Oregon Coast and California Redwoods

Our main target of this expedition was the northern California redwoods. We were hoping to capture some of the Rhododendrons in bloom among the redwoods, but they were apparently on a different schedule than usual this year. This just meant that we had to search a little harder for some quality images.

On the way south, we stopped for a couple of nights in Bandon, Oregon. The beach there has these wonderful sea stacks that make for great subject in the sunset. I had been there on a previous trip, but did not have any luck. We struck out again with heavy clouds on the first night, but it came together on the second night. We could see the small hole in the clouds as the sun was setting and were hoping it would give us a nice sunburst and light up the scene. It did, if only for a few seconds, but that was enough.

Oregon, Bandon, Beach, Sunset, Pacific, Coast
Sunset At The Stacks : Prints Available

We headed south to Brookings, Oregon for a couple of days there hoping to get something good on the coast at Samuel Boardman State Pak, where there are these wonderful, large sea stacks with trees growing out of them. It was Fog City all day so we headed inland to some trails and captured two very nice images

Oregon, forest, trail, footbridge, Brookoings
Footbridge : Prints Available
Oregon, Brookings, forest, trees, woods
Full Of Life : Prints Available

Next, it was on to California and the redwoods. Here, the fog was what we were looking for and there was plenty of it. Just outside Redwood National Park, there is an area known as the Bald Hills, where the Lupine bloom. I couldn’t resist but to capture an image one morning here.

California, Redwoods, Fog, Del Norte
Into The Fog : Prints Available
California, Redwood National Park, redwoods, fog, trees
Morning Warmth : Prints Available
California, Del Norte, redwoods, fog
Standing Proud : Prints Available
California, Redwood National Park, Bald Hills, Lupines, Spring, Summer
Springtime : Prints Available

I return to Oregon in July and will be accompanied on this trip by my sister, who has always wanted to hang out with me on one of my trips. I look forward to it for many reasons. We’ll be working more of the inland areas and are sure to come away with some good images.

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Spring In Oregon

When you think of Spring, you usually think of April. Flowers are blooming, the trees are lush and green, snow is still on the mountains and the water is flowing in the waterfalls. After some considerable thought as to where to go, Oregon was the choice to capture all of this.

We started with a couple of days on the coast hoping for some cool Pacific sunsets. It just wasn’t happening, so we headed inland for the Spring time targets.

First, we stopped at Silver Falls State Park, as I wanted to photograph Middle North Falls, which we had not done before. To get close the ferns for the foreground, I had to setup where water from an overhead outcropping was dripping heavily on my back. I was warm so I didn’t pack the waterproof jacket for the hike. Live and learn, I suppose.

Next, we headed out to the Columbia River Gorge. In spite of previous trips there, we had not photographed Latourell Falls, a thin, but very tall waterfall. As I stood there, I couldn’t help wondering why we had not taken the time to work this beautiful waterfall before.

The creeks in the Gorge are surrounded by such lush greenery, and to me, are much more attractive than those in the east that I grew up with. Along Gorton Creek, there is this wonderful footbridge that crosses it. The light was great and it made a captivating image.

Mount Hood was magnificently still covered in snow from the winter. We drove what seemed like every backroad there was on the north side looking for an open view where it would not be hidden by trees. On the last dirt road we tried, there was a clean pasture with a view. Persistence does pay off.

In the hills a few miles east of the Gorge, the flowers were in full bloom. It only lasts for a couple of weeks and we were fortunate to be there at the peak of color. We managed to find a couple of nice compositions, one with the yellow Balsam Root flowers under a really neat tree in the morning and another with them facing us in the sunset. This may be my favorite of the trip!

Next up in May are the Canadian Rockies. It should be early enough to still have snow on the mountains, but late enough for side roads to be open. At least that’s the plan.

Thanks for looking and please feel free to share. If you haven’t already, please “Like” our Facebook page to get more up-to-date reports on our expeditions.

Oregon, North Falls, Silver Falls, Waterfall
Water Drapes : Prints Available
Oregon, Latourell Falls, Waterfall
Spring Drama : Prints Available
Oregon, Columbia, River, Gorge, Gorton Creek
The Crossing : Prints Available
Oregon, Mount Hood,
Morning At Mount Hood : Prints Available
Oregon, Rowena Crest, Columbia River,  Gorge, flower, sunset
Rowena Sunset : Prints Available
Oregon, Rowena Crest, Columbia Gorge, flower
Flower Tree : Prints Available

Firefall and Flowers

In February, I headed to Yosemite National Park to photograph the phenomenon known as “Firefall”. For about a week in February, the setting sun lights up Horsetail Falls on El Capitan, resulting in a look of the falls being “on fire”.

Due to the California drought, it’s been about 6 years since there has been enough snow on top of the mountain to create enough snowmelt water for this to happen. Needless to say, there were some pretty big crowds to navigate. The result was well worth it!

In March, Jason and I headed up to the Carolina coast. Our first target was the trees in Lake Matamuskeet, North Carolina. Unfortunately, three days of skies that were either clear of any clouds or covered with solid heavy clouds. Either way, there was no sunrise photograph to be had, so we had to move on.

We headed down to Charleston to check to status of the spring lower bloom at Magnolia Plantation. The main targets were the long white bridge and the flowers under the oak trees. We were there last year, but it just wasn’t happening so we came away empty handed. This year, we were pleasantly surprised to see a rather healthy bloom and, over several days, captured exactly the images we were hoping for.

So, two very different locations and two goals accomplished. Next up, I’ll be leaving mid-April to Oregon with Kelly. It will be my fourth trip to Oregon, but we’ll be working some areas we have not gone to before. Oregon is, obviously, a target rich environment.

Thanks for looking and please feel free to share. If you haven’t already, please “Like” our Facebook page to get more up-to-date reports on our expeditions.

California, Yosemite, El Capitan, Firefall
Firefall : Prints Available
California, Yosemite, Half-dome, Winter, Moonrise
Yosemite Moonrise : Prints Available
South Carolina, Charleston, Magnolia, Plantation, flower
Magnolia Flowers : Prints Available
South Carolina, Magnolia Plantation, flowers, spring, reflection
Spring Reflections : Prints Available
Magnolia Splendor : Prints Available
Spring Oak : Prints Available
South Carolina, Charleston, Magnolia, Plantation, Bridge
Serenity At The Bridge : Prints Available

The Variety In Oregon

Deserts, canyons, mountains, rainforests and more. Oregon has it all and spring is a fantastic time to photograph there. I returned to Oregon with my good friend, Keith Miller, who assumed the driving duties allowing me to spend the time in the car forecasting the weather, planning and re-planning our itinerary.

We got off to a great start at Trillium Lake with Mount Hood in the background at sunrise, which required a 3:30am alarm, but it was more than worth it. From there, we headed south the Bend, for sunrise at Sparks Lake and sunset at Smith Rock. It took three days, but we got just the weather we needed. Smith Rock has some of the coolest hiking trails in Oregon. While dodging rain, we explored the area and found Sahalie Falls, a wonderful surprise in the rainforest.

We ventured south of Oregon to check out Redwood National Park and were dutifully impressed by these massive trees. We returned to the Columbia River Gorge to explore some of the small streams, like Gorton Creek. Northeast of Portland is Moulton Park, with a charming scene of a wooden bridge with its reflection in the calm river.

We traveled over 2,800 miles in the 10 days we were there and barely scratched the surface of what is in Oregon to photograph. It was my third expedition to Oregon and already have a commitment to return in June of 2016.

Oregon, Bend, Sparks Lake, Sunrise
Morning Calm : Prints Available
Oregon, Smith Rock, Sunset, Crooked River
Surprise At Sunset : Prints Available
Oregon, River, Gorton, Creek, Columbia River Gorge
Three Brothers : Prints Available
The Mighty Redwood : Prints Available
The Green Portal : Prints Available

Spring In The Carolinas

I returned to Charleston in early April for the annual bloom of the Azaleas at the Magnolia Plantation. Some very nice photographs of the white bridges surrounded by the flowers are usually possible. As luck would have it, the bloom was running far behind schedule frustrating quite a large number of photographers that had arrived in town for the occasion.

The peacocks of the plantation, however, were not interested in delaying their Spring activities and were providing a full display of their tail feathers for the ladies. Unfortunately, it didn’t seem to do them much good. The ladies must have been waiting on the flowers to bloom to get in the mood.

Although the Boone Hall Plantation does not have much in the way of flowers, the line of oak trees on each side of their main drive offer a very nice arched canopy, complete with hanging moss.

The dirt road to Botany Bay, another photographic favorite in the area, was closed due to heavy rains and wet conditions. I took a look but the one car that tried to make it through was getting towed after being stuck in 12 inch deep muddy ruts. Anything less than a Hummer was not going to make it.

So, I headed to the north end Folly Beach for a nice sunrise over the old wooden jetty. If you are in the area, it is a fun place to go.

With so little working out, I made the four hour drive to Asheville to see what was going on along the Blue Ridge Parkway. The answer was not much, with most of the trees bare from winter. I did manage a respectable photograph of sunset from the summit at Craggy Gardens. This is another great place if you are on the Parkway.

Next up will be an expedition to Oregon in Mid-May. We’ll be photographing a wide variety of subjects from the Columbia River Gorge in the north to the Redwoods for northern California. I can’t wait.

Peacock, South Carolina, Magnolia Plantation
Colorful Close-up : Prints Available
Oak Tunnel : Prints Available
North Carolina, Mountain, Blue Ridge, Sunset, Craggy Gardens
Mountain Glory : Prints Available