Hanging out on the tip of Washington in a place called “Dismal Nitch” might sound depressing. However, according to the National Park Service, its name was derived from the journal of Capt. William Clark who referred to the site as a “Dismal Nitch” after being stuck there for 6 days in a storm waiting for supplies. For the Lewis and Clark expedition, it was the last miserable stop on the Columbia River between them and the Pacific ocean.
For us, it was a beautiful, sunny day that gave us great views of the Astoria-Megler Bridge, the Columbia River, and the mountains beyond. However, having driven over the ridiculously long bridge, stopped at Dismal Nitch, watched the pelicans diving after fish, and watched the sun start to sink lower in the sky, we decided it was time to start heading back towards Portland. We had one more stop in mind and we wanted to get there by dusk.
On the way back, I did some more “through the windows” shooting. I’m fairly certain there is some law of photography that starts with, “Thou shalt not do landscape photography from a moving vehicle.” Oh well, rules are made to be broken.
I know for sure there is some law of photography that says all photographers must at some point take a shot of themselves in a mirror. I’ve resisted for a really long time. But when I caught my reflection in the side-view mirror, my will power crumbled. Like being drawn into a black hole, I felt compelled to press the shutter button. Too bad I didn’t have try a slower shutter speed–it might have been interesting with the bridge blurred in the background.
Having captured some similar images of the bridge going the opposite direction, I found myself somewhat bored with today’s selection of photos. I decided to change them all to the sepia preset. I went a little wild with the orange tones in the first image–it evoked the idea of sunset for me.
The pairs of images are yet another semi-happy accident I wish I would have thought of when I was shooting because I would have shot them a little differently. Maybe with the road going left and then right or something.
Regardless of what I might have shot differently or whether I shot something similar before, there is still something evocative to me about looking down the road.
What is it about an empty road that seems so prophetic? My nomadic desires were suddenly reawakened by the sight. The possibilities promised by going somewhere new seemed irresistible. But on this day, the road didn’t lead to a place we hadn’t been before. Just like life, sometimes we drive in circles.