More Winter

Wednesday morning found me in Burns with about 3 inches of fresh dry snow and temps in the low 20’s.  It was so easy to drive in those conditions with the exception of the clouds of snow dust raised by the big rigs as they blasted down Highway 20 towards Bend.  I stopped a number of times – put up a few images on FB that reminded me of Mika’s new work – she is always an inspiration.

I stopped in Sisters for breakfast and then joined the caravan headed west.  When I got to the Camp Sherman interchange I explored a little looking for a stand of the beautiful Ponderosa Pines in that area and hoping they would be cloaked in snow.  Sure enough it turned into what I think was an easy task.  This image seems to open a path into the snowy woods especially if you click on it to get a larger view.

Over the pass in another long caravan of cars, SUV’s and big rigs but things moved well and ODOT did a good job of maintaining them.

I have shot reflections on Trailbridge reservoir in the past in Spring, Summer and Autumn but not Winter.  They are always so different but this one is really different and is close to my favorite.

Nice to be home and I look forward to hearing your thoughts on these images and the ones from the whole trip.  Still mite find some more so be warned.


A Winter Excursion

(If you are receiving this on FB I hope you can take the time to go over and view the whole post.  Petroglyph image!!)

From the time I crossed over Willamette Pass on Monday morning to this Thursday morning in Eugene I did not experience temperatures above freezing.  Those conditions made for wonderful photographic opportunities as I made my way east and south and I hope this post conveys the beauty of winter and the cold.

First day goal was Lakeview, OR with stops along the way especially a quick one at PLAYA at Summer Lake (  Met the new director, Ellen Waterston and just got to experience once again the overwhelming sense of solitude and serenity that pervades that facility.  This place is wonderful no matter the time of year but for me winter was magic – perhaps because it was my first time over there in this season.

The landscape along the Fremont Highway past Fort Rock in winter is a minimalist photographers dream.  It is so open and bare with rows of leafless trees punctuating the land.  Made it seem even more enchanting.

PLAYA  at Summer Lake is about 80 miles from the turnoff of Hwy. 97 south of LaPine and as I drove along I kept seeing these small streams – mostly frozen and rimmed and patterned with fresh snow.  Finally stopped at two or three of them and I did  manage to get one nice image.  Actually there are some others waiting their turn for processing.

I was looking for Native American petroglyphs and did manage to find some the next day — keep reading.

I had never been to Lakeview and found it to be like so many small rather isolated towns in the interior west – a bit run down in spots but overall nice people who were very welcoming.  The weather prediction for the evening ranged from 9 to -1.  I went to the local Les Schwab tire store and had my antifreeze checked.  Good to go.

It was 10 the next morning and following a nice breakfast at a local cafe I headed into the mountains – more of a discovery type trip as I had never traversed the Warner Mountains or northern Nevada and the Pueblo Mountains.  There are many places along the route east to Adel that offered so many shots.  A rather – at least for this country – large stream was at the margin of freezing over in the 6 degree temperatures and the remaining pools were just catching the morning light.

Friends had told me of a location east of Adel along Geaser Reservoir where there were petroglyphs.  I found them – what a treat.  It looks like lovely spring or summer weather — NOT – I was totally bundled up and lasted only 20 minutes before retreating to the warmth of the car.

Over the top, into Nevada and on to Denio turned north and headed for Andrews near the Alvord Desert.  Stopped for a short visit with John Simpkins and got meet Ella – his new standard poodle – still a puppy and full of energy but what a beauty.  I made a number of images of Steens Mountain that I hope will work in Black and White but will take come concentrated time to process.  I did stop on the Alvord – there are some nice tiles that have developed.  Best I have seen.

I will stop here and hope to put up another post tomorrow about the remainder of this excursion.  Thanks for looking.  As always click for a larger view of any image and comments are more than welcome.


Vivaldi Images

Below are the three images that were selected to be part of the multi-media presentation of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons on the Mckenzie River by the Eugene Symphony.  I am very honored to be included in this work and so looking forward to the dress rehearsal on the 14th.  The actual performance is on the 15th so if you want to attend I believe there are still tickets available. Click on an individual image for a larger view and as always comments are welcome

No Moon

Got up a couple of times early this morning hoping to get some indication of clearing so that I could attempt to capture an image of the Lunar Event but there were just too many clouds in the Eugene area.  Hope folks in Central and Eastern Oregon were able to see the site.  Amazing – once in 150 years.

After being shut out this morning I decided to go out and just see what I could find.  That usually means a quick trip to the West Eugene Wetlands.  The sky was interesting and the morning light added some needed drama so it was really worth a short trip – always raises my spirits.

Visual Poems

“I think of my photographs
as visual haiku poems, rather than full-length novels.” 

Michael Kenna

I read an interview with Michael Kenna in the current edition of on-Landscape Photography e-magazine and was really taken with the above sentence.  I know almost nothing about haiku poetry but I seem to remember that there are some rules about the composition and that they are simple and thoughtful so I will have to spend some time looking up those rules and reading some work from the Japanese masters.  That whole concept of simplicity sure was running about in my mind this morning as I drove up McGowan Creek road looking for the fresh snow promised in last evening’s weather forecast.  Found it.  Beautiful morning.   Cold and windy but all is forgotten when I am behind the lens in such a beautiful place.

Found both these images in a meadow about 6 miles up the road.  Just me and the snow and the trees.  I know Michael Kenna shoots entirely in Black and White but that was not an end result that seemed to me to work for these two shots.  Simplicity was and even tho the ends of the branches show a certain filigree I think they still work with the simple nature of the images.  Also, I think the color helps to show the cold.

If a haiku comes to mind I would be more than grateful or just add a simple comment.


Another visit

Even while feeling pretty miserable for most of the past week I did notice that slowly I was starting to come around.  I watched the weather forecasts daily if not more frequently and noticed that changing weather was on the menu for Friday into Saturday for the Oregon Coast.  Sometimes that can mean that the dull thick cloudy sky that laid in all week continues but sometimes it can mean dissipating clouds making for a nice sunset.  Such was the case last night – a beautiful evening on the beach at Bandon, OR.

I went to Bandon last year about this same time so this felt like a good time to go plus I got to visit with friends Steve and Susan Dimock and hear all about their  recent trip to Ecuador – Susan has posted some great entries on her blog – especially one from the Galapagos Islands – such interesting animals and great photographs.

Was hoping that either Steven or Susan could join me in an evening shoot on the beach but Steve was busy with motel chores and Susan seemed to be coming down with this crud that is making the rounds.  Hope it passed her by.

I got to the beach a bit early and just wandered around looking for what I hoped would be interesting compositions.  Found the one below and the shadow line pointed me to a Black and White composition.

As the sunset time came on I found a place to set up and wait for what the light had to offer.  Was quickly joined by 3 other photographers but we call seemed to coexist for the evening.  As you can see from the image below I thought for a bit that I was going to lose the light as the sun sank into that cloud mass but I held my ground and crossed my fingers.

I waited about 20 minutes all the while convinced that the light would show up in that strand of red light on the horizon.  Yes!!

I kept shooting and moved a bit but the evening was so great I was just transfixed.  The shot below is just about the last of the images and as you can see I moved around a bit to be sure I had the Wizards Hat full in the frame.  Hiked back to the car, drove to town and found dinner and a beer at the Bandon Brewing Company.

The next morning I went over to the banks of the Coquille River – the prediction was for fog and I was hoping to photograph the lighthouse in the fog but it did not materialize.  Instead I concentrated of a row of rocks just out in the flow.  A nice morning view and a friend on the rocks.


Be sure to click on the images for a larger view and I welcome your comments.  It was a great trip – renewed both my spirit and my health.  Hardly a sniffle or a cough today.


Looking at Buildings

After a couple of weeks fencing with a cold, sore throat and just general malaise I finally went to Urgent Care yesterday and was given a prescription for antibiotics.  I vowed to wait a bit before taking them knowing that they can do some damage to the good bacteria in our bodies but today I knew when I was beat.  Filled the prescription and am hoping for a full recovery in the next few days – that is, before I head over to Bandon on Friday.

I did manage to remember to throw the camera into the car when I went over to the pharmacy and decided to just take a short drive through town.  A friend and her husband recently spent the night at the Inn at the 5th hotel here in town.   She sent me a snapshot of an image I had sold via Kristen a number of years ago and it prompted me to go out and look for other ‘architectural abstracts’ in the buildings around town.   I came across the following image and after a bit of straightening, some cropping and conversion to B&W I got an image that I just really like.  The reflection is in the windows of the Federal Courthouse.

Click for a larger view and as always omments are always welcome.

Another gift

Yesterday I put a post up on FB about morning light that I was fortunate enough to capture out at the West Eugene Wetlands.  Beautiful still morning with soft pastel light.  I found another image, looking west instead of toward the sunrise, and was very happy with an image that showed the reflection of the mountains and sky in the lake.

Additionally I gave myself the Christmas gift of a presentation of The Nutcracker by the Eugene Ballet Company.  I love that ballet and it was nice to see a good crowd.  Wonderful music and dancing and a great Christmas present – my thanks to all the folks that put it on.  Hope you can make your way to a seat next Christmas.

Have a wonderful holiday.

Winter roaming

“Perhaps what moves us most in Winter is some reminiscence of far-off summer …. What beauty in the running brooks! What life!”

Henry David Thoreau

I found that quote the other night while reading “In Wildness is the Preservation of the World”.  I think Thoreau got it wrong – at least wrong for me. I personally find great joy in all of the seasons although I have to admit that summer is my least favorite. I think I was able to find some of that joy and winter beauty on Fall Creek near Lowell on Monday – low water levels due to the recent cold snap and little or no rain so the beauty of tumbling water was everywhere I walked.

After hiking up the Fall Creek trail for a while and finding nothing real interesting I went back to the car and then walked upstream on the opposite bank and found this small tributary coming into the main channel.  I had tried unsuccessfully to photograph this small stream last year so I gave it another go from a different perspective and certainly at a much lower flow.  Tried to capture it set in the little grotto it feeds.

Lastly I went back up on the road bridge and found an upstream and downstream image of the main creek – the low flows really help to define the stream and I think add a lot to help bring out the stark, yet beautiful nature of winter in the Cascades.

Looking Downstream

Looking Upstream

If you click on any of the images you can get a larger view on your monitor.