June snow

It was snowing heavily and near freezing yesterday on the access road to the Sparks Lake parking lot at the trail head leading down to the Ray Atkeson overview. As I readied my gear I heard voices which surprised me as it was 0545 and even though there were a number of vehicles in the parking lot I was not expecting company. Turned out it was a bunch of photographers from the Seattle area on a workshop lead by Randall J. Hodges who has a number of nice photographic galleries in the PNW. They had arrived at the overview before me and their advice was not to go down there. Oh well never been real good at taking that sort of advice and I figured it was worth a go.

You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take – Wayne Gretzky.

Went down the trail about 10 steps and the snow stopped until I got near the overview and then it started up in earnest. The lake was shrouded in mist and clouds and while there were periodic glimpses of the base of the South Sister the grand view was not to be had. The image below was one of the few I got that seemed to work.

After a couple of hours I decided to move on to the meadows down by the lake and highway. The meadows had big spots of yellow flowers that seemed to offer some hope so I spent a bit of time trying to find a composition that highlighted the meadows against Bachelor Butte but none came around. However, to my delight I turned around and the South Sister had unveiled. Fresh snow and blue sky but the scene said Black and White to me.

I went back to the access road and while the spur leading to the campground is gated I parked and walked in to the banks of Soda Creek. Made this image with a 10 stop ND filter which smoothed out the stream and fluffed up the clouds – about a 25 second exposure at f14, ISO 100. Within an hour the clouds rolled back in and the mountain view was lost.

I love this overview and I am hoping to get back up there later in the year. As always I love to have your comments.

Line and Pattern

“Beauty is everywhere – you just have to open your eyes.” Clyde Butcher

Spent part of yesterday morning walking along the banks of Crescent Creek in Central Oregon near the lake of the same name. The False hellebore was coming on all along the way. I love the patterns and the lines that develop in this wonderful plant and converting one of the images I took to Black and White I think helps to set off those patterns. Click on the image for a larger view.

Thinking East

I love going over to the High Desert. There are so many interesting things to point my camera at and the French Round Barn is certainly one of them. My friend Bruce McCammon and I stopped at the Round Barn on a trip thru the Malheur country a number of years ago and I made the image below. The barn was constructed in the way it was so that the ranch could train horses indoors during inclement weather, i.e., snow!! Perhaps this sort of image will give you a bit of an idea of life in the old and not so old West.

The image was stitched together from at least 4 separate images. Perhaps I will stop on my way back thru there is autumn. Comments are always welcome.


Most Landscape photographers acquaint themselves with the weather, be that for a local shoot or to prepare for an extended outing.  I am no different.  I noted that there was to be a clearing over the 3 Sisters on Tuesday after a cold front had moved into the area and fresh snow had been in the forecast.  I headed out for my favorite viewing area in the mountains just south of the town of Sisters.  When I arrived there were momentary bits of mountain peaking (no pun intended) thru the clouds but as soon as the top of one would show the others would be lost.  I waited for over 2 hours for the shot I wanted but it never really came around and the clouds just rolled in even thicker over the ridge top.

I decided to go down to to the Whychus Creek trail on a dirt road that I had never traveled.  It lead to a camping area and access to a very interesting portion of the stream.  I still have some images to look at and will certainly be back in the Color Season.

I decided to go back to the overview just to check and found to my delight the mountain view was mostly open.  So good to have patience and wait till nature gifts you.  Your comments are always welcome.


Backyard beauty

Was reading last evening on the back patio and noticed the setting sun glinting off the Calla Lily in the garden. Grabbed my camera and got the following two images.

I think I fixed the problem with not being able to look at images full screen when you click on them so if you are so inclined give it a go. Thanks for looking and I love having your comments.

The Magic continued

Drove up the Mckenzie River this morning early with the idea of capturing a few more shots of dogwood which is in bloom right now forming a corridor of light along the highway.   I did manage to find a couple of images that I think portray the beauty and simplicity of the blooms.  Lights shining under a dark forest.



Not sure how long they will last and if you decide to go the salvage logging continues apace in the area. Helicopters, loaders and lots of trucks.

Dogwood magic

On the road between here and there is a forest.  A pretty mundane forest, really.  But the interplay of springtime dogwoods scattered amongst the conifers is enchanting.  Steps from the road, freshly opened leaves appear almost as a flock of butterflies alighting on the bare branches to keep the flowers company.  Magic beckons.  Darcie Sternenberg

It was an overcast and drizzly morning with pockets of fog as I drove out to visit a spot next to an old cemetary that I vaguely remembered having dogwood in bloom this time of year.  I was inspired to go out there from an article and set of wonderful images by Darcie Sternenberg  http://www.DarcieSternenberg.com  in the latest issue of LensWork magazine.  Below is the magic I found this morning


Champion Creek

It was a very nice Spring morning driving up to and along Champion Creek, a tributary of Brice Creek, on the Umpqua National Forest.  We were initially headed for an old mining ghost town in the Bohemian mining district but there was a log across the road that stopped us before we got to the town site.  The Champion Creek road is really rough – basically chiseled out of the rock hillside and the roadbed is nothing more than hard rock in places.  The road pulls away from the stream and you find yourself driving thru massive old-growth timber with the stream down in a steep canyon. 

Prior to exiting the main road we stopped at Cabin Creek CG and the dogwood are in bloom!  This is one of my favorite mountain blooms.  They are just lights in the forest and while a bit scattered right now I am sure there will be more to come in the next week or so.


Heading up Champion Creek we came to a gorgeous waterfall. I do not know the name of this drop but it just fits into the landscape and since I am a sucker for waterfalls I had to stop.


My thanks to Chris for the location suggestion and the invitation. Comments as always are more than welcome.


By removing colour, we change how the viewer’s eyes see the photograph. No longer dependent upon colour cues, we must find our visual information in the physical characteristics of shape, form, texture and line.

Chuck Kimmerle

I was looking thru some images made early last March in Central Oregon and came across this one of a set of old buildings in the big open.  Shot this east of Burns on a back road near Crane Hot Springs.  As you can tell there was a storm coming and that night we got about 3 inches of snow in Burns.  Loved the conditions and the snow was dry enough to make for reasonable driving.  I welcome your comments.  Stay safe