Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Redwoods NP Photo Shoot

Imagine the silence of the mist swirling past stately Redwood trunks. The occasional ethereal drawn-out note of a Varied Thrush haunts the forest and a hummingbird hovers next to brilliant Rhododendron blossoms. A snail slowly creeps across the trail.

I'm standing rock steady, watching the light change and the mist thicken and thin. It's dark under the tall trees on this overcast day and when I do press the shutter the slightest movement will blur the photo. I pretend I'm a biathlete and slow my breathing and heart rate. The fog lifts just a bit and the dark trunks appear like ghosts in the air behind the overhanging flower-filled branches.

I begin to squeeze the shutter, concentrating on the tiny rectangle in the viewfinder, to be sure that the camera is held level. The shutter clicks and I lower my tired arms. There's a person in a red raincoat by the side of the trail. It was so dark, and the viewfinder image so small, I never noticed him arrive. He had seen I was taking a picture, and stepped to the side of the trail, but still shows a bit at the edge.

He has a camera on a tripod so I signal him I'm done, and he sets up for a few photos of his own. Another person comes into view in the distance in a yellow coat. Then one with a white coat, all with cameras and tripods.

"This wouldn't be a photo workshop, by any chance?" I inquire.

It was fun to meet Gordon, from
Adventure Photography who is leading this tour with his wife Cathy. He kindly ushers the others out of the shot so I can take one more picture without people. I go ahead and snap a picture, but the fog is thicker, and there are no trunks behind the flowers anymore. I hang around and watch for birds and eventually the group has moved on past this magical place.

The light and mist return to their sublime prime for another brief instant, and I capture the image I had been waiting for.

Then I head back down the trail, to the car, the coast, and my tent set up on a headland overlooking the mouth of the Klamath River.

This is the view from the north side of the Klamath River, and my campsite is on the south side, across the way, up in the clouds.

The fog seems to be grounding some flights, and this Rufous Hummingbird is taking a break, watching me photograph the ocean.

Here's the trail to my tent ... an end to another successful day of enjoying nature and trying my best to distill my sensations, feelings and emotions into tiny pixels so that I might never forget this magical moist green place.

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