Smoke and Sparks

Spent the last couple of days in the Bend/Sunriver area with my niece and her lovely family – catching up on what is happening in the family, hiking to a great waterfall, drinking beer and eating Fish Taco’s in the Bend Brewery and then for me an evening at Ray Atkeson Point overlooking Sparks Lake.  We had made a quick stop early in the day and I was delighted to see the little islands that are normally just green but lovely, decorated to the max with yellow flowers.  I have shot at this location numerous times and this is the first time I have seen those islands in bloom.  What a treat and I was very excited about coming back to shoot the sunset.

The whole area around Bend and Sunriver is thick with smoke from the nearby Whitewater fire and while I hoped that the smoke might provide evening color such was not the case.  There was one cloud hanging over the lake surface that offered some interest but the color never developed and 10 minutes after this shot was taken the whole area turned a thick, dull gray/brown.   The bands of yellow flowers made all the difference.

Being an eternal optimist I just ‘knew’ that the morning was going to be spectacular.  On site and hopeful at 0530 but ARGGGGH more smoke and very little definition in the sky.  Still the bands of flowers really helped.

Click on an image to get a larger screen view – they are better larger.  As always comments are more than welcome.


After weeks of getting up early to check on the possibility of a dramatic or even an interesting sunrise only to be greeted by empty blue sky and sizzling temperatures, this morning there was finally a sky worth going out for.  The heat down here seems to have broken after a few days above or near the 100 degree mark and I think most of the town is glad to see the temps moderate a bit.  But given it is summer I think we should expect some heat.

I set up this morning in a field near the new hospital and waited for the sun to pop over the far ridge. The first image below was taken about 20 minutes before official sunrise and it took a bit longer before the sun topped the ridge.  Color was just coming on and painting the clouds.  I have shot this scene in the past and these are certainly not the best images I have captured but it sure was nice to be behind the lens once again.

When the sun finally did make an appearance a light ground fog covered the meadow and I think helped to make for a more interesting image.

Click on either image to get a larger view on your monitor and as always comments are more than welcome.

An aside:  Wandered through the Eugene First Friday Art Walk last evening and saw the wonderful hanging sculptures created by Lillian Almeida that formed a backdrop on the music stage and then wandered into the Oregon Contemporary Theatre and got to watch the InstaBallet group work on a new dance that will be included in a ballet with the musical group Pink Martini.  It was great fun.  I hope you check them out and perhaps attend a performance.

Accepted Photographic Entry

I just received the following notice via Don Gustavson confirming my acceptance into the 2017 National Juried Photography Competition and Exhibition.

CaFÉ login: deighb
Image Name: Sentinal – Accepted


Deigh Bates:

July 25, 2017


Photography at the Emerald, Autumn Photography Exhibition Committee, is delighted to inform you that your entry(s) listed above has been accepted into our 2017 National Juried Photography Competition and Exhibition.

We hope you will be able to attend the Artist’s Awards Presentation and Reception on Friday evening, September 8th, 5:00 – 6:00 pm, at the Emerald Art Center, 500 Main St, Springfield, OR. Remember, this reception is to honor you – the artist, and allows the public to meet and greet the participants of the show. The People’s Choice Award is chosen by the public who visit Emerald Art Center during the month of September. The votes will be counted and the final award will be presented at the 2nd Friday Art Walk and Mayor’s Art Show Reception, October 13th. We hope to see you there. If you are unable to make it to the exhibition, you will still be able to view the show catalog on our web site after the conclusion of the show:

Again, congratulations, and we wish you the best of luck in the award selections.

Sentinel taken in Central Oregon near the John Day River is the Image that was selected and is shown below:

Very happy to be included in this National show.  Hope some of you can attend the reception.


… is a high quality thrice yearly magazine that displays the work of established and accomplished photographic artists.    The current issue highlights the work of Chuck Kimmerle who lives in Casper, WY.  The monograph, #10 in the series,  is in Black and White (which Chuck currently shoots almost exclusively)  – beautifully composed simple images of interior west landscapes.    It is certainly an inspiration and a motivation to me.  (

On the way to the Oregon Coast yesterday I passed an abandoned warehouse situated between the highway and the Siuslaw River near the map dot of Cushman.  I had to drive a bit down the road, turn around and come back to find a place to park that was somewhat safe and off the heavily traveled highway.  The access road was blocked with some serious sized rocks so I just walked in.  I love looking for abstract images in old and decaying buildings and this one presented me with lots of subjects.  I opted for Black and White image processing and really had that setting in mind when I took them.   There are 4 images below.  I wish I could say they even came close to the images in LensWork but I am grateful for inspiration.

The first image was a separated wall on one end of building that was brightly lit against the darkness of the interior of the warehouse.

The next image is of the struts holding the ceiling etc.  I was attracted to the pattern.

That roof does have a few holes – sort of decaying skylights.

Finally as I wandered about the building I just noticed a simple pipe against a corrugated steel wall that sort of stood out for me due to its simplicity.  You can click on any of the images for a larger view which I recommend and as always I welcome your comments. Thanks for looking.


Weather calling…

I have been in a bit of a creative slump and I am sure the dull blue sky we have had for days and days here in the Valley has added to that feeling.  The weather report was for clouds and possible rain on the Coast so after my workout I headed for Yachats and then up to Seal Rock.  Not expecting much but it was sure nice to get out and turn on the windshield wipers for a bit and focus the camera on a landscape.  As the day moved forward the front passed and while it was not great light – sort of flat – it was good enough to get me down to beach at Seal Rocks.  As I said the light was rather flat but a circular polarizing filter helped to bring out some detail and improve this image a bit.  This is a much different view of Seal Rocks than I have shot in the past.  Always experimenting.

One of the things I like a lot in this new era of photography is the abundance and variety of photographic papers that can be used on a good home printer.  I learned yesterday in some reading, about a paper called Awagami Kozo Select Natural Fine Art Inkjet Paper made by Epson.  According to the article it is a a hand made Japanese paper that will work in modern printers.  I am always up to try a new paper so I went on-line to B&H to see if I could find it and order a small amount for testing.  It has been back ordered. Drat! The article recommended simple not color rich images so I thought I would see what I could come up with while over at the Coast.  I will try the image below when I get the paper.

Hope you are all enjoying summer and as always Comments are welcome.

Briggs Hill morning

I have been a bit frustrated with the acres and acres of blue sky lately and thus in need of getting behind the viewfinder.  Mid-day light was just not doing it for me so I resolved to rise very early and get out into the hills south of town.  Official sunrise this morning was 0545 so in order to get out there and find a spot that I thought would capture the morning light just coming over the hills and also show a bit of the valley along Briggs Hill Road I left the house at 0430.  Perfect timing.  Found some fog in the valleys and low spots  – always adds some interest – and got to where I thought I had to be in order to get the image I was after.  I have read that the term for this sort of action/thought is pre visualization which seems to me to be a redundant term but the idea is getting an image in mind and going out with the hope of capturing it.

The image below is from the Briggs Hill Road area and was shot just after official sunrise.  I am happy with it and it met what I had in mind.

If we are connected here and on FB you undoubtedly have seen this image and if so I apologize for the duplication.  Comments are always welcome and if you click on the image you can get a larger view on your screen.



Morning Moon

Been a bit since I posted a new image and just wanted to share the one below with y’all.  (Sorry if some of you have already seen it on FB)  It was taken last Sunday morning at Fern Ridge reservoir west of Eugene.   We had a full moon in what seemed to me to be just the right position and I also happened to stumble into a position that worked as well.  We are in the Photographic Summer doldrums with day after day of blue sky so getting up early to capture the moon set was the strategy I employed. Perhaps the Oregon would be a more productive strategy,

The image was taken using a 6 stop Neutral Density filter mounted on my Canon 24-70 lens set at f 22.  I used the 6ND filter to take the chop off the water and get a nice smooth surface.  The image below has a simple mat design that I would use if I decide to ever print and frame it.   (You can get a larger view by clicking on the image.

Sweet Wednesday

With rain in the forecast for the next few days I talked Dave in to going with me for a morning shoot on Sweet Creek which is just 10 miles southeast of Mapleton, OR.  It is one of my favorite places to shoot in the Oregon Coast Range and is a short drive from Eugene.  I have photographed this stream in the winter, autumn and spring and they all have their charms.  Autumn is so colorful with painted  big maple leaves scattered along the stream edges.  Spring is a season of lush green and winter means high flows and stark vegetation. Today was lush.

Foot access is easy with a well maintained trail and some offshoots that lead down to the stream banks which in many places are bedrock and can be quite slick as we both found out, taking a tumble.  The flow today was about the best I have experienced in years of shooting these waterfalls.  Dave and I  stopped by last winter but the flow was extreme and was very difficult to photograph.

Leaving the parking lot you walk upstream and are met with a series of falls, pools and cascades all of which make for interesting shots.  The one below is the first one you come to and the succeeding ones were taken as we made our way upstream. (These images were all taken with a Canon 5D4 fitted with a 16-35mm wide angle lens equipped with a circular polarizer filter in order to cut the glare on the water.)

Just a short walk uphill and around a couple of curves you come to a streambank access trail that leads down to the channel bedrock.  Just doing that little bit of off trail walking allows for framing interesting shots.  IMHO

Up the trail we went to another small gnarly access trail and while you would think some embryo of discretion or simple common sense would have served us well but NO! – down the hill we went to again frame up what we hoped would be interesting shots.  The bedrock was steep, wet and slick in spots and we both took a spill.  I landed on my well padded butt which I am sure will be quite colorful tomorrow morning.  Dave went down also and I think damaged some camera gear, adding to the pain.

The image below is another in this series and is as far up the stream as we went.  There is a waterfall at the top that I do not find very interesting so with rising sunlight in a blue sky we headed downhill.

If you are looking for a beautiful and relatively easy walk I sure do recommend Sweet Creek and if you are in the mood it is an additional easy drive to Florence and the Coast.

As usual if you click on an image you can get a larger view.  I am grateful for any comment you wish to pass along.


Moon and Spirit

It was/is overcast and a bit moist this morning when I left the gym in time to hit the road at 0700 for a visit to set of waterfalls – Moon and Spirit – located up the Row River east of Cottage Grove on the Umpqua National Forest.  There was an article in the local paper a few days ago that got me interested in going back to revisit these beauties.  The last time I went into Spirit Falls there was snow on the trail and it made for tricky footing – today it was clear and well maintained but I think it got steeper since I last visited – hummm.  The waterfall drops into an almost grotto like setting and the greens of the vegetation on the surrounding cliffs really offset the water.

After a number of shots to assure myself that I had captured the grotto I concentrated on the detail and used a longer 70-200 mm lens to do that.  So much beauty to see if you look.

The hike out and UP was difficult especially with a camera backpack loaded with gear, lenses and a tripod.

The next stop was at Moon Falls. The walk in to the base was comparatively very easy.  What beauty.  Difficult to shoot – bottom in dark shade and the top open and relatively bright.  Took a lot of shots and a lot of processing to get it right.

Well I am sure I will have sore muscles tomorrow morning as I hobble my way back to exercise but this was a delightful trip that more than compensated for sore muscles.  It is barely over an hour from Eugene so not much driving for a couple of magic places.

Quiet Awareness

(If you are getting this on FB please swing over to my WordPress blog – link below – and click on the images to get a better view)

I hope all of you who are Mothers had a wonderful, connective and supportive day yesterday.  My own Mother passed over a few years back and as many of you mentioned in FB posts you miss and honor your Mother every day – me too, and I know my twin sister feels the same way and I am sure she was celebrated by her children and grand children.

“Whether in solitude, or in the company of like-minded friends, I owe some of my most fond and profound memories to these places and to my quiet adventures in them.”  Guy Tal

I got a wee tap on the noggin (thanks Mom) yesterday morning telling me that if I headed out into the mountains she may have left some treats for me and my camera.  All I needed to do was to be quiet and aware.  I headed up Willamette Pass and sure enough I came across this small stream tumbling down a cut bank – another one of those times when just noticing is not enough and turning around is required.   So much rain this year makes for images that are full of interest and in places I had never noticed before.

As I drove up Highway 58 fresh snow blanked the forest and meadows along the way.  I went over the top of Willamette Pass and stopped at Princess Creek CG which was closed. I hiked down thru the snow to the edge of Odell Lake.  The shot below is of Mt. Yoran and was taken with a 10 stop ND filter.

Past the Crescent Lake general store I turned off the LaPine cutoff and drove north on the Cascade Lakes Highway which I already knew was closed below Bachelor Ski area so I turned off and made my way toward Highway 97 and then into Bend. Along the way I crossed a major stream that runs between Crane Prairie and Wickiup Reservoirs and stopped to just explore not really expecting much but to my delight I found this natural abstract.  Seems like the log and its branches have formed a natural sieve and the water is very graceful, IMHO.

Looping back thru Bend and into Sisters for a quick visit with my friend Leslie and of course to pick up some Black Butte Gold coffee I snaked my way thru traffic to a planned stop at Olallie Creek CG only to be a bit disappointed with the condition of the dogwood blooms.  Still not full out and formed and probably will not be for a couple more weeks. There were a few areas and I did manage to get a of shot that I like – lights in the Forest.

I do love to have company when I am on the road shooting but there are some days when I want and need to be alone – almost a time of meditation – such was yesterday.  Hope I can connect with some others in the near future for a trip back to the woods and beyond.

As always comments are welcome and if you click on an image you can get a larger view.