I am excited to announce that my 2018 Calendar is now available and can be purchased through this link Erwin Buske Photography 2018 Calendar. As was the case last year, I will donate ALL proceeds to the Nature Conservancy. Here are the images for each month along with some stories behind the images. All images were taken in about the last twelve months and feature locations either in Washington State or somewhere near Washington. Thanks everyone for your support and interest over the past year!
January: Early Winter Magic
This image is of beautiful Gold Creek Pond close to sunset yesterday evening. Operating the camera was quite a challenge in the freezing cold temperatures made worse by occasional gusts of wind across the pond, but well worth the effort. I took out my water bottle to stay hydrated and placed it on a snow covered log-less than 15 minutes later is was more ice than water! The hike up Gold Creek was awesome also. I just love this area! Sony A7R2 22MM F16, 1/10S, ISO 100
February: Hall of Mosses Deer Crossing
My daughter Caroline and I spent three days at Kalalock along Washington’s Pacific Coast over her spring break, with visits to Ruby Beach, and the Hoh and Quinault Rain Forests. The weather was at least ten degrees cooler there than here in Seattle and the rain storms came at intervals of about every 15 to 30 minutes. In between storms, however, there were epic conditions for photography with frequent sun breaks and also a few bright colorful rainbows! Here in the Hoh Rainforest as soon as we parked the car the rains subsided creating an opening for us to hike the Hall of Moses trail along the Hoh River. Beautiful filtered light entered through the forest canopy creating a soft glowing mysterious look. I set up my tripod at this group of Maples and Caroline said “Daddy there is a deer!”. I said where! And sure enough a deer walked into the scene I had already set up as I was looking through the viewfinder, at which time I cranked up the ISOs to freeze motion and started firing away the shutter! Nikon D810, 36MM, F14, 1/200s, ISO 1250 to freeze motion.
March: Ecoloa Beach Overlook: Flying West
It was a very awe inspiring experience this early evening to watch the movement of clouds and play of light on the waves. The perspective from the Ecola Overlook is one I never tire of and I find that the early evening light is best for this scene. It was particularly inspiring this evening with the dramatic clouds forming a ring around the sky and a passing gull flying through the scene. Nikon D810, 28MM, F14, 1/320S, ISO 200.
April: Ballad of Big Pink
This image is of sunrise at Roozengaarde Tulip Fields. This is an example of an image that I did not consciously plan to take and by the good graces of the universe I arrived at the scene with little if any time to spare in order to capture the sun rising. I planned to head out to the Skagit Valley from my home nearly two hours away around noon. But at about 3AM I awoke wide awake from sleep and on a quick impulse decided to go then in order to make sunrise. I arrived at the general area of the Tulip Fields but could not find a suitable field and place to pull the car to the side of the road even as the sunrise was starting and beautiful colors will filling the sky. I thought at this point that I totally missed it in terms of “getting the shot” and as I was driving to get some coffee and breakfast I noticed a group of cars parked at the edge of what appeared to be a Tulip Field. I quickly pulled into a field parking area and more clearly saw these pink tulips about a couple of blocks away. I quickly grabbed my photo pack and ran down the muddy path arriving just in time to setup and shoot! Sony A7R2 35MM, F16, 1/2S, ISO 125
May: Palouse Waves and Patterns
This image is of Palouse Waves and Patterns as viewed from Steptoe Butte. When one first arrives at Steptoe Butte the temptation is to take wide sweeping panoramas of the area, but in my experience the best shots are more of the narrow field images that emphasize the waves and patterns of the rolling wheat fields. This image was taken with my 300MM lens with a 1.4 teleconverter attached. Nikon D800, 300MM, F13, 1/15S, ISO 100
June: New Morning
At no time is the transformation of Mt. St. Helens more apparent than early summer when the first flowers appear in large drifts cascading down the mountainsides. Within my own lifetime I have witnessed a change going from ashes to Eden~ This image was taken just after sunrise. This is a focus stack of several images taken at F8, 16MM,1/50s, ISO 400mm, Sony A7R2.
July: Walking into a Dream 2
The best wild flower meadow that I know about is this one at Indian Henry’s Hunting Ground, Mount Rainier National Park. This cabin is perfectly situated in as beautiful setting as I could ever imagine and when approaching the cabin through the meadow it is like walking into a beautiful dream. Indian Henry, known as Soo-Too-Lick, early on (1883) guided several familiar names to Mt. Rainier including the Hunting Grounds, these familiar names include James Longmire, Philemon Beecher Van Trump and John Muir. Indian Henry was a Cowlitz Indian, beloved by many people. Sony A7R2 29MM, F16, 120S, ISO 200
August: Image Lake at Sunrise
Beautiful pasque flowers gone to seed and Image Lake awaken to a rosy sunrise underneath Washington’s most remote volcanic peak, known by the Suak Indian Tribe as “Tda-ko-buh-ba”, but also known as Glacier Peak. This location in the Glacier Peak Wilderness comes as close to heaven on earth as anything my imagination can possibly conjure up. Looking out across the meadow and lake to Glacier Peak one feels the pure essence of a wilderness area, an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by people, and where we are just visitors who cannot remain in a place of such unspoiled beauty. Image Lake is not very accessible and I approached the lake as part of an extended 7 day backpacking trip with the Sierra Club in August of 2017. Our route took us up and over Spyder Gap’s Lyman Glacier, scrambling down into the Lyman Lake Basin, up and over Cloudy Pass, over to Image Lake, and out through Flower Dome and Buck Creek Pass-about a 60 mile loop trip including side trips.
Western pasqueflower, or Anemone occidentalis has a less than showy bloom but you won’t miss the next stage, which resembles a fuzzy mop of hair. An early bloomer, the seed pods last all summer on mountain slopes and meadows in middle to high elevations. This is a focus stack of 6 images taken at F11, 29MM, 1/5s, ISO 800 (to reduce movement caused by wind.
September: Where the Angels Roam
This image is from my trip to Mt. Rainier in September of 2017. While driving up US 410 to circle around Rainier I passed through thicker and thicker smoke. This summer almost half of the days have been like this, drab and smoky due to forest fires in the area including the Norse Peak Fire on the northeast side of Rainier. The smoke actually helped me at Silver Falls as it combined with clouds to produce some spectacular mid-day filtered light. But this same layer of clouds and smoke did nothing but diminish the view of Mt. Rainier to the point where it was almost unrecognizable through the haze. I felt some winds blowing in the area and on a hunch, I thought Bench Lake would be a good place to go for sunset if some of the smoke would just blow away. It took almost ten minutes before sunset for this to happen, but for ten precious minutes the reward was absolute bliss, and some of the best light I have ever seen in this area! Sony A7R2 23MM, F16, 1s, ISO 100
October: Guardian of the Camp
The small peninsula in the Enchantments upon which we made our camp was evidently the home of this particular Mountain Goat who was our almost constant companion during our stay at the Enchantment Lakes! The closer I moved toward the goat the closer she also moved toward me. With the Kid goat not far away, I decided to go not closer than this!. Sony A7R2, F14, 1/160S, ISO 100
November: Elowah Mystery of Autumn
This image is of beautiful Elowah Falls looking through the veil of moss covered boulders sprinkled with maple leaves, moss covered branches and the warm atmosphere of Autumn. Getting this image was no small challenge, not so much because of the difficulties of navigating a steep and slippery hillside down to this shooting location, but because once I arrived I saw about six unattended tripods planted right in the river in front of me. Luckily the workshop leader agreed to temporarily move his group out of the way so I could capture this shot. I am hoping this area will be spared by the recent Eagle Creek Fire, but if not it will be wonderful to experience the renewal of this area in the years ahead. Sony A7R2 16MM, F11, 1/4s, 1S0 160, this is a focus stack of several images.
December: Garfield Whispers of Winter Approaching
In early December, I took one of those long hikes in the light rain that makes me happy I live in the Pacific Northwest-yes I love hiking in light rain! This time I headed west (rather than east) along the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River, past rainy creek and on to Pratt River. What a spectacular section of trail through the rain forest! I especially like the sounds of the light rain falling on the trees and bushes against the constant roar of the Snoqualmie River occasionally with the accompaniment of small creeks and streams swollen with near constant rain. There was only one brief opening and I retook this image, this time with a dusting of snow on Garfield Mountain and some clouds rolling through the valley. This image won third place in the Washington Wild (a Conservation Advocacy Group) 2017 photo competition. Sony A7R2, 16MM, F16, 8s, ISO 125, 5 stop neutral density filter