Winter Morning, Willapa River, Washington, 2021

Winter Morning, Willapa River, Washington, 2021

It was a chilly winter morning, with temperatures hovering around the freezing mark. A great morning to stay warm inside and drink my coffee. Yet staying indoors, cozy in my house, provided no opportunity for a good landscape photo.

The weather forecast predicted overcast skies over most of the Washington coast. Not ideal for capturing the golden hour light. With that in mind, my plan was to stay local to my home in South Bend for the morning photoshoot.

While drinking my morning coffee, I stepped outside to check the weather conditions. The skies were dark and overcast. Luckily, there was a sliver of clear skies to the east from where the sun would rise.

With the hope that the gap in the clouds would last a little while past sunrise, I set off chasing the light for an image. I didn't have to travel far from my house before finding golden light along the river. 

Like many coastal rivers, tides have an influence on the water levels. When possible, I like to take my photographs within a few hours, on either side, of high tide. Otherwise, there is often more mud than water, usually not pleasing to the viewer's eye. 

Arriving at a local boat launch along the Willapa River, I made my way down the frozen (and slippery as I found out) dock. I set up my camera to capture the river's tree-lined bank, bathed in the morning sunlight.  

The surface of the river was like a mirror, reflecting the sky's color and sunlit trees. Making for a very memorable morning.