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The joy of unexpected discovery.

  • November 3, 2016

In my free time I’m a go with the flow type of girl but when it comes to work I’m a calculated planner. My recent Oregon photography adventure was prompted by the news that an end of an era was coming. For years travelers along Interstate 84 have enjoyed the refreshing scene of row upon row of poplar trees being raised for harvest. It’s become a favorite subject of photographers as well, a vast magical forest in the middle of farmland on the outskirts of the Columbia River Gorge. In January the beloved tree farm was sold to become dairy and potato land. The beautiful trees, as always intended, are being clear cut for harvest but this time will not be replanted. Knowing that this would likely be the last Fall Season to walk amongst these beauties I knew I had to get there to see them for myself. Since this would most likely be my first and last visit I devised a meticulous plan for the shoot. I had a clear vision of what I wanted to capture. Gorgeous gold and red leaves atop stark white trunks in pleasing symmetrical rows, fluttering in the breeze and sparkling in the warm October sun. The morning of the shoot it looked like that was exactly what I was going to get. We made the nearly 3 hour drive out to the farm under the cover of morning darkness. It had been raining for days but this morning was clear, crisp and lovely. Then an interesting development…as we rolled up to the exit we could see for miles but where were the trees? It seemed they may be already gone, replanted with more traditional crops befitting the land. My heart began to sink, yet still I knew they had to be there. To the left, suddenly, out of nowhere there was a low lying bank of fog. It seemed to be alive, creeping and shifting, and as it flowed glimpses of tree tops revealed themselves from the mist. It was 30 minutes to sunrise and as we drove into the grove I knew my plan was out the window. For a fleeting second I felt the tightening squeeze of apprehension as we drove into the enveloping grey haze looking out for our first location, but once I took a look around and immersed myself in the misty magic that surrounded me I was elated. I let go of that pre-planned picture in my mind and as the surrounding scene washed over me. It was a delicious feeling of freedom to just let the grove reveal itself to me. It was not as I had imagined, it was better. I know in my heart that more often than not the best images aren’t planned, they are discovered. You can prepare and organize to your little heart’s content, then put yourself in precisely the right place at precisely the right time and mother nature just decides not to gift you with the right conditions.It’s called getting skunked. But on this morning, as I just let myself go into the haze, she smiled at me. In the distance a lone deer heard me rustling about and stood tentatively to watch me and for a brief, unbelievable moment the fog shifted directly above to reveal a softly filtered beam of light. One fleeting, unexpected, perfect moment.

Oregon Photography Adventure