I woke up early this morning to a beautiful sunrise… most of the leaves have fallen off the trees so I was able to see the mountain through the forest. What a mesmerizing sight! I get to see this tranquil view everyday from my front porch instead of the rush hour traffic that used to greet me. I can’t believe it has been over a year since I moved from living in a small rental house on a gravel lot next to the noisy freeway to this beautiful six acre property out in the country. Instead of traffic noise and exhaust fume, I get to listen to singing birds, and smell fresh mountain air.
Besides my change of address, I also made another big change to my career. After 2 1/2 years of 5 to 6 hours of stressful daily commute to my even more stressful management job in Seattle — I decided to quit the rat race. Every day, I would wake up at 4:30 a.m. and leave home at 5:30 a.m. so I could catch the train or express bus to the city and then I had to either catch the slow street car or walk up the steep 1 mile hill to my office. Then, I spend the next 8 hours working with challenging staff and clients. Because of the chaotic traffic in Seattle, I don’t usually get home until 6 or 7 p.m.. I find myself physically sick and rundown constantly. I had no life other than sleep and work. What little time I had, I was too tired and depressed to do anything. Which explains why my last blog post was almost 2 years ago.
I don’t know what happened to the city of Seattle… it is no longer the beautiful city I used to know. The city now seems very dilapidated and is full of unfriendly, unhappy people. Inevitably, I became one of those people. While I was afraid to give up the security of a good income, when I noticed my physical and mental health was being severely impacted; it was time for me to move on. I decided to take the obvious opportunity with the property. I started a mini-farm endeavor — in addition to using my other creative talents to generate an income. I am so grateful that I finally have the means to pursue my passion of living off the land and enjoy this beautiful nature around me.
After weeks of rain and cloudy days… a rare sunny, cloudless fall day in
the beautiful Pacific Northwest.
Finally… after over two months of being a couch potato to heal my broken ankle; I escaped on a road trip yesterday. The weather was the typical Pacific Northwest winter — rainy and gray, not exactly the best weather for landscape photography. But I didn’t care… I was in desperate need to get away before the insanity of boredom takes over permanently. I knew I was getting to the point of no return when I actually watched the season premier of The Bachelor. If I was looking to regain my self-respect and intelligence, I definitely lost more than a few IQ points for watching the entire episode. So… to redeem myself, I decided I need to put some creativity back in my brain. At first, I thought about escaping to the Oregon coast but given the fact my leg is still in the healing process, I decided to stay close to home — and shoot the bald eagle migration that happens around this time of the year, along State Route 20.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t a single eagle in sight when I got to the area where they usually hang out. But… no matter, nothing could dampen my excitement and the exhilarating feeling to finally get out of the house and be in nature with my Nikon. I decided to do the dam road trip instead. There are several dams along Route 20. The route is also one of the most beautiful roads I’ve ever traveled. Because of the rainy, gray, sunless weather, it was a challenge with lighting and exposure; everything was mostly flat and lifeless in color. I knew most of the images would be converted to monochrome. With that in mind, I try to shoot with the exposure that would allow me to manipulate in Adobe Lightroom for the mood I wanted to create.
The Diablo Dam is the second of the three dams along the upper Skagit River. The Diablo Lake is probably one of the most beautiful places on earth. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to capture its beauty and grandeur. It’s one of those places that you really need to see it in person, especially on a sunny day, to experience its breathtaking vista.
As I continued on to the third dam, Ross Dam; I came upon this sign. At the same time, I was starting to feel pain in my leg. So I took it as a sign to turn around and go back home… and lucky me — the perfect ending to a perfect day — I got to see a few eagles along the way. Since I still use crutches to get around, I wasn’t able to get close to the eagles without scaring them away. It was really difficult trying to hike close to the eagles with my crutches. After a few frustrating attempts of tripping and falling to the ground, I was able to shoot one from the comfort of my car. Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend. Happy shooting. 🙂