Driving up Highway 126 along the McKinzie River, the temptation is to pull off at every little bridge or vista. On one near Fin Rock, I found this lonely lane.
I’ve heard so much about the forests in the Pacific Northwest, and seeing them for myself was worth the trip. An old utility road through the forest is an invitation to explore. It was blocked off, so maybe it’s better I didn’t drive it in my little rental car.
I imagine that, like the Mangroves of the tropics, these conifers constitute a significant source of CO2 sequestration for our planet. Not only that, the forests are the habitat for mycelium which we are just now discovering can lead to cures for pollution and disease. (Check out this website for more on that!) Let’s hope these forests remain protected as vigorously as our Florida mangroves.
Cannon Beach reminds me of Carmel by the Sea; only it’s about eight hundred miles to the north. A little more unconventional, perhaps, but that’s a good thing.
Actually, this is a view of Crescent Beach with Cannon Beach in the distance; but the whole area is known as Cannon Beach. I drove here to Ecola State Park from Portland in the morning, and getting an early start was vital. After I returned from a hike, the roads and parking lots were full of holiday travelers. The July temperature is in the upper seventies.
There used to be a direct path to Crescent beach from here, but it got washed out in a storm. The alternate trail is about a mile and a half and is rather arduous. Even so, it was worth it, and because it was harder to reach, there were very few people. So I walked the whole beach, took plenty of photos, and skipped the crowds.
The Oregon Coast Highway is probably better done in an RV so you could stop and take it in for long stretches before moving on; I was in a Ford Fiesta. I took plenty of stops but not nearly enough. Sometimes my wanderings would pay off with something interesting to see, other times not so much. But as they say, it’s not the destination but the journey.
Due to the full range of light and the difficulty of shooting into the sun, this is a combination of at least five photos. I combined the images with AuroraHDR and then parts of it re-layered in Photoshop. In some respects, this is a painting, in that the light was blended to create a picture. That creative process I find satisfying, even if it is the same scene on a different day.
Scott Lake was a detour of a detour I took while driving through Willamette National Forest. I took so many detours its surprising I made any forward progress at all.
I figured as long as I had gas and some trail mix I was probably not going to have problems. The only real dilemma was deciding when to turn back. If I didn’t need sleep, I’d have driven all night, and that would have been just fine.
I could see setting up camp here and exploring for a few days. As its the pacific northwest, I’d half expect to see a bigfoot. This area is so big and untamed that it would not surprise me in the least. At least this is where I would be if I were a bigfoot.
While driving along the Oregon coast, I stopped here in Cape Cove. The area is so pretty it’s hard to take a bad picture.
The coastline has these massive rocks that are the remnants of an eroding mainland. I can imagine that ten-thousand years ago the land extended well beyond where it ends today. These are up and down the Pacific coast, and they make for good studies in geology and, in my case, photography.
I created this effect using an ND filter, which allows for a long exposure, even during daylight; this is a 20-second exposure. With that, the water appears smooth like glass. Also, the aperture is set to f22, which allows both the foreground and background rocks to be in focus, and it creates the star effect of the sun. Also, shooting right into the sun like this created lens flare, which in this case, I quite like.
A few days ago, I walked through a forest in Oregon’s Ecola State Park. It was a nice break from the regular everyday routine.
It was my first time visiting Oregon, so I toured both the mountains and coast to get a sense of things. There was no real plan other than drive, observe, and take photos. I’d see something intriguing, and follow it until I had to turn around.
In this case, I was near Cannon Beach, which is a famous resort town. This particular trail leads to the isolated Crescent Beach, which bears no resemblance to the beaches in Florida. It was a good change of pace.
Imagine living in a town called Sisters; how cool would that be? The name comes from its proximity to the Three Sisters volcanic peaks in Oregon.
The good news is that Middle and North Sisters are dormant. The maybe-lousy news is the South Sister is showing signs. I took a detour to see the fifteen-hundred-year-old lava flow and, as lava flows go, it’s a big one. Here is a shot I took of the lava flow, but it doesn’t do justice. It’s about five miles wide.
Anyway, I was just glad to be here and out of the Florida summer heat for a few days. Oregon in summer is a mild climate, not too hot, not too cold. Goldilocks would approve. After visiting the lava flow, I ended up in this mountain town. If South Sister ever decides to come back to life, this place will have front-row seats.
If you head down this road for three minutes, you’ll end up at the gulf. If you go the other direction for about two hours, you’ll end up at the Atlantic. Only in, Florida.
I was leaving the gulf and stopped for a different shot when I happened to look back; that’s how I came to take this photo. Most of the pictures I take originate from this rather haphazard approach. That’s not to say I don’t occasionally plan; it’s just that planning and this type of photography are only loosely connected. Having a plan gets me out of the house, and that’s where the connection ends.
Once out of the house, the struggle is figuring out what photos to take; to solve that I try to stay open and aware of what’s around me. Over the years, I’ve developed an aesthetic which largely stems from my personality. So, when I go out to take photos, even though I may not know what I’m looking for, I will generally know it when I see it.