As long as I've been photographing in the Pacific Northwest, I've encountered fellow photographers who put their cameras away as soon as the gray skies appeared after the rush of Autumn colors. "All the color is gone!" they'll say. I admit I subscribed to the same habit for a while until I realized a couple of things.
One is that photographing a world that wasn't bright and sunny was really fruitful. I got a lot of pictures that I liked, regardless of whether or not you'd call them "Kodak Moments". Besides, I could leave behind most concerns for high contrast subjects. The gray skies provided an even, soft light to work under. Even on cloudless winter days, the sun is so low that it provides pleasing afternoon light almost all day long.
The second thing I discovered is that there is plenty of color out there no matter what the season. True, it's rarely what you'd call "vivid" or "stunning" in the Winter. Instead of the brilliant orange of a sunset, you find the soft ocher of dried grass. In place of the saturated yellow of aspen leaves there is the rich red-brown of spent bracken fern.
The longer I live and photograph in Western Washington, the more I appreciate these subtleties. It's true, the brilliant hues of a Skagit Valley tulip field or a Vermont hillside in October will still turn my head, but so will the unassuming blue-green of a lichen-covered alder tree in December.
I hope you appreciate the photographs on these pages. They are my attempt at presenting the colors from Western Washington that often stop me in my tracks and make me grateful to be surrounded by such richness.