Into the Storm

Left Monday morning with the idea of shooting for a few days in Central Oregon – I did not see this warning  (Forecasters say the strongest storm of the season so far will sweep Western Oregon and Southwest Washington on Monday night, prompting several warnings and watches across the region) but managed to get in one really nice day of shooting accompanied by my friend Leslie, around Smith Rocks and in the hills behind the town of Sisters.  The storm hit on Monday night and was in full blowout mode Tuesday morning.

We met Monday morning at the Sisters Coffee Company – how I manage to do without Black Butte Gold is beyond me – happy to restock my supply.  Headed up the road toward 3-Creeks Lake and made a stop along a small stream that was still rimmed with ice but showed off the nice morning colors.

One of the goals of this outing was a visit to Smith Rocks near the town of Terrabonne.  We took a different route into the State Park and stopped along the road at a small wetland adjacent to the Crooked River.  Large colorful cutbanks still in shadow and the heads of cattail just catching the light.

We spent time wandering around the trails at Smith Rocks – I have some images to work up and hopefully will post them later on.   Next stop was lunch in the Old Mill District of Bend and a stop at REI.  The smokestacks from the old mill were catching the light – probably as close to street photography as I get.

Following a great seafood lunch we were back on the road toward a hilltop that looks straight into the 3-Sisters.  The clouds were coming in fast and covering the hills – not really much to shoot.

Woke this morning to driving rain in Sisters and headed from home.  Drive back over the mountains was just wet and windy but relatively easy.  As always comments are welcome.


Brilliant morning

Sometimes leaving the gym at just the right time pays off with a sunrise that while it may only last a few minutes is worth the time spent east of town waiting in a frosty field in 23 degree weather.  Such was the case this morning.  I shot this image just after I arrived and got set up and was hopeful that the sky would get better as the sun came up but alas the sun just washed out the scene so I am sticking with this image.  Click for a larger screen view.

Simple fog

“One should not only photograph things for what they are but for what else they are.” – Minor White

It was foggy in the Valley this morning and it stretched up into the adjoining hills. I know that fog can add simplicity and interest to an image – something I have been trying to incorporate in my images with moderate success.  Had hope this morning that the fog would add to the images I came home with.

The first stop was at a local county park along the Mckenzie River.  I set up underneath the I-5 bridge and started looking for simple abstracts.  Found this one on a bridge piling.  It has such varied color and pattern and I think age helps to set it off.

Moving upriver I came across this lone mature tree emerging from the fog in a wide open field.  One of those classic images that a photographer is lucky enough to come across from time to time.  Probably could come up with a good story that matches my life for this one but it seems pretty obvious.

Comments are more than welcome.

Feels Like Home To Me

During my October trip to Steens Mountain I noticed a small dirt road branching from the main loupe road and decided to test out my new Subaru Forester in some real off road conditions.  BTW:  It did great.

As I got near the to top of a ridge I pulled off and walked down a side canyon and came across the image below.  Enough light to tint the tops of the aspen. It was almost dark when I got back to the main road but I think the area was worth exploring and when all the color is on it will be even more spectacular.

I love that country and it really does feel like a visit home when I am over there.  Click for a larger view

Beating the Rain

We have been bone dry for way too long.  Nothing but cloudless blue sky for what seems like weeks.  The weather forecast was for rain coming in Tuesday night late.  I went out to the wetlands to see if I could capture the incoming front.  Managed to get a couple of decent shots and I did find an egret huntin’ dinner!!

As you can tell we really need the rain.  The first image is just after I got to the waters’ edge and then the images progress to when the sun dropped into a thick cloud bank.

Fun having this egret for company

The sun dropped into that cloud bank a bit after I took this image and the evening photography session came to an end.

Comments are always welcome.

On Some Autumn Day

It was foggy and below freezing in the Valley this morning as I made my way out of town – destination Hult Lake in the Coast Range with a secondary goal of testing out a new lens.  I was hoping the fog would last up into the hills but alas it started to clear as I got near the turnoff for Horton.  Still the lake had nice strands of fog coming off the still surface and it was surrounded by bits of remaining autumn color.

After about an hour or so of shooting I drove out of the park and passed a small camping area that had two frigid looking campers huddled around a rather sickly fire – chilly morning.  A few feet down the road I came across a lovely old maple with her autumn leaves piled around her base – preparing for winter.

I love the color in these big leaf maples.

BTW:  The lens worked just fine – the leaf image was taken with it.

Comments are more than welcome


Mountains, Please

I have that sticker on the rear window of my Subaru and it really does express a time to time need I have.  I told a friend yesterday that given the choice between the beach or the mountains I would go to the mountains.  Tough choice and I am glad that Eugene is situated mid-way between my local mountains and the ocean beaches.  Today the mountains were calling and I headed out early.  Clouds were still hanging in the trees wet from recent rain but the remaining color of the hardwoods stood out in the morning darkness.

I drove up the McKenzie Scenic Highway and out of the corner of my eye I caught site of a small stream I had never noticed on that drive.  Loaded up and went down the hill.  Morning light just coming over the hill.

I welcome your comments and of course you can get a larger view by clicking on an image.

NFMF Willamette River

Time spent on a beautiful river surrounded by the vibrant colors of autumn is always something I enjoy and yesterday was one of those stellar days that make autumn so special, especially for photographers but really for everyone who takes the time to get out there.

The North Fork of the Middle Fork Willamette River joins the Middle Fork just west of the small town of Westfir.   I picked up my friend and fellow photographer, Tim Giraudier, a Westfir resident and we headed up river looking for photo ops.  We went up the road to what is called The Canyon.   It was early and the light had not come up just yet so we noted places for stops on the way back down the road.  There was one stop that we both were familiar with – a small stream cascading over a what I am sure was a rock slide from a storm event a number of years ago.  The boulders are now covered with moss making for very uneven walking.  The shot below is from that stop – looking upstream.

We both took the time to shoot looking down the small trib.  Not sure which image I like best.

Moving on we found an area that I had shot a number of years ago with Bruce McCammon and Dave Hill.  The colors were so much better than what I remembered – low water and great color.  Decided to call this image Aqua Oro.

Not sure how long the color will last – I think one good storm will take out most of the leaves so if you can get up there I would recommend it.

Click on the image for a larger view on your monitor and as always I welcome your comments.  I do have some more images that I plan to use in another post.




The Way Home

Decided to add a couple more images from my mountain trip last week for those I am not connected with on FB.  The first image is from a small Aspen stand just west of the town of Sisters, OR. 

The next stop was at Wizard Falls on the Metolius River near Camp Sherman.  What a beautiful river.

Finally the Subaru packed with gear for a mountain trip.