I made this photograph while camped out on the beach in Olympic National Park. When I saw these sun rays shooting out of the dark storm clouds I thought there was never going to be any way that I could do them justice in a photograph. This photograph has since surprised me, as it has become one of my most sold prints.
The story behind making this photograph makes it even better. When I was hiking in Olympic National Park I was working as a back country guide and my job was to take teens on a week-long backcountry experience. For this reason, I had limited space in my backpack (lots of gear to carry) and I could not fit my tripod with all of my other equipment. When we reached our campsite, I saw the clouds starting to shift and break apart, just a sunset was approaching and set to work on building my own make-shift tripod.
I used a stack of bear canisters to bring the camera up to the height that I needed, and balanced the camera on top of the tallest canister. In order to make sure the camera was straight, I stacked small pebbles and shells to balance it out, making sure to leave room for the auto-focus ring so that it didn’t jam on the delicate stack I had created in order to balance everything. Then, when the light was just right, I clicked the shutter release and the whole thing came together.
I’ve always been fond of this photograph, given that it was made utilizing that bear canister/seashell “tripod,” but I never thought it would become one of my more popular works. It has certainly been a pleasant surprise!
To see this photograph in high quality and to purchase prints please visit my “Essence of the Earth” Gallery page.