Philip Morgan Photography

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Trees

Windows With Tree Reflection, Diamond Heights District by philip_morgan_photography

My photographs are almost always about trees, even when they’re photographs of walls.

Window and Trees, Jack London’s Cottage Home, CA by philip_morgan_photography

This window was in the kitchen building at Jack London’s home in northern California.

Tree and Vineyard, Jack London State Park, CA by philip_morgan_photography

Abstracts

Meditating Shaman by philip_morgan_photography

This fine art print of Meditating Shaman evokes the mystery of nature’s hidden side. This photo construction is the result of mirroring a single image along the original image’s edge. The result is a double-surprise, with two lion’s heads flanking a mysterious meditator, which I have named Meditating Shaman in honor of the symbolic meditator’s fierce, bizzare appearance.

Other people see something different in this image, which is wonderful! Some see a Yoni in the central area, and still others see a vigorous swirl of purely spiritual energy.

While making the original exposure, I perceived neither the lion’s head or the latent possibility of using the image as part of a photo construction. Both symbolic elements surfaced in this photograph as the result of post-processing and a "what if"-inspired exploration of the image file.

Cape Kiwanda Num. 1, OR by philip_morgan_photography

Sometimes faces or humanoid forms appear in photographs I’ve made. When I say "appear", I mean I don’t notice them until well after I’ve made the photograph. I usually review my photographs right after making them, on the rear screen of the camera. But even so, I generally don’t see these humanoid appearances until later, when reviewing the pictures on my larger computer screen.

The big question, of course, is what does it mean to have a face emerge from a photograph of something like a piece of driftwood or a stone formation? Honestly, I’m not sure. I know it doesn’t mean that the tip of the food pyramid—humans—are somehow superior to the rest of the natural world. If anything, it’s a mirror pointed back at this human in the hope that he will see himself a little more in nature, even in something most would think lifeless, like a stone.

Water Figure Num. 2, Near Stella Falls, Tillamook County, OR by philip_morgan_photography

This photograph, near Stella Falls, Tillamook County, OR shows a beautiful form appearing in the moving water of a tributary to the Little Nestucca River. Whether it is a form we humans attach some symbolism to, I cannot say, but it is evocative!

Water Figure Num. 1, Near Stella Falls, Tillamook County, OR by philip_morgan_photography

The fine art print of Water Figure Num. 1, Near Stella Falls, Tillamook County, OR shows a ghostly figure appearing for just an instant in a tributary to the Little Nestucca River.

It’s a mystery to me why humanoid forms sometimes appear in my photographs, even with very diverse subject matter. I’m always pleased when they do, partly because it reminds me how the ages have fine-tuned the human perceptual apparatus to discern humanoid faces and bodies everywhere they might possibly be—even in a rapidly flowing section of a stream—and partly because the appearance of these forms suggests an profound aliveness in nature and an equality with the place in the world humans usually claim only for themselves.

Wooden Crone Num. 2, Neskowin, OR by philip_morgan_photography

You can probably guess that Wooden Crone Num. 1 was the real surprise here, and it was. Wooden Crone Num. 2 was a second go at the same image, this time with better technique, better equipment, and (hopefully) a refined vision of what the picture is about.

This image wasn’t fully realized until after I’d started working with the image in postprocessing. What emerged from that process was a delightful surprise in the form the a symbolic Crone, hidden in the weathered driftwood.

Window and Trees, Jack London’s Cottage Home, CA by philip_morgan_photography

This window was in the kitchen building at Jack London’s home in northern California.

Framed Photograph, Jack London’s Cottage Home, CA by philip_morgan_photography

Jack London’s affection for South Pacific memorobelia is visible in the woven mats that were used to decorate the walls in his cottage’s hallway. I like how this framed photograph seems to cooporate by wrinkling up in sympathy for the humidity of the South Pacific.

Figurine and Sign, House of Happy Halls, Jack London State Park, CA by philip_morgan_photography

Landscapes

Moonrise Num. 2 Over the Nestucca River Valley by philip_morgan_photography

Part of the magic of living in a rural area is seeing the comingling of landscape, weather, and astronomy on a regular basis. This image—the best of many variations—shows the momentarily perfect balance of clouds illuminated by the setting sun, full moon halted in its rising arc over the hills to the east of the Nestucca River, and nearby trees (and power wires, if you look closely!) sliding into twilight.

Moments like this one are reminders that we occupy a constantly-changing dynamic balance, each event gently resting like a leaf on the overlapping waveforms of waxing future and waning past.

Clouds Over Lake McDonald, Glacier NP by philip_morgan_photography

While not as dramatic as some lenticular clouds, I was there with my camera ready when this one formed, so it’s special! (at least to me)

If you’ve ever visited Glacier National Park, you know that Lake McDonald, while often choked with tourists, is an amazing place. The deep blue glacier-fed lake is both calming and energizing, depending on the weather and time of day. This fine art print shows this majestic lake at its changeful best!

Highway 101 Fence by philip_morgan_photography

Cape Kiwanda Num. 5, OR by philip_morgan_photography

The incoming tide at Cape Kiwanda around sunset.

Cape Kiwanda Num. 2, OR by philip_morgan_photography

This photograph was made around sunset. The female figure in this picture stepped into my lenses view well after my camera was planted on the tripod. She snapped a few photographs with her phone’s camera, and in so doing she became the still, calm, observant center point of a very liquid, dynamic moment.

Cape Kiwanda Num. 4, OR by philip_morgan_photography

The incoming tide at Cape Kiwanda around sunset.

Cape Kiwanda Num. 3, OR by philip_morgan_photography

The incoming tide at Cape Kiwanda around sunset.

Water and Stone, Near Stella Falls, Tillamook County, OR by philip_morgan_photography

The fine art print of Water and Stone, Near Stella Falls, Tillamook County, OR shows a slice of a tributary to the Little Nestucca as it rushes past this still stone. The contrast of moving and still, ephemeral and ancient suffuses the Oregon Coast, making it an ever-interesting place to live and work.

Munson Creek Num. 2, Tillamook County, OR by philip_morgan_photography

This photograph was made at the base of Munson Creek Falls in Tillamook County, OR.

Munson Creek Num. 1, Tillamook County, OR by philip_morgan_photography

This photograph illustrates the gentle, glowing beauty of this Western Oregon waterway after it plummets almost 300 feet down in a surprisingly magnificent waterfall located in Tillamook County, Oregon.

Tree Num. 3, Near the Siuslaw National Forest, OR by philip_morgan_photography

This photograph, near the Siuslaw National Forest, OR shows this tree’s living skin of moss backlit in the mid-morning sun.

Tree Num. 2, Near the Siuslaw National Forest, OR by philip_morgan_photography

Tillamook County periodically uses a tractor brush-cutter to cut back the growth that is continually encroaching on the county’s rural roads. While the process is full of spinning sharp blades, diesel exhaust, and imprecision, the result in this case was a sort of cross section of this beautiful tree that seemed almost precise.

To me, the heart of the tree came into view as a result of the brush-cutter’s touch. Being periodically cut down by life’s brush-cutter has brought my own heart into better view, and that must be why I love this image.

Rock Num. 1, Neskowin, OR by philip_morgan_photography

This rock lies at the foot of a sea stack that is only submerged during high tide. The tiny shells that cover much of this rock feel to me like a living, irridescent skin.

Confluence of Elk Creek and Wilson River, OR by philip_morgan_photography

This is only a pale representation of the thundering chi of this magnificent place in the Tillamook National Forest.

Tree Num. 1, Near the Siuslaw National Forest, OR by philip_morgan_photography

One midsummer evening while walking my red heeler Malcolm, this tree called to me loud and clear that it was ready for its portrait sitting. Some weeks before, I had imagined that with her sweeping, graceful boughs and silverey bark she might make a good portrait subject. And so with the light finally right and the invitation extended, I ran to get my camera and tripod out.

The portrait session went quickly; just three framing variations. Somewhat surprisingly, a vertical camera orientation turned out to be wrong while this horizontal composition did the best job of showing this tree’s lively, dancing, playful lines.

Seascape Num. 2, Oceanside, OR by philip_morgan_photography

Two overlapping wavefronts from the incoming tide.

Seascape Num. 1, Oceanside, OR by philip_morgan_photography

It’s like this much of the year at the Oregon coast! Heavy grey, overcast skies energized by the endless in and out movement of the Pacific Ocean. This print shows the ocean at high tide near Oceanside, OR.

Wood and New Growth, Siuslaw National Forest by philip_morgan_photography

The fine art print of Wood and New Growth, Siuslaw National Forest, OR illustrates the kind of exquisite contrast found almost everywhere in western Oregon.