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Monday, October 13, 2008

ACM #2 Reference Photos

I love using photos from hikes. Photography is great in that it can take you back to a point and help you remember not only the moment itself, but everything else about what was around you when you took the photo.

This is Cades Cove in the Smokey Mountains. It's a beautiful place, though it is somehow always overcast and drizzling when I go. It reminds me of the forests I hiked in as a boy in Western Pennsylvania. I have many fond memories there. I waged an ongoing war with river trolls, stalked ancient druids and was hunted by giant, black-eyed foxes.

Years later I found that same old forest using the terrain feature on Google Maps. It was strange seeing it from above, from this odd and unfamiliar angle. But I was delighted to find that I could still make out all the old haunts of my childhood. The same trails, the same clear ponds covered in algae, the same clearings in the forest. And though some of the remote edges of my old realm were somewhat overcome by a spreading plague of parking lots, it was, for the most part, all still there.

This one is from Giant Sequoia National Forest, in California. This forest sat on a cliff overlooking the ocean. It was as if the giant trees had in ancient times, been planted all across North America, and at some point pulled up their roots and strode west, only to be stopped here forever by the Pacific.

1 comment:

  1. I like getting reference photos from hikes, as well. In fact, I'm planning a painting based on reference photos I took while walking around Baskett Slough in Oregon. Lots of nice, gnarled fallen mossy trees, ferns, and fallen leaves under a shadowy canopy. Walking through nature is one of the most inspiring things one can do, I think.