Row River revisit

I posted a couple of images last week of a step waterfall on Brice Creek in the Row River watershed and following a kind and thoughtful comment on one of the images  from my friend Bruce I said that I would love to get back up there with snow on the ground.  Snow is somewhat rare in the Valley but this morning as I looked out of the window at the gym it was snowing.  So Mother Nature called me on that one and I headed up the Row River.  There was about 3-4 inches of fresh snow on the road and the trail and it was just at freezing – made for easy walking and driving.

I did manage to get a couple of shots of that lovely step waterfall – not as dramatic as the one from my earlier trip but still OK.  Love that little drop.

Click for a larger view.




I have been reading a set of essays by Mary Oliver.  She is a favorite poet/author of mine and sadly just recently passed away.  I found this passage last evening and it seemed that the image below fit nicely with the writing.

“Come with me into the field of sunflowers is a better line than anything you will find in here, and the sunflowers themselves far more wonderful than any words about them”  (Mary Oliver – Upstream, 2016)


Row River wandering

I found that if one maintains a curious and creative mind, there are infinite compositions still waiting to be discovered.  Charlotte Gibb

I have photographed in the Row River watershed on many past occasions and the images are always different and pleasing in their own way.  Seasons, light and streamflow all contribute to unique compositions and today was no different.

It was still dark when I left home and the Valley was filled with dense fog.  At times fog can really add to compositions so I was hopeful for some shots that were highlighted with fog but as I drove up the Row River road the fog began to clear.  The image below was just along the highway near the town of Dorena.  First light just coming onto the river – silver flow.

Heading upriver I parked at the Cedar Creek CG and took the footbridge to the far side of the river and headed upstream on the river trail.  The trail has a lot of viewpoints and some big rock outcrops that allow you to get out for some – what I hope – good compositions.

The light was just beginning to fill up the canyon – I like to think it was great timing on my part but I am pretty sure luck and persistence had more to do with it.

I went up a little further for the next shot and managed to catch a bit of light on some hardwoods.

I hiked quite a bit further up the trail and have a few more images that seem to hold some promise so if they play out I will post them in a day or so.  I think another trip this autumn is called for – low water level and lots of color.   Click for a larger view on your screen.  Comments as always are more than welcome.


Surf’s UP

Don’t be thinking there is going to be any Beach Boys music associated with this post.  Surfing was not going to happen this morning at Shore Acres.  Yesterday the National Weather Service posted a High Surf advisory for the Oregon Coast and the Coos Bay surf report indicated that the BIG STUFF was coming in after 0900.  I got to Shore Acres about 0830 and it was windy and a bit rainy but nothing that would have me cowering in the car – that was yet to come.

The shots below are pretty much a time series.  The first one is looking north from the overview about 0900.

That black sky to the west was a real good indication of what was coming.  Along with just a few other photographers I shot here for about an hour and a half – pouring rain and really windy (65 mph gusts predicted but I don’t think it got that stiff but still enough to knock over my tripod at one point)

I like the receding surf draped over the rocks and the mist in the image below.

After a bit of time drying gear and warming me I went back out and the waves were in full tilt and breaking across a band of rock to create some interesting patterns in the waves.

I finally, about 1030. walked to the southern view from the overlook.  Lot’s of action in that direction as well.

I have photographed at Shore Acres a few times before but this set of breakers was very impressive.  Larger images – click on them – are so much better for viewing.

Image toning

Taken last autumn near the Malheur Field Station south of Burns. I had some guidance on toning this image from Walt O’Brien  Am still working on how to get this process right so that the image has the look of a Platinum/palladium print – very hard to duplicate the real process in Photoshop but worth a try.   Click for a larger view on your monitor.

Salt Creek Snow

Big storm came thru the West Coast on Saturday evening.  The remains were blowing thru the Cascades on Sunday morning as I drove up Willamette Pass.  I could see new  snow about !/2 way up the hills so was really looking forward to some fresh snow and simple scenes that can develop during those times.  Between the 2,000 and 3,000 foot level lite snow was hitting the windshield and above 3,000 feet the snow was coming down in earnest. So wonderful to see the mountains begin to fill up with snow.

Salt Creek Falls is normally the big attraction for those traveling up Highway 58 for a day in the mountains but right now I think the new snow tops it.  The one below is looking upstream – Salt Creek.  I got a few nice shots but nothing really good – just nice to be out and about.

The First Last Light

Spent the first evening of the new year at one of my favorite local spots hoping for a sunset.  I got one.  First shot was just as I walked up to the pond along the access path and my first reaction was “Oh Wow!:

The light was dropping and the color in the sky was coming on both over the water and in the adjacent field where the image below developed.

Moving back to the edge of the reservoir I watched the evening light come on.  I stayed until pretty much everything went flat and dull and walked out in the dark.  Love the sounds that come on during those times – bullfrogs and geese.

What a nice way to start a new year and I hope there are many more to come.  Click on the images for a larger view.  Comments are more than welcome.



My thanks to Perri Schelat for the tip to go out and do WMCAS – went to Golden Gardens a few mornings ago and took a few shots – I know I will take hundreds trying to get a good one but this is a start. Oh! What is WMCAS?? Waving My Camera Around at Shit. This one was taken handheld with a 6 stop ND filter and after a few tips from Perri I think I like this one pretty well.

Winter Etchings

“The thin snow now driving from the north and lodging on my coat consists of those beautiful star crystals . . . Nature full of genius, full of the divinity; so that not a snowflake escapes its fashioning hand” 

Henry David Thoreau

The forecast was for another rain front moving in yesterday albeit a bit colder than the preceding one.  On the lookout for snow I headed toward one of my favorite places to photograph – Clear Lake and Fish Lake.  I made an intermediate stop at Olallie CG to photograph in the old growth.  See yesterdays post.  It was spitting snow when I left the campground and headed up river.  When I got to Clear Lake the weather had morphed into a full on snow storm.  I went out on the dock at the resort – seriously snowing and blowing. (I think I could hear Elvis singing Blue Christmas)   Love being coated by snow.

By converting these images to Black and White I can almost get the look of an etching – the branches stark against the storm filled sky and I think it captures the cold really well.  (Not nearly as good as the work I see of print artists like my friends Heather and Mika.)

Four wheel drive on the road up the hill back to the highway and more snow on the road up to Fish Lake near Santiam Junction.  Another black and white winter etching below.

Time in the mountains, in the snow, with my camera is a real gift and yesterday felt like a day late Christmas present.  Click on the images for larger views.