Last Spring I purchased a roll of 36 exposure Fuji Velvia color slide film for my little Canon film camera.  I carry it around in my car and sometimes I am so glad to have it with me.  Using it just brings back memories – shooting, waiting for developing, getting a box of slides which you then look at on a light table with an eye loupe and hope you got one good picture. Then sending the slide off to be printed and with great anticipation – almost like Christmas – opening up the package containing the print – maybe you got it; maybe not.

Today was the day I got my film back – had it developed and scanned to a CD so that I could spend some time with the images in my digital darkroom.  For the most part I did not get much but there were two that I ended up liking.   The first one was taken just east of town – a sunrise.  I had just left the gym following my morning workout and noticed the sky beginning to light up – the only camera I had time to get and use was my film camera.  I know this would have been a different shot with a digital capture but it was still fun.


Last month I was without my digital camera for a couple of weeks and so to feed my addiction I went out to a path along the Mckenzie River near Armitage Park film camera in hand.  The fog was still clinging to the trees and there was a bit of autumn color hanging on.  A path to some where that surely needs exploring.


Comments are welcome.  {The camera is now loaded with B&W print film}

Cold Fall Creek Morning

“pictures can be a lot like poetry, allowing me to express myself without having to be declarative about it. So essentially my photographs are attempts to communicate, and nature provides me with a beautiful vocabulary of sorts.”    

Erin Babnik

I love that quote.  Found it in an interview with Erin Babnik, a Photo Cascadia member, whose work I find very creative and inspirational.  I often struggle to find the right words that convey what I felt when I took the images I share with y’all on this blog.  I think for the most part I am only marginally successful but with practice I hope to improve.

Dave Hill and I headed up nearby Fall Creek this morning – beautiful and close to home.  The road runs adjacent to the stream and crosses it in a few places.  Alas no snow but there was frost and in some places icy bridge crossings.  I guess the almost-for-sure snow forecast was a bit off.  It is still supposed to get very cold on Tuesday night so perhaps if there is some moisture snow will materialize.

To me there is a mix of the gentle and harsh in the winter landscape.  The bare trees adjacent to winter flow in the streams make for what some would consider a stark view but I see rest and recovery for some,  passing for others and the overall promise of spring growth held tight in the closed buds.  This first image is of Fall Creek taken from the bridge at Bedrock Canyon CG.


Walking back to the car on one of the stops I came across a small runoff pond in which the surrounding vegetation was reflected in the still water and a single cottonwood leaf was entrained in the icy surface. Made what I have come to call a natural abstract and the cold solitary nature of the leaf spoke to my mood.  {Probably was not real good company for Dave} This image is certainly one  of my favorite images from the outings this year.


Be sure to click on the images for a larger view and your comments are more than welcome.

Personal Favorites — 2016

Below are my personal favorite images for 2016.  Thanks for sharing this journey with me. The images are arranged somewhat in chronological order by month.  Not every month is represented and one or two have multiple selections.  Additionally I still have a month left in 2016 to gather an additional image or two if I am lucky.  If you click on an image you get a larger view and can operate the view as a slideshow.

Fresh Snow!!!

Headed up Willamette Pass this morning looking for fresh snow dropped from the overnight storm.  Along the way I stopped at what I thought would make a nice image of a waterfall that I could see from the highway.  Such was not the case as the trail I was hiking was perched way above the falls which were in a very deep canyon.  I hiked up what was called Lawyer Trail – not sure where they came up with that name – the trail crossed the stream feeding the waterfall and I stopped for this shot.lawyer_trail_creekI have shot so many Northwest streams but I find them all so unique and never seem to tire of being behind the lens with a cascade in front of me.

Moving up into the mountains I entered the Snow Zone, ~4,000 feet elevation.  Lots of fresh snow and access was still relatively easy.  Thanks to the plow operators for opening the road that lead down toward Salt Creek.  The image below may look like it is Black and White but it really is in color.

salt_cr_ab_fallsOn the hike back to the car I saw this relatively young tree draped in snow and watched over by some old growth guardians.  At least that is what I am choosing to believe.

forest_guardiansIt was so nice to be out in the snow again – gloves, warm hat and a down jacket – wonderful morning.

My Thanks…

As we approach the holiday season I just wanted to send out a Thank You to all of you who take the time to view and read this blog – much appreciated.  I especially want to thank Kirsten at Art Counselor, INC. and Kristina, Eric and Kendra at Framin Art Works for all the counsel and help in presenting my images in such a professional way.  They make me look good and I need a lot of help. Finally I want to thank Dave Hill for all the thoughtful comments made on this blog and in FB.  I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving and a wonderful Christmas.  I am so grateful for the beautiful world I am lucky to capture with my camera and I hope to go on a bit longer.

Hawking the weather over the last few days I noticed that a clearing window was predicted for last evening and I headed for one of my favorite spots close to town – the Eugene Wetlands.   When I got there – about 20 minutes before official sunset I was greeted with the image below.  I think the Magic Hour really does come around sometimes and I was fortunate enough to be there to shoot it.  wetlands_combo1After about 1/2 hour there was a slight break in the clouds near the distant mountains and the sun broke thru and lit up a bright lens of light on the glass smooth surface of the lake.  Not long after it was dark and I wandered back to the car and home — a happy camper.

wetlands_combo_lastI have been shooting with my new camera — A Canon 5D4 — and I simply love it.  I think the image quality is great.  As usual please click on the images for a larger view and comments are always welcome.

Final leaves

The leaves have pretty much dropped here in the Valley and thus the color has gone with it.   I went out this morning to Armitage Park along the Mckenzie River and spotted a stand of London Plane trees a.k.a. Sycamore that still held some beautiful color.  Decided on the drive back in to put up a time line – from glorious profusion of leaves and color to the last remaining bits as the older fallen leaves decayed.   Given the storm that is forecast for the next few days I think these hangers on will be gone – rebirth a few months away.

Click for a larger view and as always comments are welcome.


Last Trip

A group of fellow photographers had planned for a number of weeks to gather on Oct. 24 and spend the day shooting in the Cascades.  Unfortunately the 24th proved to be rather soggy and we opted to try to find another day that would work for all of us.   Sure hope that can still happen.

I headed out anyway this morning as dry sky was predicted.  I sort of thought we would be pushing the remains of the leaf color on the Old McKenzie Pass Scenic Highway.  True enough.  There is some remaining color at the lower elevations but after driving a few miles up the Old Highway there was nothing left but bare branches.  Rather disappointing.

I had arranged to meet my friend Leslie from Sisters up on the highway.  We stopped at the top to photograph the North and Middle Sister coated in fresh snow.  The light was very flat and I am not real happy with the image I got up there. After some time spent shooting in 35 degree temps with some light wind we moved east.

n_m_sister_sunburstLeslie had driven up the from Sisters and commented that the aspen trees in Cold Springs CG were really beautiful.  We loaded up the gear in the campground parking lot and hiked up the trail that runs along the stream that flows adjacent to the campground.  She was so right – the aspens were beautiful.  Stunning yellow against the white boles of these big aspens.

aspens_bole_leavesThis last image is my favorite of the outing.

Coffee at the Sisters Coffee Company and an easy drive home capped off the trip.

cold_springs_aspen_standClick for a larger view of these images on your screen and comments are more than welcome.

Coast Range autumn

The plan for the morning was to return to an area in the Coast Range that Dave and I had seen last summer and commented at the time that it held good potential for an autumn color shoot.  We headed out there this morning.  The leaf color has been coming on strong here in the Valley and we were sure that it carried into the hills.  Not to mention that there was morning fog in the weather forecast and that can always add interest to images.

We took Highway 36 toward the town of Deadwood and the first stop we came to was a crossing of a stream that ran along and across the highway.  Neither of us knew the name when we pulled over and geared up but a quick look at the ODOT signpost on the bridge told us it was the Long Tom river.  What I previously knew of the Long Tom was a slow moving and rather muddy stream that wandered through the farmlands west of Eugene and so to see this portion of it actually looking like a mountain stream was a bit of an eye opener.

We shot above and below the bridge and even bushwhacked down through the brush in a few spots.  It was a wonderful way to start a morning of shooting.  I have many more images to process but just thought I would share a few of the river and as always they look better if you give them a click to enlarge them on your screen.

long_tom_leaf_logThe one above was taken along the stream bank after some brush pounding.  I did not place any of those leaves on the log just in case you were wondering.

The image below is looking upstream and to me is simply peaceful which I think I needed in these turbulent times. long_tom_gentle_poolThe last image is looking downstream from along the bridge crossing and will give you an idea of how this stream does have a bit of a mountain stream character.  Pools and riffles.

long_tom_looking_downstreamComments are always welcome.

McKenzie Color

Woke this morning decidedly out of sorts but what brought me around rather quickly was coffee and the realization that I had a planned day in the mountains searching for color especially up the South Fork of the Mckenzie River.  The color is starting to come on here in Eugene so I was fairly certain that I would find great hues up-river.  The drive and views this time of year are amazing if you hit it right and I hit it right.  It is simply beautiful up there and I think it will hold for at least another week if not longer.

One of my favorite places to photograph along the river is Frissell Creek at the Frissell Crossing campground.  Today was perfect.  Morning light and low flows.  This first image was taken at the junction of two tributaries to the main Frissell Creek and should give you an idea of the abundant color.


After an hour or so I moved up the main road to an overview of Roaring River – a peek through the trees.  One of my favorite shots no matter the season.   A click on the image will give you a larger view.  Had a wonderful morning.  The roads were beginning to fill with traffic on my return so hopefully others are intent on seeing the westside Cascades in all their beauty.


Now for the RANT:  Seems like every stream I have walked in the past few weeks is littered with stacks of rocks – they seem to be everywhere.  I have no idea what they are for or what they mean but they are out of place.  I have walked hundreds of miles of stream and I can say I have never seen rocks from a streambed stacked like that.  It is out of place, certainly not natural and I do my best to knock them down.  Enough said from a cranky old guy.

Roadside presents

Over dinner in Burns, OR one evening I was reading an article about all of the tourist things that there are to see and experience in Harney County. The authors noted that if you wanted to see the sites you should be prepared to do a lot of driving.  True enough.  One does not want to leave Burns without a full tank of gas and while there are a few other spots on the back roads to fill up in case of need the establishments think highly of their product – be prepared.

One of the nice things about traveling across the desert and over the mountains are what I have come to call roadside bouquets.  The first image is far from the desert.  It was taken near the top of Santiam Pass at a spot I have been aware of and shot for some time and have never really scored a ‘good’ photograph.  Shot this one on Friday morning on my return to Eugene – overcast, soft light and no wind.

santiam_colorDriving across the desert, especially in the autumn, the rabbit brush and the bitter brush are all in bloom – yellows of various shades against the gray/green of the sage and the dead stalks of plants at the end of summer.  I found this small bouquet along the road between The Narrows and Frenchglen.  Rain had brightened the scene and really made for nice contrast.

desert_bouquet  Now to find some autumn color a bit closer to home – Eugene color is starting to come on.  As always click for a larger view and thanks for looking and reading.