Sometimes I think it's a good idea for people to remove ourselves from our normal routine/environment and go somewhere we have never been before. And once we get to this place that is unfamiliar to us, why not try doing something we've never done before. Our family had all been to Julian before, but we never had hiked any of the trails in the William Heise County Park, near the town of Julian in San Diego County.
6x6 pinholga pinhole self-portrait photo of my son Colin on my shoulders while on the Desert View trail in the William Heise County Park, near Julian, California
After wandering around the town of Julian, having a nice lunch followed by Julian pie and ice cream, we headed out of town for our hike. Since this was family time, I decided it was best to travel light, bringing only a water bottle and a small homemade pinholga pinhole camera, which fits perfectly in the pocket of my cargo shorts. I like how this camera is light, simple to use and great for creating spontaneous photos. We decided to hike the desert view trail, which is a 2.25 mile loop to the top and back. The trail starts by going though a forrest of beautiful old pine, oak and cedar trees, which is part of the Canyon Oak Trail. Once we got out of the trees the trail starts to head up hill opening up to reveal some great scenic views. At the time there was still snow on the trail so walking up and down the hill was a bit on the slippery side. After getting to Glen's View, which is at the top of the trail, we all stop to take a rest and have a snack and some water. It was at this time that I saw the tree pictured above and thought that it would make for an interesting photo. Whenever I create pinhole photos, I try to find interesting shapes that will take advantage of the large f-number that pinhole cameras have. A large f/stop means lots of depth of field and f-numbers over f/200 mean that subject matter in the foreground and background can both be in focus. My son wanted to be in the shot, so I thought, why not put the camera on the ground (I call that an Earth tripod), then put Colin on my shoulders, open the shutter, then let him down to close the shutter. Since we are both moving while the shutter was open (about a 10 second exposure), this caused motion blur, so the bushes in the foreground, the trunk and branches of the tree are the only things in focus.
Weeks later, after I finished the roll in my pinholga, I was inspecting the negatives on my lightbox and noticed an interesting composition which stood out from the rest of the frames. I liked how this photo of Colin, myself and the burnt tree all seemed to be fused together as one. Normally I don't like to take pictures of dead trees, but for some reason this tree called to me. In the past year as I've been hiking and running through the backcountry trails of San Diego County, and it saddens me to see all the trees which were burned by the recent SD fires. But maybe these burnt tree skeletons will remind us how special these once green tree friends are to all of us.
This image reminds me of the cycle of life. How life comes and goes. How life finds a way to unite to create new life. How life finds way to remind us how important it is to enjoy the time given to us and to share it with those who we love and call our family and friends.
--- ( sometimes we need to step out of the circle we're in ) --- so we can see what's inside. >>> make more --- negatives into a positives +++