I know, I know. Thanksgiving Day was last week but that doesn’t diminish the importance of wanting to be more mindful of being thankful, right? It’s certainly easy to write about how thankful I am for having cameras, lenses, and computers to work on my photography. I guess that would be a given. I am very thankful for all of that stuff and the privilege is not lost on me. However, all of that gear would amount to very little if I wasn’t living in an area that affords me so much in the way of locations and sources of inspiration. When I moved to Oregon in 2011, I had never really spent any time there. I had visited ON1 for a week (when I was employed with them) and aside from a tour of the Columbia River Gorge, I was completely unaware of its beauty. I was also completely unaware that there was a latent landscape photographer in me who was itching to get to work! Virtually everything I had photographed prior was architectural and UrbEx themed.
Even after moving to California to work at Google, I could not escape the draw to return to Oregon. While Portland is a wonderful city in and of itself, I find the truest form of joy when I’m hiking under a canopy of massive trees replete with verdant moss and drizzling rain. Other than my own footprints, you’ll likely only hear water flowing or nothing at all. If life proves to be too stressful, a trip out to a trail will almost certainly help alleviate most of what’s bothering me and what’s amazing is that I can be at a trail like this in 30 minutes. So, you can understand why I’m so thankful.
It sounds funny to me that I’m writing a post about being thankful for having easy access to this particular type of landscape but the more I think about it, the more cathartic it is. I know I should be mindful of everything I have in my life, and at a subconscious level, I’m sure that I am. However, as I sit here, typing out the words in this post and going over the images embedded, all of these thoughts bubble to the surface and it makes me ask myself why I don’t do this more often.
One of the symbolic goals that I am going to set for myself as we head into 2017 is to make more whimsical trips out to shoot and hike out here. For me, getting out onto the trail always requires a certain amount of planning and when you plan, you think, and if you think, you can possibly think too much. While I thoroughly enjoy thinking, I am not as big a fan of thinking too much. So yeah, more random and frequent trips to the Gorge and surrounding areas. More photos, more blogging, more sharing. Less worrying, less comparing, less cynicism. There’s simply too much beauty around me not to explore. So won’t you join me?
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