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Cover: Glow tree, South Carolina, by William Jordan, IV, Field Contributor. Nikon D2Xs, Nikkor 28-70mm F2.8 lens, focal length 45mm, f/11 at 2 seconds, pattern metering mode, ISO equivalent 100.
Before the day begins, the day begins. The soft, rosy glow appears just as the first light of the new day breaks to the east. The air is dead still, the temperature hovers well below freezing, not a sound in the world, not a ripple in the water. The reddish, orange, purple glow gradually intensifies forming a thin blanket across the horizon. Silhouetted against the fiery dawn a lone tree bends seriously southwest from the pounding of frequent northeastern gales. As the sky-on-fire builds, magic fills the air. This brief early morning show lasts for ten minutes, fifteen minutes, sometimes only five. I cannot say at any point in time this is it; this is the best I will see today. I only know it has peaked once the fiery brilliance begins to wane. Is it the same in my life? Do I only know I have reached the mountain peak as I begin down the other side?
With the sun climbing higher, the soft morning light gives way on this cloudless day to harsh shadows and a distinct blue colorcast. The best light for color photography won’t return till dusk. This sun-drenched day turns to dusk. Scattered clouds begin to fill the western horizon while the South Carolina low country gratefully accepts a golden kiss from the waning sun. As high tide graced our sunrise, it now returns to fill the marshland and reflect the amber sway of the tallest reeds.
The sun sinks slowly southwestward increasingly diminished by the gathering storm; however, just before dropping out of sight, it emits one final burst of light illuminating the sky. This day has begun and now has ended, just as we who have already begun will someday end. Will we leave behind a reflection which beautifies the earth or will we end before we end? WJ IV
William’s web site is www.darkness-to-light.com.
Table of contents
12-16 Andean Adventures—II of II
18-20 Chasing the Storm of the Century
22-25 Mount St. Helens Blast Zone
26-28 Photo Ops Along the Zambezi Valley
30 The Pool
32-35 Diving & More in Southeast Alaska
36-37 The Eight-Legged Wolf
38-42 Sulawesi’s Special Critters
44-49 Waterfalls of Oregon
50-57 Long, Heavy and Fast—The 600mm Lens
58-70 Showcase of Images
84-87 Musing About the Creative Process
94-95 On the Threshold
102-103 Nature’s Artistic Compositions—IV of IV
104-108 Striking Gold in Alaska
7 From Our Neck of the Woods
71 Friends of Nature Photographer
80-81 Subscription Form, Back Issue Form and Web Site Information
82-83 The Other Side of Photography
96-101 Wild Brothers and Sisters
109 Index of Advertisers
110-112 Field Contributors
113 Loving Life by the Editors
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