The winter sun is low in the Seattle sky, casting long still shadows with dry, shimmering highlights (see how the blades of grass and the tips of the bare branches glisten). Capturing these ancient trunks in the rare winter sun and in the winter of their lives, as it happens, is a gift, especially for all the memories spent among them over summers past. I also enjoy seeing these trees — so famous for their verdance and their champagne shades of pink — stripped to the raw form in black and white.
The contrast with the built structures behind is overt and that pleases me, too. For me, the meaning of art suffers with obscurity. I'd much rather find depth in what is simple and direct. I will be chasing that forever.
Photo-speak: I wanted to emphasize this effect (focusing on the trunks) with a close crop by shooting with a mid-range lens (probably a 50 and an 85). The exchange is that in this middle length, which is better suited for separating the subject, I start to lose depth of field, especially at hand-held shutter speeds or on slower film like the Delta 100 above (notice the blurred background—an 85mm at its happiest). Although bokeh like this can be lovely, I think images in full focus are more difficult to compose and ultimately, more interesting. With the Tri-X 400 (below) I did my best by sacrificing what I could in the front. A tripod, as always, would have helped! (Longer exposures / larger f-stops / greater DOF.)