I waited a while before heading to the car wash, thinking it would be a waste of resources when the rain would just wipe the body clean. But, faithful to Northwestern climate patterns, the rain came in fine mists rather than cleansing sheets. A few days of drizzle left us not with a clean car, but with an even broader canvas of goose abstractions. I was car-wash bound.
I heard a lecture recently where Picasso's view of photography was described this way: For Picasso, "photography was never an exact registration of a scene, but it was a creative device.” (Arthur I. Miller). The lecture was about conceptualism and perceptualism in both art and science, using Picasso and Einstein as subjects. Picasso's view of the camera is obviously liberated by the fact that he was using it as a fine art tool, not a photojournalistic one.