a forest of misty trees.
For just a few seconds, a mist fell upon this ancestor of the forest, and then was gone.

The muffled silence, the smell of wet wood, the feel of the springy floor and new growth all around  … a walk in the forest is a sensual experience. For as long as I’ve been carrying a camera, the forest has never failed to draw me in and calm my spirit. As I take in the massive trunks, the fallen trees nurturing newborn trees, or soothing sounds of the birds, I always feel a sense of peace, quiet and healing. Everything seems to fall into proper perspective when I get into the forest.  There is a sense of order, where life has a clear purpose and everything is in alignment. This is the way it’s meant to be.

In April I had the chance to spend a few solitary hours in the abundant forests of Golden Ears Park. I hiked a path I’d never followed before, up the south side of Gold Creek toward the big waterfall. The occasional shower just added to the promise that life in the forest is rich, abundant and continuous.

Here are a few of my favourites from a walk in ‘My Photographic Sanctuary”.

With a big welcoming arch, the forest beckoned.

The moss hallways led me on.

The forest floors was still carpeted with the ferns of the previous season.

The emergent growth contrasts with the old mosses and a backdrop of old red cedars.

Diagonals and contrasts with mosses, ferns and cedar.

An unexpected friendship!

Watchful eyes from the past.

The trail led me to Gold Creek as it crashes through the forest.

Take a closer look, there are hidden treasures.

Jewels waiting to be discovered.

Of interest to photographers:
On this day, I worked with just two lenses: my mid range zoom (24-70 mm) and my 90 mm macro. Although I normally have my white balance setting on auto, I always find that in the forest, a setting of cloudy is ideal. It’s amazing how much more realistic and satisfying the pictures look on my camera’s monitor with the cloudy setting. The light was soft and even, thanks to the heavily overcast sky, which is perfect for the forest. And the intermittent showers kept the water drops on the leaves glistening like a sprinkling of jewels.

For me as a photographer, it’s important to have a place with deep personal meaning to go to. When I’m able to ‘get lost’ with my camera in the forest, it’s as though the reset switch was found. Things fall into perspective. A sense of peace prevails. The photos I come home with are rewarding and meaningful.

What is your photographic sanctuary?