ec-filson-01Elias Carlson is a 31 year old freelance photographer, graphic designer, and videographer from Seattle, Washington. He has a thing for mountains, road-trips, and his wife Theresa. He is easily distracted by moving water of any kind, especially the sort with fish in it. When he's not outdoors with a camera, he makes some pretty great things, for some pretty great companies using nothing but his mind and a MacBook Pro. Follow Elias on Instagram for more of his adventures. As a Western Washingtonian, born-and raised on the rainy side of the Cascade mountain range, Eastern Washington has always held a special allure for me. Over the years it's become synonymous with adventure, a place to escape to. I have yet to tire of the gradual transition from granite to canyon-land, green to gold, as I-90 slides down the Eastern side of the mountains. My eyes still wander eagerly across the landscape looking for familiar outlines against the horizon: coyote, red-tailed hawk, mule deer, and if I'm lucky that dapper little fellow the American Kestrel. It's country that's a little wilder, a little freer. I think that's what keeps me coming back. [gallery royalslider="4" ids="5785,5786,5787,5788,5789"]   I've never been one to pass up an adventure. So when my brother-in-law Josh invited me to join his father Tom, and their lab Rosie on an upland bird hunt near the Columbia River Gorge, I was all-in. I'll take any excuse to get outside with a camera, and I've never been bird hunting, so I was eager to see what all the fuss is about. The fact that we'd be camping out in Tom's VW Eurovan was just an added bonus for this road-trip junkie. [gallery royalslider="4" ids="5795,5790,5791,5792,5793,5794,5796,5797"]   Watching a trained dog at work is an incredible thing. The intelligence, tenacity, and endurance Rosie displayed is something I won't soon forget. It was clear she was in her element, completely absorbed in the hunt. During one short break I watched as she stretched out in the sand, muzzle flecked with blood from the lashes of a thousand branches, and one crotchety porcupine. Despite the wear and tear I swear she was smiling. [gallery royalslider="4" ids="5798,5799,5800,5801,5802,5803,5804"]   Tom has been taking Josh hunting since he was 12 years old. Their relationship is a joy to behold. At this point in their lives they're more like best friends than father and son. It was an honor to be included in what is clearly a special time for them. [gallery royalslider="4" ids="5806,5807,5808,5809,5810,5812,5813"]   After just one bird hunt, I think it's safe to say I get it. The beauty of the landscape. The gradually mounting tension as your dog locks in on a scent. The sharp smell of gunpowder. Even if you don't bag a bird, it's a great excuse to spend time in the wild. And the rush of a big rooster exploding from the brush should probably be classified as some kind of drug. It's electric. [gallery royalslider="4" ids="5814,5815,5816,5817,5818,5819,5820"]