I’m not very good at making landscape photographs. I was I was better at them. I aspire to be better at them. For some reason I find the prospect of making a good landscape intimidating. More intimidating than photographing a naked woman. Go figure. My theory is that I was exposed to way too many photographs by Ansel Adams when I was growing up. It is hard to believe you will ever make anything nearly as good when that is all you look at between the age of twelve and seventeen. I don’t know. That is probably a rather dumb theory, but it is the best I’ve got.
These two photographs were made on the trail to Ramona Falls near Mount Hood about ninety minutes from Portland. I actually made these two images when I was hiking back to the car after already visiting the falls. All I had left with me was a roll of Kodak Portra 400 which had been floating around my bag for several months. I had been saving the roll for a shoot I have next month with a model that has bright green eyes, but I thought the scene looked incredibly nice I didn’t want to just pass it by without taking out my camera. I’m used to seeing Mount Hood in the distance from Portland proper, but being a bit closer while out and about was inspiring and I thought I would do my best to capture it.
In an ideal world I would have used Kodak Ektar or maybe even a little Fuji E-6 film stock for a bit more pop in the blue tones, but Kodak Portra did the job well enough. Even though I was heading home after being on the trail for several hours, it was still early enough in the day to get some nice dramatic light with some interesting cloud formations around the mountain’s peak. I was even tempted to hike up the river bed from where I was standing in an attempt to get even closer to the mountain but my feet were working mile nine at that point in the day and I didn’t quite have it in me.
Maybe that is what separates me from more superior landscape photographers. A better image maker would have just sucked it up and gone the distance for that perfect shot. Me… I’m just lazy enough to take the time to make an ok shot. Such is life sometimes. In this moment I’m perfectly ok with that.
Camera was a Mamiya C330 TLR with a 55mm f/4.5 lens attached. I like the wide angle of the 55mm but I’m not going to deny in my old age I can find it difficult to focus with sometimes. Especially in really bright sun when I’m competing with both glare and dim waist level finder. Thankfully just focusing out to near infinity isn’t too rough on the old eyes.