Washington State’s Striking Beauty Through the Eyes of 7 Photographers

Photo Cascadia, a group of seven photographers focused on capturing striking landscapes, selected the collective’s 200 best photos showcasing the natural beauty of Washington State and compiled them into a printed book.

Erin Babnik, Sean Bagshaw, David Cobb, Adrian Klein, Kevin McNeal, Chip Phillips and Zach Schnepf are all photographers from the Cascadia area, also known as the Pacific Northwest. Each photographer has their own photography business, but the collective, now in its 13th year, comes together to pursue their shared interest in photographing landscapes and teaching others how to do it.

Cascadia Team Photo
Cascadia Team Photo

The idea for such a photographic community was inspired by the f/64 group, organized in the early 1930s. This collective included talented American photographers like Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Sonya Noskowiak and others.

“Beyond our contributions to the field of photography, we’re proud to have held together as a collective all these years, longer than the f/64 group and longer than any other photography group we’ve seen. form,” says Photo Cascadia. PetaPixel. “Our motto ‘Learn, Explore, Create’ has guided us in finding common ground in our group projects, and our very real friendships have further imbued the team with a rare and special synergy.”

From the camera to the printed book

With the landscape photography contribution of the collective in mind, the editor wood press approached the group with an invitation to create a book about Oregon. There hadn’t been another comprehensive photobook in decades, so the group was thrilled to produce the “Oregon My Oregon: Land of Natural Wonders” photobook in 2020.

Following the success of the book, the collective began work on a project which was discussed at the time as the next step in the series: Washington Evergreens. Collectively, the team already had a large portfolio spanning the DC landscape, but still had a few gaps to fill.

“Several areas of the state were not well represented in our archives, and it was clear to us that some of our old photos could be improved with further visits to familiar areas,” the collective explains. “After identifying these gaps and building a wish list, we divided regions for members to take special tours to maximize our final coverage of Washington’s many natural treasures.”

The photographers focused on capturing the photos they needed, while the editor took care of the curation. A big project like this brought the whole team together for a common cause which in this case was to pack up the backpacks and walk around the state because so much of the scenery is in the back -country.

“Adrian Klein and Zack Schnepf camped in the Enchantments area of ​​the North Cascades and were caught in an early season snow and ice storm,” the team recalled. “Returning to their vehicle the next day meant a steep descent over ice-covered rocks on the way down from Aasgard Pass.”

Not all trips were successful. For Sean Bagshaw and Cobb, none of the photos from their seven-day backpacking trip made it through. It didn’t dampen their spirits as they were able to backpack seven locations in seven days and enjoyed each other’s company in the backcountry.

“Adrian Klein had a water taxi drop him off at Sucia Island and Marine Park in the San Juan Islands with his five peanut butter and jelly sandwiches,” the group adds. “He walked over 30,000 steps in those 24 hours and spent a field day photographing this scenic spot, and some of those pictures are in the book.”

Overall, the project involved a lot of planning. Some lands were only accessible with the help of a Native American guide. Other times, the group had to carefully watch the weather forecast and the tides. Some parts of the land were also only open at certain times of the year, such as the Juniper Dunes Wilderness.

Promote the preservation of nature

After completing the extensive project, the group hopes the photobook will “highlight the wide variety of Washington State’s beautiful outdoor environments, hopefully instilling in our viewers a desire to deepen their connections with the State and with the entire Pacific Northwest region by extension.”

The book is just a brief overview of what the state has to offer visitors, travelers and photographers. In this spirit, the collective encourages readers to draw inspiration from the book to explore the region themselves.

“Most importantly, we hope readers will take the ephemeral nature of these wonderful places to heart and join in our efforts to conserve them. Many of the photographs in the book depict scenes that no longer exist for various reasons,” the group adds.

“Hopefully our book will help readers understand how lucky we are to have such a wealth of natural beauty in the region and what is at stake when making decisions that can have an irreversible impact on nature.”

“Washington Evergreen: Land of Natural Wonders” is available for pre-order. Other works by Photo Cascadia are available on the collective’s website.

Picture credits: Photos by Photo Cascadia.

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