Friday, May 31, 2024

How much reality do we perceive

Northern Lights Over Washington state - May 10, 2024

Much of the world was treated recently to a once-in-a-generation solar storm that pushed the northern lights closer to the equator than any time in the past 21 years. It wasn’t the strongest storm ever, but it may have been one of the most observed.

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

5 Minutes in Nature: Finding your rainbow

Rainbow over Haleakala, Haleakala National Park, Hawaii

When a bright rainbow can stretch all the way across the horizon, it might be hard to think of it as your own. Dozens, if not hundreds, of other people must be seeing it, too, right?

But even if that rainbow spans one of the world’s largest cities, any rainbow you see is decidedly your own. Everybody gets their own. Any rainbow you see forms on a personal arc drawn from the shadow of your head. Even if we’re standing side-by-side, we’re technically seeing different rainbows.

This idea that even a vast rainbow can be something personal is a core element of my Five Minutes in Nature project, which is on view until July 21 at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute in Jamestown, New York.

Sunday, March 31, 2024

You don't have to hide

Pied-Billed Grebe on Water, Seattle, Washington

One of the reasons I treasure my time in nature so much is that it allows me to enter a completely different world — a world of striking scenery and fascinating animals. But my favorite days are ones when I can disappear into this world without having to try to disappear.

There are a number of things photographers can do to try to get closer to the animals they photograph. They can take pictures from their cars. They can use hides. They can wrap themselves and their giant lenses with camouflage.

My favorite outings, however, are when animals know I’m there and still don’t care.

Thursday, February 29, 2024

A peaceful force

Wave Action, Cape Disappointment, Washington

I’m fortunate to live in a area with so many distinctive landscape features. I could recognize Mount Rainier, certain waterfalls, or parts of the Pacific Northwest coast from rough sketches.

While their defining characteristics are burned into my memory, they were not always that way. Just as my hair has changed color over the decades, so, too, have their appearances. One of the ways I find tranquility in nature is to slow down and watch that change at work.

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

5 Minutes in Nature: Always something new

Dusk, Marina Beach, Edmonds, Washington

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, but I do have something of a New Year tradition. One of my first pictures of the year is typically from the waterfront a half dozen miles from my home.