The place I feel the most at peace is inside a forest where the canopy is so thick that only little patches of sunshine break through. The forest is a magical place for me. Blowing wind and glittering light animates the landscape and make the forest feel like it is a living spirit deserves my reverence.
Northwest boreal forests are filled with evergreens such as cedar, pine, hemlock, and fir. The few deciduous in the forest are usually birch, aspen, and maples. Left untouched the trees grow so close together that they shield out the sun. At mid day when the light breaks through it is the leaves of the maple that light up and add a sparkle to the scene that is magical. The image above was made in Rainier National Park a couple of summers ago while out for a hike with my wife and friends.
Over the years I have come to recognize that the colors of the deep forest are the analogous colors of cyan, green, and yellow. Shade light is always cool in tone compared to the warmth of direct sunlight.
These analogous colors of blue, cyan, green, yellow-green, and yellow are the colors that represent the wonder and magic of the forest. If you look at a color will you will see that they are all adjacent to one another and that the warm tones are on the opposite side.
However, most photographs tend to miss the magic because the automatic white balance reads these cool tones and tries to neutralize them by warming up the cool tones and averaging everything to an equal amount of warm and cool tones. If a photographer isn’t careful they might miss out on making an image that captures the essence of the forest by simply following the technological rules that say everything should be zeroed out to a neutral value.
I prefer to hold on to the essence of the emotional experience by retaining the cool color as I experience it and in doing so I can learn the artistic alchemy for magic.