Orcas Island, Washington, USA by Ernesto Ruiz

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Picture Story

I prefer to practice a slow approach to photography, but sometimes the best photographic opportunities show up out of nowhere and are short lived! On the drive down from an overlook at Orcas Island, I spied this tree being illuminated by the filtered sunlight. I quickly parked the car, and luckily was able to set up in time to capture the moment before the light moved on, doing my best to (as quickly as I could) frame the tree elegantly within the surrounding forest. Framing forest images is difficult! And doing so in a bit of a rush is even more challenging.

I shot this for about 4 minutes before the light left the tree, and liked this composition where light 'echoes' show up on a few other trunks as well as on the ground. I really like how the line of light on the ground seems to become a base for the illuminated tree. This moment reinforces something that I have been noticing more frequently, which is that I capture most images on the way either to or from known destinations, often instead of shooting the 'main event'. It is one of the times where I have felt like I have been able to see effectively, rather than look for pre-conceived images or compositions.


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