“Good inner guidance can avoid a lot of common excesses that tend to stymie creative development, such as relying too much on standard practice or becoming too dependent on limiting habits. One common habit that can be especially limiting in landscape photography is putting too much emphasis on locations and not enough on our relationships with them.”   Erin Babnik

I read a blog posting from Erin Babnik, a member of the PhotoCascadia group, yesterday over morning coffee and I certainly do agree with her above comment. Actually the whole article is worth reading — https://www.photocascadia.com/looking-beyond-locations-in-landscape-photography/

I think it is one of the main reasons I have avoided photography workshops –  “Place your tripod here and point your camera with these predetermined settings in that direction and you will get a great image of this iconic landscape”  Perhaps but…!!

With the weather changing last night after a few days of clear blue sky I headed for one of my favorite locations near Fern Ridge reservoir.  Windy and nice clouds coming along.  A harbinger of change coming over the Valley.  Also sort of like visiting an old friend.  My relationship with this area!  Home Ground!

The weather front was on its way and rain is even predicted for this afternoon.

Thanks for looking and I welcome your comments.


Small pond landscape

I hope this is the expressive image of serenity and quiet I was hoping to capture. Taken in a small pond along my route to the Oregon Outback. Certainly not the Grand Landscape, more of an intimate landscape — to find them you have to slow down and really look.  It was a nice way to start that trip. It is better as a larger view so click on the image if you care to.

Studio W/O Walls

Went to the Studio W/O Walls gathering last night in downtown Eugene and came across this set of walls with thoughts, wishes and comments filling walls set up by Cari Ingrassia – very fun. I took a few shots and sliced out some portions of those to make a composite. Almost an abstract – look close for the writing by clicking on the image.  Nice turnout last night.

A Simple shot

“Photography is more than a means of recording the obvious. It is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever, whether it be a face or a flower, a place or a thing, a day or a moment. The camera is a perfect companion. It makes no demands, imposes no obligations. It becomes your notebook and your reference library, your microscope and your telescope. It sees what you are too lazy or too careless to notice, and it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.” ~Aaron Siskind

Got the above quote via a Guy Tal post on FB and it just spoke to me. His work is really worth following.   https://guytal.blog/

Started this morning going thru images from the recent Oregon Outback trip along with some coffee and Rising Appalachia tunes. Shot this image on the road from Plush to Adel in the Oregon Outback.  Simple composition of a semi-desert landscape with the evening sun just nipping the tops of those trees.  Anybody know what those trees are called?

Thanks for looking and I welcome your comments

Sparks Lake View

I took this image a couple of years ago, 2017, in mid-August.  It was the summer of smoke and haze from all the wildfires that ran thru the forests of Oregon.  Sometimes odd conditions can make for interesting images.  The little yellow flowers on the islands were in bloom again this year but well past their prime – they were full on in the image below and added a lot to the image.

Click for a larger view.  Let me know what you think – comments welcome


Following a fun day with my niece and her family in Sunriver and Bend and an early dinner at the Bend Brewery I got some sweet goodbye hugs and headed for Sparks Lake aiming to shoot sunset over the South Sister from Ray Atkeson viewpoint.  As I drove up the road it did not look promising for an interesting evening but I did walk up to the viewpoint to confirm my initial impression.  Nothing much.

Went down to the meadows surrounding the lake and found what I had hoped for.

Looking South:  Buildup over Mt. Bachelor

I went back to the other end of that meadow and found this image:

Looking North:  South Sister and Broken Top with forming evening clouds.

Sometime it pays to look the opposite way – 180 degrees.   Be sure to click for larger views.


The Oregon Outback

The aim of a recent trip thru the Oregon Outback mostly on Highway 31 – the Fremont Highway – was to find places where “No Service” registered on my phone.  While there were not great long stretches with no cell phone service I did find quite a few and took the time to just settle and enjoy being there.  One such place was Fremont Point on the old Fremont National Forest.  Great open views and wonderful canyons and plateaus.   Many images to still work up from this portion of the drive.

I spent the night in Lakeview – the Tallest Town in Oregon at 4,799 feet elevation.  Spent the evening hours exploring the roads to Adel and Plush looking for aspen stands in the Warner Mountains – found a few but not what I wanted.  Still was a fun drive.  Did find some interesting compositions but they will take time to work up.

The next morning found me headed north toward Lake Abert which is the 3rd largest saline body of water in North America.  I was looking for morning light.

I think when the cell phone service is non-existent and there is a Red Tail Hawk on a fence post along the dirt road I turned on to and a coyote turd laying in the road beside the car where I parked one has found some solitude.  With the morning light across the water and the hills across the lake just starting to glow I knew I had found what I went for.  Headed back to Bend to meet my niece and her family – always a joy to spend time with them – but the hectic nature of Bend did come home.

I call the image below – Greetings. 

Be sure to click on the image to get a larger view – trust me it is worth it.  As always I welcome your comments.



Late Night view

I went up to Blanton Heights last night about 1130 and set up the camera with the intent of photographing the Delta Aquarid meteor shower.  The information I got was that last night was to be the peak of the display.  Alas I waited for about 3 hours with nary a meteor in site.  They did say that it would be better in the southern hemisphere but still I really thought there would be some.  I ended up taking a few shots of the Milky Way over the hills and while it is not blazing like it is in the high mountains it still nicely filled the night sky.  Home by 0300.

Next month is the Perseid Meteor shower and I intend to be up on Old Mckenzie Pass for that one.

Be sure to click for a larger view.


Quartz Creek

Took an early morning ramble up the Quartz Creek drainage.  The road parallels the stream and is a more or less a tie thru road from Mckenzie Pass, Hwy 126 to Willamette Pass, Hwy. 58 (Finn Rock to Westfir).  Since Forest Road 19 has been closed since last year due to the fires in the Terwilliger area and the adjacent rock slides it is nice to have an option.  I had never driven the Quartz Creek road so this was initially meant to be just a scouting trip.  It turned into a terrific Tuesday morning (that one was for you Cecelia) There are great locations for a sunrise or sunset shot from the top, a.k.a. the grand landscape.

The lower north side of the trip is punctuated with small tributaries to the main stem and form little intimate landscape images.  The first image below of of the main channel and the remaining two are of tribs.

With all the hardwood trees lining the stream banks I think a color season trip is now on the agenda.   Anybody want to go?

Click for larger views and I welcome your comments.

Intimate Landscapes

I have been reading/perusing Eliot Porter’s book Intimate Landscapes I love the way his eye saw things in the natural world that seem oblivious to others – I was one of those others for a long time and I am just experimenting with these compositions so please stay with me.

I took these images up in the Coburg Hills surrounding the Valley.  I think the patterns are very interesting – some young trees – leafed out, full of possibilities and some patriarchs – twisted, injured and weathered.

Thanks for looking.