This past summer seems to have been filled with heat, smoke, closed roads and horrible fire news headlines. I have to admit to being a bit down due to those conditions and wishing for rain that finally showed up in small quantities but we need more. All of this seemed to push me into a rather lethargic state.
I recently read an article by Erin Babnik a PhotoCascadia member, in which she talked about finding oneself in a creative cul-de-sac and I could really relate. I know that cul-se-sacs are not totally closed – there is a way out and I realized that photographing my way out was the equivalent of pointing a car in the right direction and going forward. Early escape schemes involved some local trips and a still life shoot or two but it was not until I started planning my yearly autumn outing to Steens Mountain that I really started to feel creative again. Thinking of shots I wanted and where to get them. Last year at the time of the Equinox the aspen leaf colors were amazing and while I know that one cannot expect the same conditions from year to year I still had hope. I sent out an itinerary I had drafted to a number of folks and finally got a commitment.
We left last Sunday morning, checked into a motel in Burns, got a SUBWAY for dinner and head up the mountain. The top of the mountain had 4-6 inches of fresh snow above the 9,000 foot level. Sally Hill had told me a week or so ago that the color at Jackman Park was minimal but I hoped that some cold weather and snow mite bring out the color. T’was not to be.
We headed up a very wash-board road to near the head of Little Blitzen Gorge, parked and headed down thru the sage looking for a location for a sunset shot (below). It is a beautiful place and despite the cold and wind I found myself getting lost in the composition. Click on the image for a larger view on your screen.
We started early next morning aiming for a sunrise from Buena Vista overlook. I will write more tomorrow about the 2nd day.