My Favorite Photograph by Chance Keso

For any photographer choosing a favorite image is always a struggle. It feels like it’s the next one that will be the best, or it’s the one that missed and could never get out of your mind. For me, I keep looking back at a photograph I made in 2015 at a lake in the Olympic National Forest. A place that near and dear to me. I couldn’t tell you how much time I have spent in that forest over the years. I’ve come to know where almost every forest road leads to and where it ends.

Over year’s I began to fall in love with a small lake located there named Spider Lake. I’ve spent many nights camping near the lake. The lake is nestled right next to a Forest Service road but as you drive along you would almost never notice it. It’s set deep behind a massive row of evergreen trees. As you head down the road you will see a small pull off. High up in a tree there’s a small sign that reads Spider Lake. Once you park there is a trail that heads straight down the slope to the lake and proceeds around the entire lake weaving in out from the shore and through an ancient grove of cedars.

Throughout the days I have spent there I always woke up too late or wasn’t there for the one photo I always wanted to make. I woke up one morning early and saw a small layer of fog sitting on the lake, and the water was perfectly still. There was a perfect mirror reflection. I took a photo with my phone but I knew that wasn’t enough. Over the course of a few months, I kept going back to the lake hoping to see that again. Finally, on a mild winter afternoon around 4 pm, I was hiking along the lake and the fog was back. After so many attempts I was finally able to make the photograph I had been wanting to make for months.

Spider Lake, Olympic National Forest, Washington.

Spider Lake, Olympic National Forest, Washington.

Spring Break by Chance Keso

Jessica at the lower falls.

Jessica at the lower falls.

Spring break has come and gone. I’ve settled into my final quarter at Spokane Falls Community College. I’ve been working on getting my A.A.S. in Photography as some of you know. Though, this quarter is going to be a bit more difficult. At the end of my spring break I was doing some spring skiing. I took a very hard spill and ended up tearing a piece of my shoulder, again. This is now my fourth labral tear in my right shoulder. Upcoming is my fifth shoulder surgery. That’s definitely adding a little more of challenge to the quarter.

For the gram.

For the gram.

Over the break I returned to my hometown to spend some much needed time with old friends. I was able to spend most of that time in forests and get back to nature a little. Something I have not been doing enough of over in Spokane. Being back out in them added a little more spark to my creativity. Every time that I return to the forests around Western Washington it reminds me of why I fell in love with photography in the first place. There is something about those forests that always call me back.

Overall it was a good break from life in Spokane. Seeing good friends, making new friends, and spring skiing. What more could I ask for?

No place I’d rather be.

No place I’d rather be.

Deer Park Campground - ONP by Chance Keso

Nestled high in the Olympic Mountains is a truly magical place. The Deer Park Campground is a small campground on Blue Mountain, just outside of Port Angeles, Washington. The views from the campground and the summit are incredible. On my last trip there it was slightly different. It was foggy and rainy day. Typically you would see across to Vancouver Island and almost all the way to Seattle. Being up on top of the mountain in the rain was a very welcomed experience. Especially after all of the wildfire smoke that has been sitting across the North West lately. 

Foggy days from the summit. 

Around 14 sites are at the campground. With a few walk-in sites tucked away by the Three Forks Trail head parking area.

This last trip I took up the mountain was to do a little work for a brand. It was a nice little solo escape for a night. I pulled in around 1 PM and proceeded to set up camp for the night. Well, the little bit I have to set up for camp. 

Camp all set up.

This past trip in the rain made me realize I need an awning or a tarp for the rainy days. Probably a tarp..

The rainy days are always a nice change for shooting up there. I was looking forward to that. I've been in a creative rut lately and I felt like being back in one of my favorite places would be just what I needed. When it rains so many of the small plants on the mountain begin to sparkle in the light that casts across them. 

Just a short hike out from my campsite is a large open field where you can almost always find a group of deer wandering. I only saw two on my walk to here off in the fog. 

Just up from camp is perfect spot to sit and relax. I personally like to sit here and watch the clouds roll by. On a clear night its a perfect spot to stargaze. There is also perfect spots right next to your campsite to set up a hammock and spend the day relaxing. 

The fog makes for an incredible time to be at Blue Mountain. There is just something about the quiet stillness of the place that is something I have not experienced anywhere else. I always look forward to my time there. I can't wait to go back there.

In the meantime I have to head over to Spokane as I get ready for this next school year to start. I am heading over a little bit earlier than I normally would. I think it will allow me to take one last little trip before school starts. The tentative plan is to head down into Stanley, Idaho. Stay tuned..

A walk around the SFCC Campus by Chance Keso

The day started with arriving to school and heading to the classroom to hear my professor speak before heading off to take photographs around school. 

 After heading to class my professor spoke for a little while then sent us on our way go look for photos to make. For too long I have always focused on the big picture and this day I wanted to try to focus my attention to the smaller details around me..

One of the first photos I took was that of the snow with the rocks and one single leaf sitting there by itself. 

As I continued my walk I remember the art wall that is on campus. I have always really enjoyed it. Especially from a distance. For once I finally walked up to it and really looked it over and looking at the small details of the wall and the art on it. When I took a few photographs of it I wanted to try focus on the details and abstract qualities of it. 

Last but not least my personal favorite photo from the day showing the ice along one of the pathways of the campus. I personally liked this photo the most because I love the look of how ice forms in all different shapes and sizes, along with the reflections of the trees in it.