One of my favorite places to photograph close to home is at the Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge in northern Idaho. It is a small refuge that is worth photographing in any season. There are lots of ponds for ducks and geese, fields for moose and deer, and many species of birds to photograph. But in the winter it's the landscapes that draw me to the refuge. The Selkirk mountains are always covered with snow and the creeks with ice.
This December day was cold and foggy and the trees on the mountains were covered with a fresh snow fall. The fog covered the trees along the creek with ice. It really was a winter wonderland. I was hiking along Deep Creek and photographing many different scenes with wide angle and zoom lenses. I came upon these two trees with snow on the bark and then noticed the distant scene. I felt like I was looking through a window into Deep Creek and the Selkirk Mountains in the background. The monochrome effect is also one of my favorite ways to photograph winter.
There is just a touch of color to the black and white image and for me it creates a very calming and simplistic image even though there are mountains, trees, creeks and snow in the scene. The image also worked for me since it is more of an intimate landscape instead of an all encompassing landscape. I know my images over the years have evolved into paring down the landscape into smaller pieces instead of one big picture. That's why this image worked for me that day. Simple, monochromatic, intimate and soothing. All rolled into one image.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor