on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Winter Woodland, Walla Walla

Ian Meades

Ian Meades

Outdoorsy person and lover of strong black coffee, I first found a nascent enthusiasm for landscape photography back in the 1970s, wandering Richmond Park outside London with a Kodak 110 Instamatic. Fast forward 40 years, and I rediscovered the joys of wandering the land with a similarly diminutive camera format, this time manufactured by Olympus. I recently retired from a career in geophysics, where I spent most of my time imaging the interior of the earth. I now reside in Washington State, where I spend much of my time imaging the surface of the earth. I guess common themes thread through my life!

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Walla Walla, tucked away in the south-eastern corner of Washington State, is surrounded by some truly iconic landscapes: The Palouse Hills, Cascade Mountains, Snake River canyon and the waterfalls along the Columbia River gorge. All are just a few hours drive away. But if I want to eschew the driving and be a little more environmentally responsible, I head to our local woodlands in the foothills of the Blue Mountains. I can wander there year-round, just a few minutes from home. No grand vistas here, but an opportunity to experience the intimacies of nature. It is characterized by dense, chaotic woods and brush, interspersed with wide open wheat fields and rolling prairie. Perhaps counter-intuitively, I feel that winter presents the best opportunity to capture a variety of colors and mood (summer here tends towards a palette of ubiquitous and monochromatic greens or browns).

The lack of foliage in the winter reveals the hidden colours and shapes of branches that would otherwise be concealed. Skeletons of the woods. This portfolio tries to describe the essence of the winter woodland landscape here: The quiet, melancholic dormancy, with snow-muffled sounds. Searching for subjects against background chaos, or subtle color and texture within that same background, winter promises to bring fog and snow which helps to better delineate and isolate the individual elements in an environment where light is often a sparse and subdued entity.



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