Perhaps it’s the native Pacific Northwesterner in me, but I rather enjoy the cold rainy weather that engulfs this region for much of the year. There’s a rawness to the days where the wind renders your umbrella useless, driving the rain sideways, which warm sunny day simply can’t replicate. Mother Nature’s artful hand on full display as she directs the landscape.
With most of the areas inhabitants taking refuge indoors, many of the most beloved state and federal lands can be had all to yourself. This of course offers a perfect opportunity to bundle up, grab the camera gear, and head out to capture the elements. Much was the case last February when I ventured out to Deception Pass State Park on a particularly cold windy day where mixed rain and snow shared the skies. For a park that sees some 2 million visitors a year, rare are the days when the parking lots, trails and beaches are deserted.
For much of the afternoon I wandered the wooded trails and beaches in awe of the landscapes constant state of flux. Trees danced while the winds howled and waves crashed against the rocky coastline. With my pinhole camera loaded with Fuji Neopan 100 I set out to capture relentless movement around me. Relatively short exposures (for pinhole photography anyway) of somewhere between 5 and 15 seconds enabled me to record isolated flurries of activity set against what otherwise appears to be stable environments.
By days end I was able to create a handful of images depicting the harsh elements including: an isolated trees struggle to survive, the relentlessness of the pounding surf against jagged rocks, and an old dock attempt to rest atop a restless sea. Once I had finally had enough of Mother Nature’s unsettling mood, I retreated to a nearby brewery for a much needed pint and a bit to eat. After all I do live in Washington State where good locally sourced beer is never to far away.
Next time the weather outside doesn’t look so friendly; buck the trend and head out into the elements. You’d be surprised at how inspiring the landscape is in less than favorable conditions. Just remember to always be safe, there is of course a limit to what we can handle from mother nature.