In the Hall of Mosses
Olympic National Park, WA
Copyright 1998-2019 by Michael L. Anderson

date found:
Spring 1998
Pentax ME Super
Sigma zoom
Fujichrome Velvia
recommended enlargement size:
to be determined

As a photographer accustomed to hunting down the best locations, it is often difficult to abide by signs that say I can't wander off the trail. However, some areas have simply become so popular that to allow one person off the trail is to invite the hordes to stomp out a new trail, ruining the experience for all. This is especially true when there are others around to witness a photographer going off the trail. The tourons figure, "If Mr. Bigcamera can do it, so can I." And so it goes.

For a location such as the Hall of Mosses in the Hoh rain forest, this means that there are very few original compositions left. I thought I was being original taking this close-up of a fern and mossy tree trunks, but I saw the very same composition in the portfolios of one of the major national nature photographers, taken several years earlier.

But there is still some value in taking such seemingly common pictures: when I returned in November 2002, I could not find the fern, and I suspect it has been stomped out by wandering feet.