New Video Series: Natural Northwest

You may have noticed that I’ve been posting more videos lately. It’s because I’ve been gradually easing my way into a new project I’ve been thinking about for a little while. My blog has consistently maintained a “travel” style focused on trip report type of posts. I have used my posts to provide a sense of what each location is like as I’ve explored the region. I thought about all the places I have been and realized that having some photos wasn’t good enough. I wanted another way, perhaps a better way of remembering these special places. How could I capture the scenery and instantly immerse myself back into these locations?

The answer was HD video mixed with high quality audio. For the last year or two, I’ve always carried a little GoPro camera to capture time lapse sequences so just recording some additional video sequences with it is no big disruption to what I normally would do. On the audio side, I had to do some research and ultimately decided on picking up a nice portable digital audio recorder (specifically the Zoom H2N). It added a little bit more to the pack but it’s not that big and offers some really great quality audio. I’ve also used it in a variety of weather and so far it’s held up well (note: the unit is NOT weather proof or resistant).

I’m calling my new, ongoing series of videos “Natural Northwest” but what exactly are these videos? Each video will be about five minutes in length (sometimes longer) and consist of an audio “soundscape” (a single recorded source (not multiple clips mixed together), and excluding the sounds of humans to the extent possible) along with a compilation of several video clips. Put together, I hope transport the viewer into the scene, if only for a few minutes. I’m doing this primarily for my own benefit but I hope others will enjoy the videos as well. I have some additional plans for the project but those are on the backplate until Vimeo implements some new features that will support what I have in mind.

I’ve created a new channel over on my Vimeo account for this series and I hope you’ll check in from time to time and leave some comments about the videos. Thanks in advance and I hope you enjoy the videos!

Link: Natural Northwest Video Series by Steve Cole

12/20/2008: Deception Falls

I’ll begin my blog with a recap of a trip yesterday. For the better part of the last week, the whole Puget Sound has been firmly gripped in unusually cold weather intermixed with snowstorms. I just haven’t been able to get out to take photos the previous several weeks so I was itching to get out. Saturday’s forecast was for sunny skies, changing in the afternoon so I decided to make a go of it. I decided to go not too far so I headed out Highway 2 towards Stevens Pass.

My original plan was to stop at the Heybrook Ridge lookout trail followed by a stop further east at Deception Falls. I got a late start to the day but skies were clear and cold- 15 degrees on my way through Sultan. Around Gold Bar, the forecasted strong eastern winds made their appearance. The Heybrook lookout is located near the Snohomish / King County, just east of the turnoff for the town of Index. It offers a commanding view of the Skykomish River valley, Mount Index, and Baring Mountain.

As luck would have it, the parking area for the trailhead was covered with 2 feet of snow and not an option. I moved on to Plan B and out to Deception Falls. I’ve only visited the falls twice and those visits were during the last 2 months. Sadly, due to funding issues, the Forest Service seems to only open the parking lot during the peak part of the summer. Winter is no different and finding someplace close to park is even more of a challenge.

I settle on a small pullout about a half mile west of the falls and hiked along the busy highway. The parking lot and trails around the falls area had about 2 feet of powder so having the snowshoes with me was a great help. As I expected, the arrival of winter changed the entire dynamics of the falls. Here are the Upper Falls:

Upper Deception Falls

And the Lower Falls:

Lower Deception Falls

Downstream of the Lower Falls:

Downstream of lower falls

Downstream of lower falls (HDR photo)

Ice build-up where the Tye River makes a 90 degree turn:

Tye River's 90 degree turn

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