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.