Holiday Wishes


On Some Autumn Day

It was foggy and below freezing in the Valley this morning as I made my way out of town – destination Hult Lake in the Coast Range with a secondary goal of testing out a new lens.  I was hoping the fog would last up into the hills but alas it started to clear as I got near the turnoff for Horton.  Still the lake had nice strands of fog coming off the still surface and it was surrounded by bits of remaining autumn color.

After about an hour or so of shooting I drove out of the park and passed a small camping area that had two frigid looking campers huddled around a rather sickly fire – chilly morning.  A few feet down the road I came across a lovely old maple with her autumn leaves piled around her base – preparing for winter.

I love the color in these big leaf maples.

BTW:  The lens worked just fine – the leaf image was taken with it.

Comments are more than welcome


Mountains, Please

I have that sticker on the rear window of my Subaru and it really does express a time to time need I have.  I told a friend yesterday that given the choice between the beach or the mountains I would go to the mountains.  Tough choice and I am glad that Eugene is situated mid-way between my local mountains and the ocean beaches.  Today the mountains were calling and I headed out early.  Clouds were still hanging in the trees wet from recent rain but the remaining color of the hardwoods stood out in the morning darkness.

I drove up the McKenzie Scenic Highway and out of the corner of my eye I caught site of a small stream I had never noticed on that drive.  Loaded up and went down the hill.  Morning light just coming over the hill.

I welcome your comments and of course you can get a larger view by clicking on an image.

NFMF Willamette River

Time spent on a beautiful river surrounded by the vibrant colors of autumn is always something I enjoy and yesterday was one of those stellar days that make autumn so special, especially for photographers but really for everyone who takes the time to get out there.

The North Fork of the Middle Fork Willamette River joins the Middle Fork just west of the small town of Westfir.   I picked up my friend and fellow photographer, Tim Giraudier, a Westfir resident and we headed up river looking for photo ops.  We went up the road to what is called The Canyon.   It was early and the light had not come up just yet so we noted places for stops on the way back down the road.  There was one stop that we both were familiar with – a small stream cascading over a what I am sure was a rock slide from a storm event a number of years ago.  The boulders are now covered with moss making for very uneven walking.  The shot below is from that stop – looking upstream.

We both took the time to shoot looking down the small trib.  Not sure which image I like best.

Moving on we found an area that I had shot a number of years ago with Bruce McCammon and Dave Hill.  The colors were so much better than what I remembered – low water and great color.  Decided to call this image Aqua Oro.

Not sure how long the color will last – I think one good storm will take out most of the leaves so if you can get up there I would recommend it.

Click on the image for a larger view on your monitor and as always I welcome your comments.  I do have some more images that I plan to use in another post.




The Way Home

Decided to add a couple more images from my mountain trip last week for those I am not connected with on FB.  The first image is from a small Aspen stand just west of the town of Sisters, OR. 

The next stop was at Wizard Falls on the Metolius River near Camp Sherman.  What a beautiful river.

Finally the Subaru packed with gear for a mountain trip.

Another day in the mountains

I left the Steens Mountain Resort at 0530 and headed back to the Overlook Rim hoping to be able to catch a sunrise across the Alvord Desert – looking up I could see a blanket of stars so my hopes were high.  However as I drove toward to the viewpoint the weather got progressively worse – clouds, wind and cold almost as bad as the night before.  I am not a quick learner but I did manage to convince myself to stay in the car.

Driving back down the road accompanied by bands of hunters who were also out and about looking for a different subject to shoot I decided to stop in an aspen stand at Jackman Park and found this group of lovely graceful dancers shaped by the wind and the snow over the years.  They remind me of a boojum tree but of course a different species in a different location.

Breakfast at the Frenchglen Inn was a welcome treat – coffee and french toast – humm!  I drove south hoping to find color along the Blitzen River on the south end of the Steens Mountain Loupe road.  It was not until I got high that I started to pick up any color and was glad the morning storm had cleared. .  The image below is of Big Indian Gorge.

I came down and went south for a quick visit with John Simpkins at Andrews.  Always fun to see John and Ella.  John is having a show of his phenomenal paintings in early November at the High Desert Museum and it will be up for four months – well worth a visit even if you cannot make the reception.



Autumn Color

“Every day a new picture is painted and framed, held up for half an hour, in such lights as the Great Artist chooses, and then withdrawn and the curtain falls.”

Henry David Thoreau

I had to laugh when I read the above – seems like Thoreau figured out The Magic Hour well before photographers of the modern bent.  His observation still works today and I think applies to the seasonal changes in color as well except over a longer period of time.

As I headed out early Tuesday morning the drive up the Mckenzie Pass Highway was spectacular – the color is just blazing and seemed to get better toward the junction with Highway 20.  I stopped at a location that I was sure held some great color – excited to be shooting it.  As I framed an image with my wide angle lens and pushed the button I got a message on the LCD screen saying there was a contact error and I needed to clean the lens contacts.  I did that (sort of) and managed to get a few images before the message showed up again.  ARGGGH!!  It was a portent of things to come.

Driving across the High Desert of Oregon is always a treat for me – classical music on the car stereo and almost no traffic save for another Subaru that hung with me all the way into Burns.  The open views are just spirit filling for me and with the beginnings of a weather front moving in it was very interesting.

Following lunch in Burns I headed south toward Frenchglen but first there was planned stop at the Malheur Field Station for a visit with my friend Rose who is the Station manager.  Alas we did not connect.  However on the way out I did notice this small group of dead or semi-dead trees along the road set against what was a sky full of a gathering storm.  Should have paid attention.  (The High Desert can be a tough place to make a living if you are a tree)

I planned to spend the night at the Steens Mountain Resort – a rather rustic set of trailers and campsites on the hill above the Blitzen River.  Nothing fancy but it met my needs.

Headed up the Steens Mountain loupe road hopefully to photograph autumn color and a sunset.  Prior to what I knew would be a good sunset location I went up to the Kiger Gorge overlook.  I noticed the wind picking up all afternoon and it was brutal when I got to the overlook.  Fighting the wind I went down to canyon edge and did manage to get the shot below despite some further camera issues.  The color in the Gorge was great and I think added some interest to the image.  What a magic place but the wind….

Next I went up to the Rim Overlook – not a good plan – the wind at the top – near 9,800 feet was extreme and even tho I parked so that the car offered some protection the minute I walked around the side of the car to get the camera out of the back I got swept off my feet.  Probably a combination of clumsiness and wind.   Took me by surprise.  Impossible to shoot – just not safe. Went back down to my planned sunset location.  There was not much left for color and the storm rather blew out sunset conditions.  You will notice the lack of colorful aspens in most of the Fish Creek gorge but I think there was still some interest left to photograph.  Perhaps wishful thinking on my part and you may disagree.

I went back up on the mountain the next morning but conditions were even worse – still windy and very cold – so headed back to Frenchglen for breakfast.  Next post will be from that day.

Please click on the images for a large screen view and as always I welcome your comments – good or bad.


Downtown Studios

Every 3rd Friday of each month during the spring and summer months the City holds an artist event in the downtown square called “Studio Without Walls”.  Print makers, painters, musicians, weavers and a nice gathering of people just drawing or watching.  This wonderful woman – below – was the model for the drawing circle.  Wonderful energy and a generous spirit.  She certainly attracted a covey of photographers.

I usually do not do Street Photography so was glad that I threw my camera over my shoulder when I decided to go to the event for an hour or so.  What fun!!

End of Summer

The last days of summer are upon us.  The days are getting more even and the mornings are chilly and the local apples are ripe and crisp.   Last night I went out to the wetlands, a place I love to photograph.  The sunset was colorful and just filled the sky.  This panorama was shot near official sunset – light dropping fast.  Click on the image for a larger view which I think helps.

Not sure what it is about mud but I found myself stuck in the mud along the bank and once again came home in need of a good rinse.


Coastal Storms

I was fortunate enough to spend Tuesday and Wednesday of this week with my sister and brother-in-law at the Canon Beach/Seaside area.  I decided to drive up the coastal highway from Eugene – slower for sure but I think much more interesting than just blasting my way up I-5 and then over to the coast.  Storms were predicted and they came about.  Lots of intense rain showers as I drove along but it cleared from time to time along the road and when we connected at Hug Point, just south of Canon Beach, it was relatively clear – nice building clouds and you could tell there were other bursts of rain in the future.  We packed up and headed for the beach.  What fun!  I was just drawn into photographing the beach and the hovering clouds.  Got so involved that I did not pay attention to the incoming tide and am grateful to my brother-in-law for the gentle nudge – “Let’s get out of here the tide is coming in”  Did a get a nice shot of the next incoming storm cloud against the headland.

We got settled in various motels and gathered for dinner at a local seafood restaurant in Seaside.  The plan for the evening was to go back south to Arcadia Beach just south of Canon Beach.  Such a different evening than the time I shot up there a couple of years ago.  The image below is my attempt to capture the next incoming storm cloud and I have say it was not more than 10 minutes before it unleashed a torrent of rain.

Thanks again Paul for the help getting body and camera off the beach in the driving rain.  We were both pretty soaked by the time we got to the car.  My sister had wisely headed back earlier and she stayed dry.

Back to a dry Seaside and a nice bottle of wine given to me by Dr. Heather Erickson of the CFC – sat on a nice deck and watched the last of the evening light disappear.

My goal the next morning was to drive to the small Washington coastal town of Ilwaco with the intent of photographing at Dead Man’s Cove.  I had seen an image created by David Brookover,  a few months back and was just motivated to get to the area.  I connected with a local maintenance worker who was so helpful.  His one statement to me about the access to the cove was that the trail while short was very steep.  NO KIDDING!!  Straight down in places and combined with the mud from the rain it was not easy going and coming back up was worse.  Mud, Mud, Mud – to the entertainment of people in the parking lot when I returned.  Whining aside Dead Man’s Cove is a magical place and I did come away with one good image.

The drive home necessitated a change of clothes in a gas station in Astoria.  I did stop in Portland to off load some money at ProPhoto Supply and then it was time to head home down the freeway.

As usual you can get a larger view of these images by clicking on them and comments are always welcome.  Prints, if desired are also available.