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Meditations on the Great Northwest - by Ross Martin

NOTE: this exhibit appeared in January 2001. Click here to visit the current showcase.

All other exhibits: Click here to access

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First Light on Mount Rainier

The evening before this sunrise from the east side of Mount Rainier National Park I scouted foregrounds of gnarled pines along the Silver Forest trail until darkness descended upon me, but was unable to decide where to shot from.  Early the next morning as I hit the trail, the perfect foreground revealed itself and the glory of first light did not disappoint.


Cascading Creek in Olympic Forest

This lush rushing creek in Olympic National Park is unsigned and barely visible from the roadway, but I was greatly rewarded after pulling over and scrambling down the slope to soak in this lovely view and the special glow of the light on a wet, foggy Northwest morning.


Yellow Tulip in a Sea of Red

The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival near Mount Vernon, Washington attracts thousands of visitors from around the country each spring for its stunning displays of bold, eye-candy color.  Roaming the outskirts of a particularly beautiful red field awash in evening sunshine, I was delighted to find the  contrast of this lone yellow tulip. 


Flowering Cherry Tree in Spring

Spring in Western Washington is an embarrassment of riches, and one warm Sunday afternoon I turned my attention to the flowering trees in the world-class Washington Park Arboretum, focusing on the simplicity of white blossoms, a deep blue sky and the beautiful sweep of a branch. 


Evening Light on Ocean and Rocks

From a cliff near Sunset Bay State Park on the Oregon Coast, the elements of water, rock and light combined to produce a spectacular show of power and beauty.  The major challenge in shooting from this cliff edge was the strong, constant wind buffeting the bellows of my 4x5 view camera.


Fallen Log and Snake Grass

Winding through the Cascade mountains northeast of Seattle is a wonderful road called the Mountain Loop Highway.  The still waters of a small lake found along this route provided an opportunity for an abstract study of an old log extending into the lake, surrounded by outrageously green snake grass.


St. Mary Lake Sunset, Glacier Nat'l Park

After a full day exploring the jaw-dropping scenery along the Going-To-The-Sun Highway in Glacier National Park, I finished the day from a popular overlook of  St. Mary Lake and Wild Goose Island as the last rays of fiery sun lit up the sky above the silhouette of towering peaks. 


Towering Forest in the Fog

The great forests of Washington are a constant inspiration to me, and here the fog added mystery to the usual majesty in the Olympic National Forest.  The distortion of converging lines caused by tilting the camera up can be easily corrected  with the view camera, but in this case it lends a sense of height and drama.


Tapestry of Rhododendron Leaves

Gardens in the spring are one of my favorite subjects.  Roaming the grounds of the Meerkerk Gardens  on Whidbey Island, I came across this lovely composition of fallen rhododendron petals scattered around the base of the tree.


Lone Rock Surfaces the Cascade River

Walking along the Cascade River in the North Cascades, I was fascinated by the pattern of moss-covered rocks under the water.  The lone rock breaking the surface made the shot as I waited for the wind to die down and give clarity to the view through the river's surface.


Springtime Thaw at Mount Rainier Nat'l Park

Mount Rainier National Park presents an amazing landscape any time of year, but I especially like the awakening of the lakes and streams in springtime.  Setting up my tripod as close as I dared to the edge of the melting snow pack, the green sculpted ice under the surface of Little Reflection Lake made for a compelling foreground against the backdrop of the mountain.


Tulips in a Pattern of Red and Green

Spring tulips prove irresistible to me and my camera, and this bunch captivated me as they formed a delightful pattern with the green grass blades shooting up through the flowers.


Rainier Shines Through Morning Fog

Working full time at my day job doesn't always leave much time for photography, so even though I had to be at work in Seattle by 8:30am the next day, I chose to make the 2 1/2 hour drive the night before to Chinook Pass on the east side of Mount Rainier, where I curled up in the seat of my car for a few hours of sleep before rising at 5am to prepare for this sunrise shot.  I set up where I hoped the mountain would show itself despite the heavy fog, and all the effort was more than rewarded as a glowing Mt. Rainier shone through the parting mist.   


Fall Leaves Circle Around River Rocks

On a crisp fall day I walked along the banks of the Tye River in Washington's Central Cascade mountains, eyes fixated on the ground before me as I marveled at the simple beauty of autumn leaves littering the river rocks.  This particular natural arrangement caught my eye and made for a pleasing composition.


Stately Branches in Fall Wardrobe

In the midst of the stunning city of Vancouver, British Columbia one can escape to a virtual wilderness at Stanley Park, and fall is my favorite time to catch all the glory and color of this magnificent area. 


Mountains Recede Into Sunset

I have gazed westwards into the Nisqually Valley southeast of Seattle many times from this viewpoint, but on this night the contrast of lovely pink light behind the layers of blue mountains made for a memorable sunset.

Note: For best viewing, set your monitor to High Color or True Color (Thousands or Millions of Colors on MacOS) and 1024x768 pixels. These images have been carefully prepared with a Gamma of 2.2 using the BruceRGB color space. This should work well with high-quality Windows monitors. If you are a MacOS user, set your Adobe Gamma control panel to "Windows Default" or, at the last resort, choose the sRGB calibrated profile in the Color section of your Monitors control panel.

Please note: All images featured in the Meditations on the Great Northwest showcase are Copyright ©Ross Martin, all rights reserved. These images are protected by U.S. and international copyright laws and may not be used or reproduced without permission. For licensing and usage information, or to order prints, please contact Ross Martin at

About the Exhibit: Meditations on the Great Northwest

Growing up in the Great Northwest of the United States, I have become enamored with the region's lushness, drama, color, power, and abundance.  This compelling landscape ranges from rugged crashing coastline to fertile green valleys to commanding high mountain peaks--and much, much more that I have yet to explore.  Meditations on the Great Northwest presents a sampling of this natural beauty that has caught my eye during the last two years as I have roamed the land with large-format 4x5 camera in hand, experiencing this precious natural beauty and capturing it on film to share with others.

As you view this gallery, my hope is that you will feel a sense of place, that these compositions will move your spirit  with awe and wonder at the beauty, majesty and glory revealed in nature--the handiwork of a great Artist, whose creative work I am privileged to experience and express.

To purchase framed prints of this portfolio please visit:
Ross Martin images
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About the Photographer: Ross Martin

Born in Washington state in 1965, Ross Martin's fascination with the landscape began at the age of twelve when he framed his first photographic composition through the lens of a $10 Kodak Instamatic camera while visiting the Grand Canyon.  Growing up in Washington, Idaho and Oregon had a profound influence on Ross
as he used a camera to explore the forests, creeks, mountains and coastlines of the Northwest.

After receiving his Bachelor Degree in Journalism from the University of Oregon in Eugene, Ross enjoyed a seven-year career as a staff photographer at a daily newspaper in Bend, Oregon, but his love for finding compositions in the landscape eventually led Ross to leave the newspaper business in search of an environment where he could pursue the craft of fine art landscape photography and make a living at the same time.  Discovering the wealth of jaw-dropping beauty near Seattle, Washington - Mt. Rainier, the North Cascades, the Olympic Peninsula, and many other special locations - Ross relocated to the Seattle area in 1999 and began photographing with the 4x5 format almost exclusively to better capture every nuance of the splendor of creation.

Fine art prints and more info available at

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