Tag Archives: forest

Making Magic

Sarah here!

The thing I love about compositing is that it gives me an excuse to take pictures of just about anything, anywhere. I’m not a landscape or nature photographer (I leave that to Andrew), but you never know when you might want a particular scene as a background. Thus when we went on vacation to the Olympic Peninsula last year, I found plenty to keep me busy while Andrew and his brother were shooting waterfalls and epic forest scenes.

Alas, the rainforest was not as cool and lush and rainy as we’d hoped… in fact, it was hot and dry. We were also hoping for overcast skies, but we got sun with hardly a cloud in sight. Most of our photographs were taken in the middle of the day, since we had more places we wanted to visit during our brief stay than we had golden hours (and it was a vacation, so I admit, we were often lazy in the mornings).

In summary, we had hoped to capture magical green rainforests, but we ended up with a lot of brown and some very harsh light. It was still lovely, but it wasn’t quite what we’d been dreaming of.¬†Below is one of my better straight-out-of-camera shots… I spent a lot of time at this bend in the path because that mossy lump next to the trail looked like some kind of beastie, and I knew I’d want to play with it later.

A scene from the Olympic Peninsula, straight out of the camera.

The out-of-camera background looks pretty flat, but it has good bones. With a lovely and interesting subject, some Orton glow, color toning, and a little straight-up magic, it turned into something that makes me smile to look at. Goes to show that saving pictures comes in handy sometimes, even you don’t quite know what to do with them at the time.

Advertisements

Misty Forest – Mt. Rainier

Andrew here.

“Walk away quietly in any direction and taste the freedom of the mountaineer. Climb the mountains and get their good tidings, Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.” – John Muir

The dense evergreen forests on the slopes of Mt. Rainier come alive when it rains. The immersiveness of a forest rainstorm leaves me with a feeling as if I have traveled back in time. The rain seems to separate you from the outside world and you realize that this forest is as it was millennia ago, and will be millennia from now, if we protect it. This is the Earth as it really is; and out here, you’re just another part of it, not the master of it.

This shot was taken along the Lower Lakes Trail in Paradise Valley on Mt. Rainier, Washington. We hiked up from Paradise Lodge along the Skyline Trail, followed the Mazama Ridge trail down the south side of Rainier, and decided to cut back in the general direction of Paradise Inn when a storm rolled in, taking the High Lakes Trail back West. It was hard to resist shooting scenes like this along the way, as the streams swelled from the rainfall and the forest took on an otherworldly feel with the clouds settled in the trees.