About twenty years before this image was taken, I knew it would happen. I'd made a promise to myself on my first trip to Seattle, that I would return someday with the right camera equipment and the ability to shoot this scene.
It always pays to dream a little, and it certainly pays to work toward a worthy goal. Promise kept.
A few years ago, I participated in a workshop led by Nat Coalson. Having worked with him on custom prints for a few years, I trusted this would be a unique opportunity.
This was our first shooting location of the workshop, and to our surprise, Nat asked us to leave our cameras behind for a while as he wanted us to find a particularly pleasing spot to sit, or lie down and close our eyes for ten minutes. The exercise, he explained, was to help us open our minds to things we might not see with our normal shooting procedures. As much as I thought this was too odd for words, I did as he requested. After ten minutes or so, he asked us to walk around and find compositions that pleased us.
The scene you see here is the first composition I chose after getting up, and as much as I thought Nat was simply off his rocker, I realized I was seeing things with detail I'd never seen before. I've thought about this quite a bit since that day, and I can't say he was wrong to make me slow down, catch my breath, and use my mind to get the most out of an opportunity. In fact, I now use a version of this scenario every time I visit a location.