n October of 1997, my girlfriend Marj Hoye and I located
these trees while slowly driving the road that leads
to Tumalo Falls, near Bend, Oregon. Their orange color
spoke boldly, in contrast to the other aspens near by.
When we reached the trees, I tried composing an image
with no success. I knew there was something very special
there; however, I was not tuned in enough to see it
So, we decided to walk down the abandoned road and explore
some other trees, anticipating the possibility of coming
back. I saw some nice trees down the hill and even photographed
some aspen leaves lying beneath some of them.
After an hour Marj succumbed to the cold and returned
to the truck. But I was just getting warmed up, and
had experienced a beautiful shift in my perception.
I could clearly feel it was time to return to my original
location. In sharp contrast to my first attempt, as
I approached the orange trees I instantly saw the composition
of ‘Fall Talk.’ In an effortless series
of moves, I set up my camera and began photographing.
The sun had changed to a position directly behind the
trees, making the leaves glow luminous with light. The
conditions were perfect, and this time I was totally
tuned in to my environment. I clearly saw the subtle
nuances of shape, form, texture and color; and understood
why I was unable to see the image an hour earlier. I
exposed five sheets of film as a gentle mist fell. Soon,
my camera became too wet to continue. Feeling content
and somewhat damp, I returned home and bathed in the
profound depth of my experience.