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Posts tagged ‘Oregon’

Hells Canyon of the Snake River

I am in Boise, Idaho, for a conference, and had a spare afternoon.  I drove up Hells Canyon, on the Oregon/Idaho border, and did some hiking just below Hells Canyon Dam.

Here’s an infrared photo, taken with my infrared Nikon D200, converted to infrared by Life Pixel. It’s interesting how the infrared highlights the different textures of the water.


I took this photo just upriver of the Hells Canyon dam, looking downriver along the Hells Canyon Reservoir…


I’ll be back.  I’d like to take one of the boat tours that heads deeper into the canyon.

Summer Trip Epilogue

bristlecone_pineI’ve been back for a couple of weeks now from my trip to the Pacific Northwest. The return to my “normal” life was slow and arduous. I was so ready to turn around and escape again.

Don’t get me wrong; there’s a lot I like about my “normal” life. But there’s a lot I like about traveling and experiencing new places.

As I look back on the experience, the most meaningful parts of the trip were the beginning and end. I started my trip visiting my college friend Claire and her family. I ended my trip visiting my friend Tricia and her collection of Hood River friends.

Yosemite, the Eastern Sierra, and the Cascade Range are fabulous. But they don’t hold as much meaning to me as renewing and growing old friendships. So thank you, Claire and Trish, for being the bookends of a wonderful trip. I can’t wait to see you again.

I was inspired by the long hikes.

I was inspired by blue skies and mild temperatures.

I was inspired by the beauty of the nature around me.

I was inspired by the people I met along the journey.

I was inspired by the photos that came out of my cameras at the end of each day.

I was inspired by my friends around the world who followed me on this blog, on Facebook, and on Twitter.  I wish you could have come along.

Photographically, there were a few themes that really stand out about the trip…

  1. Mount_HoodWith each use, I grow more and more excited about the images coming out of my infrared camera.  (I had my Nikon D200 converted to infrared by Life Pixel.)  I’m pleased to announced that I’ve started making prints for sale directly from my Zenfolio Landscapes Gallery, and the first three images are all infrared photos from this trip.  I’ll be expanding this gallery in the coming weeks and months.
  2. windsurferI had a blast photographing the windsurfers on the Columbia River. It requires a lot of the same skills as bird photography. I flipped a few familiar settings on the camera, and I was ready to follow the action.
  3. Mikes_TreeI enjoyed learning about night photography from Michael Frye, Mike Osborne, and my fellow Ansel Adams Gallery workshop participants.

For those who care about equipment…

  • Nikon D200, converted to infrared by Life Pixel
  • Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 lens
  • Nikon D700
  • Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8 lens
  • Nikkor 28-85mm f/3.5-4.5 lens
  • Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8 lens
  • Canon Vixia HF S100 High-Definition Camcorder
  • Sandisk Extreme III and Lexar Professional CompactFlash cards, Delkin SDHC cards
  • Domke F-1X Camera Bag, my favorite camera bag ever
  • REI Lookout 40 Daypack
  • Gitzo G1027 Mark II Mountaineer Carbon Fiber tripod
  • Bogen/Manfrotto 3221W tripod
  • Really Right Stuff BH-40 Ballhead

And for those who care about numbers…

  • 688 photos with the D700
  • 516 infrared photos with the D200
  • 15 still photos with the Canon Vixia, and about 45 minutes of video

Yes, that’s right, I really took two tripods, three camera bodies, and four lenses with me. They all got used. (One tripod is lightweight and small for hiking.  The other is sturdy and great for night photography and windsurfing photography.)

Thanks for reading this blog. I can’t wait to take you along again. More to come soon.

Summer Trip Day Twelve, Newberry National Volcanic Monument and Mount Hood

Mount_Hood(Click to enlarge)

Friday was a long day of driving, across the state of Oregon from south to north.

I stopped near Bend to visit the Newberry National Volcanic Monument, which includes a caldera, lava flows, cinder cones, and other volcanic features. I hiked through the Lava River Cave, a mile-long lava tube.  The temperature inside is about 40 to 45 degrees.  You could rent lanterns, but I just used my headlamp.  Occasionally, when I was out of sight of other visitors, I’d switch off my headlamp to experience the cave in pitch black, listening to the drips of water.

I kept driving north to Mount Hood (shown above), including a stop at Timberline Lodge.

From there, I drove into Hood River and met up with my friend Tricia and several of her friends for drinks and dinner.

Summer Trip Day Eleven, Crater Lake National Park


I had planned to get up early (like about 2 or 3 AM) and drive to Crater Lake for some night and dawn photography.  I put out some warm clothes, set the alarm, and went to sleep.  When the alarm went off, I talked myself out of getting up, and into a few more hours sleep.

I had originally planned to stay near Bend tonight, but instead, am staying south so that I could spend all day at Crater Lake.  It was a good decision.

Soon after arriving, I decided to sign up for a boat ride.   I had a choice between a two hour boat ride that toured the lake, or a five hour boat ride that included a three hour stop on Wizard Island, a cinder cone rising out of the lake.  I wasn’t sure I wanted to commit to five hours, but I went ahead and signed up for the Wizard Island trip.  I’m glad I did.  I hiked to the summit—relentlessly uphill; there doesn’t seem to be any flat ground on the island.

Here I am with my scruffy beard at the top of Wizard Island.  (Click on any image to enlarge.)  Yes, the water really is that blue.  It is the deepest lake in the United States (seventh deepest in the world), and is among the clearest lakes in the world.

To get to the boat landing, you hike down the Cleetwood Trail, which means you get to hike back up the trail when you return.  It’s about a mile long and descends 700 feet to the lake.  This is also about the same distance and elevation change of the Wizard Island summit trail.  So I did about four miles today, in 50-60 degree temperatures, at 6000-7000 feet elevation.


Even without the stop on Wizard Island, I would have found the boat tour interesting.  We got to see a different perspective on the caldera, and I learned more about the lake than I had known before.

The infrared images below and at the beginning of this post are of the Phantom Ship, a rock formation in the lake.  (The image at the start of this post was inspired by an Ansel Adams photo in Yosemite.)