Coastal Dunes

It  doesn’t have to be a great vista, though those are my favorites.
It can be a simple leaf or flower.
But when I allow myself to find peace in a landscape,
I begin to find it in myself as well.  

– Dewitt Jones

(These images are best viewed larger – click on the image)

Standing on top of a large dune in the Oregon Dunes Recreation area just south of Florence, OR I felt that peace that Dewitt found come over me – manifested by quiet and a certain intensity and concentration.

As I looked down at an expanse of sand punctuated with clumps of grass and tracked by previous visitors I began to compose images that turned out to be what I have come to call Natural Abstracts.  The morning light was soft still  enough to cast pastel colors on the sand and I spent time framing up shots that I hope present that soft gentle morning.

The movement of the sand and the play of the light sure do create visual interest and that is what I was going for in the above image.

The sun began to climb in the almost clear blue sky and I began to think in Black and White.   I think the texture, pattern and line found in the dunes can be really accentuated in B&W.  There is stand of wind blown trees along the top of the dunes that really help to set off the images and give one an idea of the scale of the dunes.  In their own way I love the simple direct manner of Black and White images.

After an hour or so the sound of motorcycle/dirt bikes was beginning to increase and it seemed that it was time to leave.  It was a much needed excursion after so much rain and cold weather.  Standing under clear blue sky, albeit a bit chilly, with wonderful dune patterns all around made my Sunday.

March snow

I am ready for Spring and all the color and abundance that comes with it but over the last 2 days the hills and even the Valley floor has been painted with fresh snow.  Taking one last opportunity to capture some of the drama that comes from fresh snow on the landscape I headed for Mt. Pisgah this morning following my workout.  Pretty much had the place to myself save for a couple of bundled up maintenance workers.

So nice to walk un-tracked paths.

I made my way up the hill crossing a snowy field with a icy bench at the head of it that just seemed to be waiting for Spring.  I am pretty sure there will be lots of flowers in this field in a month or so.

An aside:  One of these days I hope to remember to use the new equipment I purchase – recently bought a great set of gloves for cold, wet days designed specifically for photographers and of course left them in the car!!  Came to this realization with frozen hands about half way up the hill.  🙂

Click on the images to get a larger view and comments are always welcome.

English Contact

I received the following message last Thursday morning from James Wilsdon a professor at the University of Sheffield in England.  The image he requested and that I provided is shown below.  Very surprised by the request and glad to help in whatever small way with this project.  The URL for their network is: in case you are interested in what they are doing .  I am not sure where in the publication the image will be used when it is finalized but he indicates that it will be on the cover.


Dear Deigh,
Please forgive the email out of the blue, but I’m writing to see if it would be possible to purchase or license the use of one of your pictures for the cover of a report?
I’m an academic based at the University of Sheffield in the UK, and with colleagues, I’m about to publish a report called “Sustainability in Turbulent Times”, as the final output of a 3-year research network on the food-water-energy nexus (see
We came across your work, which is fantastic, and were particularly taken with this image which we would love to use for the cover image of our final publication, if that’s possible?
The report would have a relatively modest circulation – around 1000 hard copies and an online PDF on our site – and would be aimed mostly at an academic audience. Would it be possible to use or purchase the image for use in this way?
I’d be very grateful if you could let me know
With best wishes,
James Wilsdon
Professor of Research Policy
Director of Impact & Engagement
Faculty of Social Sciences
University of Sheffield

Bits of color

As with so many of you the last few days here in Eugene have been dreary and wet and so it was with some optimism and no rain that I put the camera in the car this morning.  On my way back from the gym I went past what I think was an oak stand draped in fog with bits of green fern adding much needed color to the scene.  Sometimes even simple little scenes like this add some joy to a dreary day.   Optimism sometimes pays off.  Click on the image for a larger view.

foggy_woodThis is a closer shot of the ferns adorning the bare trees.

oak_fernsIf you are getting this via FB and see only one shot you can go to my blog and see both images.


The photographic show, Emerging Artists, at Emerald Art Center on Friday evening was really fun and well attended. I think I talked more in that one evening than I do total in a month.  While fun it was tiring both physically – on my feet for 3 hours – and being ‘on’ is always an energy drain for us introverts.  I know that many people charge their batteries being active in groups like that but not me.  It is an energy drain and while I love doing it and being out there I recognize that in order to recover and recharge I need some time alone and in nature.  Such was the case last night.  The rain quit for a few days and while a spectacular sunset was not in the offing there did develop a soft almost pastel gentle evening.  I had the place to myself save for some rather large and noisy skeins of geese.

I watched this image develop over about 30 minutes until the sun sank into the far cloud bank – time to pack up and head for home – batteries recharged.


Bandon visit

From time to time I have come across comments by other photographers saying that Bandon is their favorite place to shoot on the Oregon Coast and I have to agree.  Shooting in a wonderful place is great but sharing it with my friend and fellow photographer, Susan Dimock made for a fun evening.  She and her husband Steve, another great photographer, own a delightful boutique motel, the La Kris Inn, ( in Bandon.  If you are the area I highly recommend you stay with them.

We arranged to meet at 4 PM and head out to Face Rock Wayside for an evening on the beach shooting the sunset.  What a treat for me.  There was a very low tide and some interesting clouds forming all of which, to me, indicated a good evening ahead.  We started at what is known as the Wizard’s Hat with about 40 minutes left before official sunset.


There were a number of other photographers on the beach and it was interesting to watch as we all jockeyed around looking for ‘The Shot’.  Watched one fellow, who had a Pentax medium format DSLR camera with a big lens on his tripod, lose that rig to the ocean – just a dunking not  a whole loss but it was painful to even watch.

After shooting all along the beach – heading north, we came to a spot where it seemed the evening light and the official sunset would come together with the sand and rocks on the beach.  Below is my attempt to capture that evening light on the wet rocks and sand.  Click for a larger view.


The following morning found me in the parking lot above the beach from the night before.  It was overcast so not much drama from the morning light, instead nice pastel colors.  This is a long exposure of 25 seconds at f10 and ISO of 800 – 16 mm lens. Yes it was pretty dark when I took this shot.  Love to hear the booming of the ocean against the rocks on a quiet, still morning.


Hope to get back to Bandon again soon – not that long a drive from Eugene.  If you want to see some of Steve and Susan’s work they both have pages on FB – Steve Dimock and Susan Dimock.  I recommend a viewing.

Comments are always welcome and while I have quit asking for travel companions please know that the door is always open.

22 and Sunny

It has been overcast and foggy here in the Willamette Valley for the last couple of days so I decided to go up and see if I could find some sun.  An friend of mine, Leigh, once told me “When in doubt go higher” and I have kept that advice close over the years.  Wise woman.

I went higher – up the Old Mckenzie Highway – and found a near pristine field with almost unmarked snow about 2 feet deep.  I knew there was a waterfall in the area that I wanted to shoot so I strapped on my snowshoes and headed out.  Graceful is not a term I would apply to my gate in snowshoes but certainly better than plunge stepping down a hill to the waterfall.  I have shot this waterfall before but with higher flows so the frozen landscape dropped the flow and I think added some interest.  (Just seemed better in Black and White.  Click for a larger view)  The image is called Cross Currents – obvious reasons.


I stumbled my way back up the hill to the field I first spotted and the following image presented itself.  Shady and 22 degrees – the sun did not add any warmth but did add some interest to the shot. What a great day to be out in the mountains.


An aside:  I did manage to get stuck in the snow/ice turning around on a forest road and had to dig myself out since I have been abandoned by my past faithful diggers.  I think I need to be more careful in the future.  Hee Hee

New Year – First Shots

Starting a new year by going to mountains adorned with fresh snow is about the best way I can think of to begin a new year and that is what I did this morning.  I guess you could say my heart is in the mountains.

Forecasters have been predicting snow for the Valley floor for the last few days but I decided to take matters in my own hands and go out and find some.  The mountains surrounding the Valley are all rimmed with fresh snow – ~1,500 seemed to be the snow line.

I headed out with the intention of shooting up the North Fork of the Middle Fork of the Willamette River upriver from the town of Westfir.  The image below was the first one I took this year – seemed to say Snow Clouds.


As expected the further upriver I went the deeper the snow got until I could tell I was pushing snow with the front of the car.  I was determined to get to a small stream – a tributary – that I had photographed in the autumn a few years back.  So much different now – dark and cold but still a riot of sound as it moved its way downstream.


For those prone to comments on composition I purposely left in that small twig at the bottom center of the image – I like the whimsy.

After getting turned around which was a bit of a challenge but I did not get stuck.  Did not have my trusty diggers Paula and Dave with me so was careful.  Glad for that Subaru 4 wheel drive.

As I slowly drove along the road headed back the scene below just seemed to beckon. I parked and wandered through about 12 inches of snow to find what I was looking for.


As always you can get a larger view by clicking on the image and I sure do welcome all of your comments.

Twenty Sixteen last image

It was very dark and right at freezing when I left the parking lot at Spencers Butte this morning and headed up the trail aiming for an end of the year sunrise shot from the top.  Hiking with my headlamp is always interesting – trail seems endless as portion after portion are illuminated.

The trail – steep and icy in spots – and the surrounding forest suffered a lot of damage from the recent ice storm but I have hand it to the city workers – it was cleared and in great shape.  It had been a while since I hiked to the top and I had forgotten that it is a substantial hike – both going up and especially coming down.  Hard on old knees.  Sure did substitute for a morning workout at the gym.

I set up and waited – was little damp with sweat from the hike and the wind picked up on the top so I got a bit chilled but it was worth the wait.


(This image is so much better if you click on it for a larger view.)

Consider this my New Years gift to all of you and I wish you a wonderful New Year.