Stumbling Upon A New Trove Of Dreams
"Dreams are renewable. No matter our age or condition, there are still untapped possibilities within us and new beauty waiting to be born." -Dale E. Turner
"One is never too old to discover a new dream." -C.S. Lewis
Some dreams die... sure. I've bent my shovel a few times in that graveyard and said some well chosen words over the disturbed earth - dammit!
But i love the idea of 'new beauty waiting to be born', of possibilities.... and even if i wander, rudderless - but with eyes open - its out there to be found, waiting for me. So here i am; looking behind mirrors and in the pockets of coats i hardly ever wear and, usually on a Tuesday evening, taking the long way home after work...
The fun thing about this image was the location. I wanted a deep and dark wood and I couldn't seem to find it in city parks - so off to the mountains I went. About 50 miles from Seattle is the Snoqualmie forest; on the way to Snoqualmie Pass - a way thru the Cascade mountains from western Washington State to the eastern portion. Just below the pinnacle of this particular mountain pass, on the western side, are some beautifully dark and deep forests and this was my destination.
For the lighting i wanted, daylight was out, sunrise at this time of year was about 5:30 and this meant i had to get out of bed at around 2:30 to give me enough time to dress in my suit, find my cool bowler hat (i feel so very sophisticated in a bowler - some facades are such a delight :)) get a bite to eat, and drive to Snoqualmie. Ick! that still sounds terrible and i've already done it (twice). (At least i had the fore-thought to not wear my dress-shoes but rather something a bit more serviceable for the deep dark woods.)
So i've got my get-up on and i just exited the highway and found myself on forest service road number 9020. This particular FSR looked auspicious in the satellite image of google map - i wanted something without a steep slope and not too far of a drive off the highway. I had just got on 9020, it was about an hour before sunrise, and i passed a forest ranger (at least it was a ranger truck) on my way up the road. After driving for ten minutes, and as I was going slow and carefully looking with my flashlight out the car window for a place that might work for my shooting, i begin to see lights reflecting off the tree branches all around me (i have to admit, it was a bit un-nerving in the middle of all this dark to begin to see all the branches and tree trunks reflecting red flashing light - thoughts of alien abductions, vivisections, and extra-terrestrial sex began bubbling up in my brain). As the reflections got stronger, I realized 'dang! it must be the ranger i passed earlier'; although it was puzzling why had he waited so long to begin his pursuit. Now you know i love a good, high-speed chase on an unpaved forest road as much as the next guy, but that inter-species sex thing was still messing with my reaction time so i just put my hat on and pulled over (a bit of a misnomer on a one-lane road with huge trees on either side). In moments, Mr. Ranger was right there behind me and the forest was this amazing light show of red and blue.
The best part of the whole meeting (which turned out to be fairly pleasant after my ranger-friend got to know me a bit), was the forest patrolman's first question after, of course, he had turned all his lights on me, walked warily up to the side of my car, shone a flashlight in my face, and took in my lovely black suit and bowler hat: "Well, sir... and what are you doing in the forest this morning?" (I suddenly had this suspicion that i looked every bit the part of an undertaker trying to find a suitable place to bury an embarrassing body.) I laughed as my mind quickly ran thru a couple of possible explanations involving dreams and artistic expression and aliens... and just as quickly tossed them aside: "err... I'm looking for a place for a photo-shoot later this morning." He then proceeded to tell me the rules regarding cameras and strobe equipment in the forest (I thought the only rules in the forest were 'don't get lost and don't get eaten') then he wanted to see some ID and he even checked me for proper insurance; happily, i was fully accessorized (and overdressed). We eventually parted friends (well, not enemies, anyway - after all, he had chewed up quite a bit of my 'dark time' - which, as it turns out, would force another trip in a few days). My conclusion was that boredom and forest rangering was a force better left alone, if at all possible.
A short time later, i found my spot. I dug a shallow hole into which i placed three strobes for my lighting effects. I set up my camera, with its 10-second delay, and i was off and posing. During my two visits to this forest primeval, i got a mess of shots and as i processed them there was much difficulty in finding 'the shot' - there were just so many that made me laugh - i am such an idiot. :)
so come and stumble with me as i search for the light.