I am lucky to call Washington state my home. As a photographer and lover of the outdoors, Washington is a dreamy wonderland that I can’t help but appreciate. From the mountains to the coast, she flaunts her natural beauty with varied and dramatic scenery just begging to be photographed. These places often inspire me to create dream-like images that are true to the location.

My resulting photos of these places may not be how everyone else sees them, but I never digitally manipulate them to the point of being unnatural. On the contrary, I strive to represent a place authentically, by simply choosing how to capture them. These are creative decisions based on light, time of day, weather, or even how I feel about being there. Because I am often inspired by the sheer fact that a place exists, my photos sometimes invoke a feeling of awe or mystery, almost as if they are from a fantasy.

There are countless destinations within Washington that inspire this kind of imagery. The place itself is always my greatest inspiration, even if the smaller part of that larger landscape is what speaks to me. A vignette of rainforest lichen backlit by the setting sun or a tiny grouping of picture-perfect mushrooms can become a miniature fairytale world.

Of course, everyone appreciates grand vistas and epic views that stretch off into the distance. Washington has no lack of these, from mountain panoramas to high urban viewpoints, so it’s no surprise that I’ve had many inspiring opportunities. Even within the city, some locations can be made to feel like a dream.

The environment also plays a significant role in my photos, and Washington’s weather varies enough to make the best of us a little crazy. Fortunately, it’s not all rain as you might expect. Snow, rolling fog, and rainbows often grace us with their presence. Occasionally we get thunderstorms, which us photographers flock to capture as this event is rare in western Washington. And let’s not forget the sunset, a stunning backdrop of color that provides a bit of magic to most scenes.

The earth’s own landscapes have inspired imagined worlds in works of art and fiction. Here in Washington, a fantasy-like world actually exists! With rugged coasts, giant waterfalls, and volcanoes, it’s no wonder that my photos of Washington often take on a surreal quality.

Through my eyes, Washington’s diverse landscapes are the stuff of fantasy, and I only hope that my photography conveys that. She sets the stage with her  natural beauty, making my job of capturing her an easy one.

Tracie Howe
@tracietravels
tracietravels.com

 

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