It was my son, on the way to school, that noticed the fog in the distance. I am normally pretty observant of such things, but I simply missed that detail until it was pointed out to me. My day would have started off very different had it not been for his little comment. After dropping him off I shot home, grabbed the D700 and 2 lenses and high tailed it up to the top of Eola hill in West Salem. I had driven this road many a time and knew instinctively that if there was fog around town that this was one place to go for some dramatic photos. Upon reaching the top it became apparent that the complete opposite of what I expected was happening before my eyes. The vally below was "supposed" to be shrouded in fog while the top of the hill was clear. Rather, the top of the hill was pea soup, and while there was fog in the near the valley floor, it was nothing compared to what I had in front of me.
No matter.. I drove head first into the fog towards a location that I have been to many times and knew I could get some "country road covered in fog" photos. I have shot these same photos in the same place a number of times but hey.. I was there and I wasn't leaving without something. After taking those obligatory photos I started opening my mind and my eyes to what else I could shoot. There was a cherry tree orchard, check. There was a spider and her web, check. There was a massive grouping of trees that formed what looked like a giant monster buried deep in the woods beside the road, che... WOAH, what?? I was not sure exactly what I was seeing but I sure as hell was NOT passing up the opportunity to shoot it.
The area that I was heading into was not far off the gravel road that I drove in on, but it was the first time I had ever seen this grouping and I have driven this road dozens of times. After heading toward what I thought was one crazy big tree, I could see that it was a group of trees that were growing in some what of a circle. In amongst the trees were crates and wooden palettes that formed a tree house or fort. I had obviously stumbled upon a rather hidden but well used and loved location for the local kids. There were no signs to "keep out" and this wooded area was not fenced off nor was it exactly part of anyone's property. It kind of sits in limbo between the cherry orchard in the background and the main road. I initially felt like I was intruding into someones yard but I was being drawn in by the scale of the trees, the fort built within them, and the mood that it all cast around it.
There was nothing for it, I shot any and every angle that I could. I soaked it all in while standing in awe of something that I was sure came right out of the book "where the wild things are." The trees were old and there branches reached high and wide making sure that all within their range knew they were the owners of the property where they stood rooted. What a fantastic find!! I stared the day looking for "another" same old photo, maybe a bit better or different angle, and walked away with a treasure trove of images that I adore. I processed most of the images to keep the ominous, dream like, and daunting feel that was already naturally surrounding me. I hope these photos live up to the hype that I created on twitter before I made these available. Enjoy and tell me what you think in the comments below. :)