On the first morning of a long weekend road trip last week, we veered off Highway 20 to follow a local road that connects forgotten small towns dotted along the loopy Skagit River. It was serendipity because almost instantly, we stumbled on a classic car show in the small town of Lyman, population 438 in 2010. Mostly local people – men and a few women – were lining up their rides in neat diagonal rows along tiny South Main street, bordered by weather-beaten wooden buildings and framed by picturesque views of the North Cascade mountains.
As we headed east, cottony fragments of cloud hung onto the mountain foothills:
As we drove into Lyman my eyes kept flitting back and forth between classic cars and equally classic buildings.
Oh, that stylish ’57 gray T’bird convertible with the cream interior! There was plenty to drool over and covet in Lyman, but we had more places to go, and things to see…
An hour down the road in Newhalem, old growth cedars reminded me how small I am…
An overlook at majestic Gorge Lake had its own classical beauty:
I used various vintage-style processing tools on most of these photos. In the coming days I’ll post more from the North Cascades and beyond.
The phone camera provides a very different experience than a digital camera does. It has far fewer opportunities for control – no aperture or ISO setting, no special lenses to choose – just that oddly flat rectangle to hold up to a scene, turn this way and that, and lightly touch.
It’s less calculated. I find I’m more spontaneous when I use it. This adaptation to the technology at hand – it’s almost Darwinian!
Here we are, in the car-wash again, floating in a colorworld…
A few days later, during a brief respite between appointments. Downtown Seattle:
I’m not going to switch from digital to a phone camera, but I’m glad I have the phone with me all the time. It opens up other paths.
Life is busy lately so I’m looking forward to getting away next weekend for a road trip I’ve been wanting to do ever since I moved here: a big loop east on Washington Rt. 20 (north of Seattle) through and over the Cascades. This very scenic road is closed much of the year because of the snow and avalanches. We’ll turn south at the little town of Twisp on the dry, eastern Cascade slope. Finally, we’ll head back west on Rt. 2 or I 90, depending on our energy levels come Sunday. There will be two overnights, one at a countryside airbnb north of here, the other at a rather pedestrian hotel in Winthrop – one of the last rooms available in the area when I booked the other day. Hopefully I won’t forget the SD card or the battery charger!
Outside a major hospital in Seattle, a cop corrals a disorderly, screaming man wearing a backpack away from the busy front doors. The men catch my attention and I slow to a stop as I exit the building – how dangerous is this? Will the angry man turn and come back? Is the policeman radioing for help or is he confident that he has this?
They disappear down Broadway and I beeline for the curb. There, beds of oddly mixed perennials, banana trees, cabbage palms and annuals draw me in. In these days of hyper-vigilance to violent encounters and the stark polarities of class division, there is respite in nature.
I’m here for a day-long training on suicide prevention; maybe that’s another reason that plants look especially good today. I spend breaks outdoors examining juxtapositions of leaf and branch, color and pattern. I’m glad I can freeze these arrangements with my phone. It’s very satisfying work and the rest is left behind.
Even the ground under the banana trees offers up interesting compositions in the textured twists and curls of dried plant leavings.
It was centering to lose myself in the intricacies of the foliage after the endless statistics and probabilities, what if’s and worries, advice and reminders about tough conversations. It’s been a decade since I sat in the hospital at the bedside of a client after an attempt, but when/if I’m confronted with another person who might be suicidal, I hope I remember to ask that simple question: “Have you thought about killing yourself?” No? Good (move on). Maybe? Yes? Let’s talk (deep breath).
Oh that “dull light!”
sunlight, it’s overcast, I
highlights, it all looks
Shake things up.
Find your way.
Photos taken with two second exposures and intentional blur, i.e. jiggling and shaking of the camera. Processed to add contrast and depth in LR, and Color Efex.