I’m happy to announce a major update to tkmphoto.com. I’ve added a second page to the Glacier Gallery that feature images ranging from recent highly acclaimed work (NPN Photo of the Month) to old classics. Thanks for visiting and letting me know what you think.
Returning to the evening I spent atop Thunder Mountain, this stitched panoramic approximates my view of the Mendenhall Valley and beyond. It reminds me of another recent outing I was on with a long-time Juneau resident and friend who couldn’t stop exclaiming how lucky we are to live in this spectacular place. There was a light drizzle coming from low hanging clouds as she spoke, but the landscape’s awesomeness was unblemished. This photo might actually be a record of the last time I saw direct sunlight touching land. Yeah, it rains here…but who cares?
There’s nothing too extravagant here, just my best effort at a semi-abstract under difficult conditions. I photographed this during my most recent trip to the new cave of the Mendenhall. I hope you enjoy.
Smith Rock State Park in Eastern Oregon is a small space packed with dramatically impressive geologic features. Those sheer cliffs and jagged precipices made no small impression on me, but they weren’t what touched me the most during my single evening at the location. It was small outcrops of rocks catching the last rays of sunlight that first garnered my attention, and then I looked down over the edge of a cliff to discover this scene. It’s a busy and jumbled photograph at first glance, but I hope it begins to unfold even at this small size. The ground below was strewn with things that had fallen. There were giant boulders that had succumbed to freeze-thaw cycles and time, and most of the prostrate trees had been scarred by fire. Even the flowering brush would mirror its skeletal companions before long, and yet, I felt an obvious attraction. It reminds me of the way I believe God sees us. Whether we appear to the world as a strong “boulder” or beyond repair like the trees, we have all fallen in this life to somewhere less than what we were meant to be. God looks down over the edge and manages to see what beauty there is in each person. He wants to make something wonderful out of us in the same way I wanted to make this photograph.
I’m simultaneously proud and ashamed that two nights ago, I climbed to the summit of a mountain for the first time in over two years. At the beginning of the summer, I had hoped to reach multiple peaks before the return of school, but one is a start. The hikes are grueling 3-6 hour endeavors (round trip), so it’s not a major time commitment. Instead, the barrier for me is that my legs are so sore the next day that I can barely walk normally. Here is a view from the summit of Thunder Mountain, which to me is like a gateway into a vast wilderness. The trail-head is about a half mile from my house, and the front of the mountain faces Juneau’s major residential area, but you can see for yourself the drama of the landscape beyond Thunder. The moral of the story is don’t let a little sweat stop you; it’s worth it.
Now that I’ve returned home, I’ll share a few more of the photos I made on my trip to Oregon and southern Washington. It was nice to clear my head outside in between weekday lectures on how to teach calculus to high school students (I was mostly relearning content myself). Though I somehow got Punchbowl Falls and Lower Oneonta Falls mixed up in my head, this location didn’t disappoint. The recent “heat wave” even forced water levels so low that the wading was barely worth a mention.
The time I’ve dedicated to photography here in Oregon has been full of surprises. From the Columbia River Gorge to the coast, the beautiful scenery has come with a twist. Multnomah Falls was the second location of three that I visited on Saturday morning. While the steady flow of visitors might have made it live up to its reputation for being over-hyped, the waterfall itself was quite spectacular (bridge and all). With people coming and going on the bridge above the lower falls, I decided to join them and try for something different. The height of the upper falls is a big part of the draw (I was impressed), but it was fascinating to watch the sheets of water take on different forms and shapes just before they reached the bottom. I hope I can continue to roll with whatever weather and opportunities come my way on the rest of this trip. I’ll do my best.