Gifford Pinchot NF, Washington, USA by John Pedersen

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Picture Story

I had set off one Fall morning heading to a location that I knew had cottonwood trees that I hoped were turning all shades of gold and yellow. It is about a 2 hour drive from my home and I left early in the day to allow for the most time on location as I didn't know exactly the shots that I wanted. As I was driving along the forest roads in Southern Washington, the clouds descended and a fog layer started to appear at ground level. I would pop in and out of the fog as I drove, providing some interest and mystery to the drive.

Whenever there is fog present, I typically perk up and start scanning for possible photographs. Photographing fog is something that is ethereal and can create some amazing images. As I rounded one particular corner, almost to my destination, the fog thickened and I slowed down. Off to my right I saw a stand of trees and the fog intermingling amongst them. I slammed on the brakes and found a small forest service road to get closer to the trees.

I knew the fog was coming and going and if I wanted to get a shot I needed to work fairly fast. I grabbed my camera and tripod and walked off the road in to the trees. I spent 15 minutes walking around looking for the perfect composition, Once I found the group of trees I wanted to photograph, I spent another 5 minutes aligning my camera to position the trees just right and create space between the trees and eliminate as much overlap as possible. By this time the fog was starting to lift just a bit so I fired off 3 frames. When I finished the fog was mostly gone from the trees.

I continued on to my destination and did indeed find lots of golden cottonwoods, but is this image of the foggy trees that is my favorite from that day.


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