Featured Print - Late 2023 | Calmer Waters

November 1, 2023  |  Estacada, Oregon

Introducing Calmer Waters, the first of my Featured Print Series.

Every few months I will be featuring a photograph that I feel strongly about and that I feel is a hallmark of my portfolio. For these photographs I will go a little more into detail about my thoughts and sometimes offer behind-the-scenes looks into their creation.

There will be discounted pricing on my Artist Studio Prints as well as an additional gift size that is available for an affordable price.

I see the Featured Print rotating with every season, but I am not going to hold myself to any schedule.

Calmer Waters

Featured Artist Studio Prints

  • Gift (10"x8"): $75
  • Small (15"x12"): $85
  • Medium (20"x16"): $195
  • Large (30"x24"): $395
  • Statement (50"x40"): $1165
  • In need of a size that's not listed? Simply reach out to me for a quote.

Shipping is included to anywhere in the United States. Please reach out for a quote on international shipping.

The Pristine Clackamas River

The waters of the Clackamas River begin their journey high on the slopes of the Cascade Range, deep in the southern end of Mt. Hood, in the Mt. Hood National Forest.

Known for its clear, emerald waters, the river offers a tranquil escape for nature enthusiasts. It winds through lush forests, providing opportunities for kayaking, rafting, fishing, and photography. The Clackamas River is a haven for outdoor adventurers, offering both serene moments by the water and exciting water-based activities, all set against the backdrop of Oregon's natural beauty.

Not Just a Location, But a Friend

Perched high on an eroding bank of the river, I've discovered a secret world—a side channel of the river where reflections dance with the water. A side channel where the river flows in harmony with nature's whims—a place where every visit unveils new personalities.

The location is unremarkable at first glance—a wide section of the channel where the flowing water slows and deepens. The water's surface becomes a canvas, reflecting the seasonal changes of the world around it in different shades, textures, and moods. As the wind blows or the resident ducks swim nearby, the surface of the water dances with the reflections, casting different patterns upon the water.

It's the dynamic nature of this section of the river that draws me back time and time again, building familiarity and deepening my appreciation within my viewfinder. The emotional dialogue and intimate relationship with the flows and ripples feel more like visiting a friend than a location.

Midday is my preferred time to photograph, a time when the light is strong and constant, and the river's surface becomes a mirror. It's in this calm, non-fleeting light that I find my peace, embracing the tranquil moments and allowing myself to get lost in a meditative connection with the scene.

The river's surface becomes a portal to mindfulness, a state of pure observation, where I frame the world as it unfolds before me. Calmer Waters is a reflection of this process. It captures the essence of a place where I've witnessed the river's timeless rhythms and connected with nature on a profound level.

Through this photograph, I invite you to share in the quiet beauty of the Clackamas River, to experience the serenity and ever-changing wonder I find in my time spent here.

Finding Simplicity in the Chaos

I usually spend an hour or more photographing this section of the river each time I visit, and I may walk away having tripped my shutter hundreds of times, with each click being a moment where I felt that the scene organized itself in a visually pleasing arrangement. The watching and waiting is deeply meditative, and it's during this process where I receive everything from the scene that I am looking for.

Many times, the resulting photographs echo those of previous visits, and the value lies in the experience and deepened relationship with the scene. Other times, I am given a gift in the form of a visually pleasing image that captures the essence of that experience. Calmer Waters is one such photograph.

Though fairly "busy" at first glance, the organization of the elements and the color palette give me a sense of calm, mirroring my mental and emotional state when lost with the scene in my viewfinder—a moment of reprieve from the busyness of life and the responsibilities that come with it. For a short time, the only things that existed when I captured this photograph were me and the reflection. Simplicity.

Of the many frames that were potential "keepers" from the day, Calmer Waters stopped me in my tracks, and I instantly knew that it was a favorite photograph that I captured on the Clackamas River.

The pencil-like nature of the reflection reminded me of a sketch, and I drew that comparison as I was photographing the river this day. In the moment, I felt that the resulting images would be presented as a casual collection, sketches of a place I hold dear.

When I got home and saw Calmer Waters, I felt that the photograph held a bit more significance. We were preparing for a move to a new living situation, a process that causes much stress and anxiety in me, but one that would surely be a better fit for us. The context of needing this escape in the midst of the move and a calmer and more positive future on the horizon gave a bit more depth to the image, knowing that we would also be moving twice as far away from this location and that I likely wouldn't be photographing it as often.

What a meaningful sendoff from a place that I hold dear.

Posted in Featured Print.

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