Familiar ground

My friend Tim reminded me yesterday that I had to be “out there” in order to get images – and sometimes you even got one or two that really worked.  Went back out to familiar ground, the West Eugene wetlands, yesterday evening.  Saw clouds filling the sky with interesting patterns – thinking about a Joni Mitchell song.  The B&W image was early in the evening and the color image was just before heading home near sunset.

So nice to be out in cool autumn air with colorful sky.


on Landscape

I got word from Charlotte Britton at on-Landscpae e-magazine that the attached images are included in the current issue, #165


Very happy to have these shown.  Not sure you can view them without a subscription so I have attached them below with a little information on Steens Mountain.

Steens Mountain is an iconic part of the Oregon High Desert landscape. … Southeastern Oregon’s basalt flows underwent severe geological stress during the Pliocene Epoch, from 5.3 to 2.6 million years ago, expanding and compressing along north-to-south fault zones to create a basin-and-range terrain.  These Gorges start near the top (~9,700 feet) on the west facing slope and carry down into lower elevation. 

The first three were shot last September and the last image was shot the September before and Yes I am headed back this coming autumn.    If you click on an image you can get a much larger view on your screen.

Sunset near the top of Little Blitzen GorgeBig Indian GorgeKiger GorgeSunset over Fish Creek 


Out of the Smoke

After what was a miserable afternoon yesterday – heat, wind and smoke – the air started to settle toward the last hour before sunset.  I went out to Shorelane Park to see what the sunset would bring.  Sometimes horrible conditions can make for interesting light.  These two images were shot about 30 minutes apart – the 2nd one right before official sunset time.  Came home with a set of lenses that needed cleaning and a nose that needed blowing!!


“A Repeatable Miracle”

DeWitt Jones

Often referred to by landscape photographers as The Magic Hour it is roughly that half hour before and after official sunrise or sunset.   Magic images can be made at those times but not always.  Still a repeatable miracle just sometimes not as dramatic.

After having dinner in a new brewpub in Bend with four of my favorite people:  Tanner, Jenna, Thea and Riley I headed out looking for a sunset.  Initially I was going to go up to Sparks Lake and the Ray Atkeson Overlook but the haze and smoke building up against the mountains did not look promising.  Instead but mostly by mistake I went up Tumalo Creek and got there just as the sunset color and light was coming on.  The light at Tumalo Creek gave me hope for a sunset at Sparks but when I got on the right road and headed up into the mountains it was clear (no pun intended) that a sunset was not going to develop.

Leaving my motel early this morning (0430) I headed back to Sparks Lake with the hope of a sunrise full of color and drama.  I had hope when I shot the image below that the color would develop but it just did not come around – smoke and haze filled the scene as the morning light came up.  Oh Well, sure nice to be out and about in the mountains.   As always click for a larger view and I look forward to your comments.


Sunrise greetings

Flowers, a smile, the light in someone’s eye. A kind act, a helping hand, a moment of understanding. There are a thousand sunrises everyday if we have eyes to see them. 
                                                         – Dewitt Jones
The smoke from the wildfires around the State and in Northern California often times can make for some interesting images.  I went out early this morning hoping to find that I had the eyes to see what came along.  It was a quiet, sort of warm, morning gentle and full of subtle color.
A fellow drove past me and stopped to tell  me that that was smoke in the those fields and I had best get out of there.  He seemed a bit perturbed when I told him it was ground fog not smoke.  Drove off in a huff!!  Oh Well!!
Stay cool and enjoy.

Down to the Shore

… but without boats.  I went over to Florence and Cape Perpetua Scenic Area mostly to just get out of the heat and stale air that seems to enveloped the Valley.  It was so nice being in the cool marine air with clouds rafting over the hills and since I got there pretty early the traffic was light and I pretty much had the beach to myself.  I was looking for Thor’s Well and I think I found it but am not clear. May take another trip and a closer examination of maps.

However on the way back to the car over the rocky ground that lead to Thor’s Well  I found a simple ocean/shore view that I really liked.  This image was shot with a 10 ND filter mounted on a Canon 16-35mm wide angle lens stopped down to f22, long exposure smoothed out the waves and I converted to Black and White in PS.  Favorite image of the day.  I have a few more that I will post on FB.  Be sure to click on the image for what I think is a pleasing view and I welcome your comments.

Shotgun Creek

Shotgun Creek is a small stream near the town of Marcola east of Springfield and this time of year the low water, exposed bed material and dappled sunlight combine to make soft and gentle images.  There is a lot of vegetation along the banks and that can make for cluttered images so I spent time standing in the middle of the stream in my TEVA’s and shorts trying to focus on just sections that would convey what I was feeling thru what I was seeing.   I think of this type of image as an intimate landscape.

I have been rather sick the last week or so with a nasty summer cold so this was a real treat to get out and exercise my eyes and my lenses and let my mind engage with nature.

Any comments are, as usual, more than welcome and I hope to continue recovering and getting out more and more this coming week despite the heat.  Click on the image for a larger view.


Summer Doldrums

There are many references in sea going literature to being stranded in the Doldrums – very little movement and the protagonists wonder if they will ever move on – “all the boards did shrink”.  Such has been the case around here for a week or so and I have found little reason to head out with my camera – the sky was flat and featureless – looked like someone had ironed a sheet.  Kept myself occupied with exercise, lawn mowing, weeding, watering and cleaning my house – all of which needed doing.

To my surprise and delight yesterday afternoon the sky filled with some very interesting cloud formations.  I kept watching until evening and headed out to one of my favorite local spots to capture a sunset.   God Speak!  Me and a little golden lab spent time just enjoying the evening.  Finally his owner showed up in a panic to claim him and I loaded the car and headed for home.   Click on the image for a larger view and as always comments are more than welcome.

Intimate Landscape

“Solitude is the human condition in which I keep myself company.”
~Hannah Arendt

Went back and did some mining in a folder containing images from a trip last Winter thru the Warner and Pueblo mountains of southeastern Oregon.  I did this trip alone save for a few stops to visit some acquaintances along the way.  Ellen, John and Rose – thank you for the welcoming visits.

The image below is of a small stream along Highway 140 on the way from Lakeview to Adel, OR.   It was a lovely drive – little traffic, no radio or CD, and just the quiet of the morning filled the air.   It was very cold and had been for a few days and the stream was freezing over in places.  Morning light was just touching the streamside vegetation and was probably what drew my attention to the scene.  I have shot the grand landscapes such as the Tetons many times and will probably do so again but am more and more drawn to what I and others call Intimate Landscapes, this image is one such example.

I find that solitary shooting on such a morning is for me a big part of the essence of landscape photography.

I so look forward to another trip through these mountains – perhaps in the autumn (the color season) or again in the winter.  Comments are more than welcome.