Pacific Coast Photography

Being from Florida, I associate the rain and storm season with the summer. The western coast of the United States, particularly in the Pacific Northwest, is more of a wintertime season. There are several days in the winter when large 15-20 foot high swells coincide with high tides resulting in some amazing waves crashing on the shore at Cape Disappointment and Shore Acres State Park.

Cape Disappointment was the main target, and the forecast had it for January 10th. I flew to Portland on the 9th and headed out to the Cape before dawn the next day. I had seen photos of this event for years, but they are not the same as being there. It was a little foggy, but it was spectacular

Washington, Cape Disappointment, Monster Wave, King Tides, Lighthouse
Cape Disappointment : Prints Available

Washington, Cape Disappointment
Cape D Wave : Prints Available

This closeup photo of one of the waves displays the beauty and the violence of Mother Nature. The small bay where these waves come into is not somewhere you would want to be in a boat. The waves toss huge logs around like toothpicks.

Wave, Ocean, Cape Disappointment, King Tides, Washington
The Wave : Prints Available

As a real bonus, the forecast had another day of high surf at Shore Acres State Park on the 12th. Again, I arrived early. The waves continued to build throughout the morning as the tide came in. Incoming waves would bounce back off the rocks, merge with another incoming wave to form waves that were of the 20 foot high variety and then crash on rocks with an incredible splash. You can see a fence on the rocks that gives you an idea of scale.

Oregon, Shore Acres, Monster Wave,
Shore Acres Explosion : Prints Available

With the forecast of large waves over, I headed south to the Samuel Boardmen Scenic Area. The sea stacks there have trees growing out of the tops of them, which add such a wonderful element compared to the ones without the trees. I had tried photographing there before, but heavy fog prevented me from capturing any images. There was a little less fog this time, and I was pleased with the results.

Oregon, Oregon Coast, Sunrise, Sea Stack, Trees, Arch Rock, Samuel Boardman,
Coastal Fog : Prints Available

Oregon, Sea Stacks, Samuel Boardman, Sunrise, Oregon Coast
Southern Stacks : Prints Available

Oregon, Coast, Sea Stacks, Samuel Boardman
Coastal View : Prints Available

Oregon, Gold Beach, Morning, Sea stacks, Samuel Boardman
Gold Morning : Prints Available

I had discovered an area several years ago with a footbridge over a small stream, but it was summer and there wasn’t any water flowing. With the winter rains, I was hoping for something much different. I couldn’t believe the difference. It’s a small scene, but the lush Oregon greenery surrounding the cascade is beautiful.

Oregon, Stream, Footbridge
Silky Smooth : Prints Available

I headed north and decided to stop in Newport near the Yaquina Head Lighthouse. There was fog forecasted for the next morning, and I thought that could result in a nice image. When I got there, the fog was so thick I couldn’t see the lighthouse, but I got into position down on the rocky beach and waited for the fog to begin to clear. I was very happy with the combination of the long exposure on the water and the fog over the lighthouse.

Oregon, Yaquina, Yaquina Head, Lighthouse, Fog
Yaquina Fog : Prints Available

I only had a couple of days left before I would have to head home, so I decided to see how the winter rains were affecting the waterfalls in the Columbia River Gorge. Much of the Gorge has been closed for several years due to the Eagle Creek Fire, but it has begun to re-open in spots.

The fog over Latourell Falls instantly grabbed my attention to photograph it from a position I had not before. At Wahclella Falls a mass of logs blocked the final section of the trail, that I assume were the result of recent storms. I carefully crawled over them. At first, I wasn’t sure about the logs in the pool at the base of the falls, but after looking at a variety of images taken, I like the one with the logs the best.

Latourell, Falls, Latourell Falls, Oregon, Columbia River Gorge, Fog
Latourell Falls : Prints Available

Oregon, Wahclella, Wahclella Falls
Wahclella Falls : Prints Available

My final stop was at Panther Creek Falls just over the border in Washington. I had been here twice before in the summer, but there was less water flowing. I was hoping the winter rains would result in water flowing over the right side, which was something that has been on my list for a while. I was thrilled to arrive and find it flowing so well and can finally check this one off the list.

Washington, Panther Creek, Panther Creek Falls
Panther Creek Falls : Prints Available

I’m not sure what is up next, but I hope to get back to the Desert Southwest. These days, a lot of factors come into play. You can see more photos in my galleries for the Pacific Coast and the Pacific Northwest.

Thanks for looking and feel free to share. You can also follow the journey on Facebook or Instagram for more current photographs that may not be on the blog. We appreciate all those that follow us. https://www.facebook.com/JosephFilerPhotography and https://www.instagram.com/josephfiler

Fall in Yellowstone & The Tetons

Although I have photographed in both Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks before, I had not been there in the Fall. I have been spending the fall season shooting in Utah and Colorado in the past, but it was time for a change.

We spent the first part of the trip in Yellowstone, and while there are not Aspens or other trees that turn color there in the Fall, there is so much else there.

The hot springs at the Geyser Basins, Grand Prismatic in particular, offer a wonderful opportunity to capture some great colors with the rising steam.

Prismatic Gold : Prints Available

Wyoming, Yellowstone, National Park, Thermal, Basin, Spring
Into The Sunset : Prints Available

The massive waterfall in the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River, never ceases to amaze me. It was suggested that the landscape around it formed the shape of a heart. I didn’t see it before, but I do now.

Wyoming, Yellowstone, National Park, Grand Canyon, Waterfall
Canyon Falls : Prints Available

I have previously passed on shooting Gibbon Falls, but it occurred to me that maybe a close-up of the lower part of the falls would work. The light was hitting the rocks in the upper right and it worked beautifully. Sometimes you just have to give some locations some extra thought.

Wyoming, Yellowstone, National Park, Gibbon, Falls
Gibbon Falls : Prints Available

After Yellowstone, it was on to the Grand Tetons. We were excited by the opportunity presented to us with an unexpected snowstorm covering the mountains. It is so rare to have an early season snowfall. While we waited for the skies to clear, we spent a few days tracking down some really nice fall color scenes.

Wyoming, Grand Teton, National Park, Fall Color, Aspen, Tree
Fall Mix : Prints Available

Wyoming, Grand Teton, National Park, Aspen, Trees
Aspen Angles : Prints Available
Wyoming, Grand Teton, National Park, Fall, Leaves
Red Moment : Prints Available

I even delayed my flight out to be able to be there when the weather improved and the mountains were visible. It was two incredible days. On the third day, as I headed to the airport, the snow moved back in and the mountains were gone, once again. I didn’t mind. I had been given photographic opportunities that were previously only in my wildest imagination.

Wyoming, Grand Teton, National Park, Oxbow, Bend, Moran, Snake River, Reflection
Rare Reflection : Prints Available

Wyoming, Grand Teton, National Park, Storm, Mountains
Peak Storm : Prints Available
Wyoming, Grand Teton, National Park, Snake River, Fall Color
Snake River Colors : Prints Available
Wyoming, Grand Tetons, National Park, Mormon Row, Barn, Clouds
North View : Prints Available
Wyoming, Grand Teton, National Park, Snake River, Fall, Winter
Seasonal Mix : Prints Available
Wyoming, Grand Teton, National Park, Fall, Color, Snowstorm, Mountains, Oxbow Bend, Snake River
Soft Morning : Prints Available

Next up will be an exploratory trip to Utah to locations that I have not been to before, some quite remote. Of course, I’ll be searching for fall color.

Thanks for looking and feel free to share. You can also follow the journey on Facebook or Instagram for more current photographs that may not be on the blog. We appreciate all those that follow us. https://www.facebook.com/JosephFilerPhotography and https://www.instagram.com/josephfiler

Oregon, Once Again!

We first headed to the coast at Cannon Beach to photograph Haystack Rock at sunset. It turned out to be heavy overcast and covered in fog, so we hoped for the morning. At first, it wasn’t looking too good then either, but as the sun came up behind us the clouds began to absorb and reflect some really nice color. This turned out to be one of the most dramatic skies I have ever photographed.

Oregon, Cannon, Beach, Sunrise, Pacific, Coast
Haystack Drama : Prints Available

Next up was the coast down south at Waldport. The beach there is flat and seems to go out forever at low tide, but once you get way out there, the photographic opportunities seem endless. The sunrise was once again lighting up the clouds offshore, and while not as dramatic as Cannon Beach, pretty darn nice.
Oregon, Waldport, Beach, Sunrise
Unexpected Burst : Prints Available

We headed back north to Pacific City to make an effort at Cape Kiwanda. Two previous trips there did not yield an acceptable image. We hiked up the tall sand dunes and out to the end of the Cape to be able to shoot back at the orange sandstone formations that the Cape is known for. We even got the cooperation of the Pacific Ocean with some nice waves. So, the third time here was the charm.
Oregon, Cape, Kiwanda, Storm, Wave
Kiwanda Storm : Prints Available

Next we went inland to the area around Bend, Oregon to shoot sunset at Smith Rock State Park and sunrise at Sparks Lake. I have to say that both worked out extremely well.
Oregon, Smith, Rock, Sunset
The Rock : Prints Available

Oregon, Smith, Rock, Sunset, River
Smith Rock Sunset : Prints Available

Oregon, Sparks, Lake, Sunrise, Reflection
Morning Calm : Prints Available

Our next location was Trillium Lake up near Government Camp, but it was just too windy to get any good reflections so no sunset image that day. We left there at 3:45 am the next morning to get up to the north side of Mount Hood before the sunrise would begin to light it up. The plan worked to perfection and it turned out the setting moon was in exactly the right place at the right time. I wish I could say I planned it out that way.
Oregon, Mount, Hood, Sunrise, Moon, Mountain
Sunrise Moon : Prints Available

We concluded our trip up at the Columbia River Gorge, where we were able to get a nice shot overlooking the Columbia River and the Vista House. Added to this were some images at Gorton Creek, Horsetail Falls and Ponytail Falls. The hike uphill to Ponytail was serious, but it was well worth it. The lush greenery in the Gorge is unlike anywhere else in the U.S.
Oregon, Columbia, River, Gorge, Gorton, Creek, Trail, Footbridge
Bridge To Somewhere : Prints Available

Oregon, Ponytail, Waterfalls, Columbia, River, Gorge
The Horsetail : Prints Available

Oregon, Columbia, River, Gorge, Ponytail, Falls, Creek
The Ponytail : Prints Available

Next up will be an expedition to Arizona, Utah and New Mexico. I’m hoping for some summer storms to complement the landscape.

Thanks for looking and feel free to share. You can also follow the journey on Facebook for more current photographs that may not be on the blog. https://www.facebook.com/JosephFilerPhotography

Iceland In Winter

I have made two previous expeditions to photograph in Iceland, but both were in the summer. The sun rises and sets from the south in the winter, which results in different possibilities in addition to the winter scenes. We were there for about 10 days at the end of January.

We began our trip going to the Snaefellness Peninsula to photograph the iconic little black church that is on the southern coast. We were there in time for a wonderful sunrise, which gave us some great light on some of the surrounding mountains there.

Iceland, Snaefellness, Peninsula, Black, Church, Sunrise
Morning Beams : Prints Available

Iceland, Snaefellsness, Peninsula, Sunrise, Mountains, Ocean
Snaefellsness Sunrise : Prints Available
Iceland, Snaefellsness, Peninsula, Mountains, Clouds, Winter
Winter Peaks : Prints Available

From there we moved on to the waterfalls in front of the mountain known as Kirkjufell, which we were able to capture as the sun was close to setting behind us. I think I still prefer the colors at this location in the summer, but winter has its own appeal.

Iceland, Kirkjufell, kirkjufellfoss, waterfall, river, sunset, mountain
Smiling Sunset

On our way to the southern coast of the island, we stopped at a thermal geyser area known simply as Geysir. After an overnight stay, we were able to capture the eruption of the geyser in the morning with the sun rising behind it. The sun lit up the edges of the geyser spray with it’s warm, orange light. It was exactly what we had hoped for.

Iceland, Geysir, geyser, Sunrise
Geysir Sunrise : Prints Available

Our next stop was the sea stacks off the coast near the town of Vik at what is called Black Rock Beach. Rather than sand, the beach is made up entirely of small black stones. It isn’t much easier to walk in than sand, but it is very attractive.

Iceland, Vik, Black, Rock, Beach, Sea, Stacks, Sunset
Black Beach Sunset : Prints Available

Near the beach is one of the iconic waterfalls called Seljalandsfoss. Although my favorite image of Iceland is of this waterfall in the summer, I was pleased with how well it works in the winter. There may not be a bad time to capture this scene.

Iceland, Seljalandsfoss, waterfall, winter
Winter Falls : Prints Available

Also on the southern coast is the famous glacier lagoon at Jokularson. Ice calves off of the glacier and floats out of a canal to the ocean and is then washed up onto the black sand beach. The goal is to capture a long exposure of the water running past the icebergs back into the ocean.

Iceland, Jokulsarlon, iceberg, sunrise, ocean
Ice Whale : Prints Available

Iceland, Jokulsarlon, icebergs, lagoon, ocean, sunrise
Side Flow : Prints Available
Iceland, iceberg, Jokulsarlon, lagoon, ice, sunrise, beach
Three Berg Morning : Prints Available

One of the things that you can do in the winter, but not in the summer, is photograph inside one of the ice caves that is underneath a glacier. This was definitely on my list as I had never done this before. The following are two photos from the ice cave, with one showing another person in it for scale. These caves can be huge!

Iceland, Ice, Cave, Blue
Huge And Blue : Prints Available

Iceland, Ice, Cave, Sun, Light
Into The Light : Prints Available

A trip to Iceland just wouldn’t be complete without photographing the Icelandic horses. We spent some time with the owner of one of the farms that had quite a few horses. It was a special experience and we had some very close access to them. They can be extremely friendly and will walk right up to you. We learned a lot about them and how to properly interact with them.

Iceland, Icelandic, Horses, Winter, Snow
Looking Back : Prints Available

Iceland, Horses, Icelandic
Hello There : Prints Available

I leave for Norway on February 10 to return to the Lofoten Peninsula. I was there last year and the scenes of the mountains by the sea covered in snow along with the little red cabins was just so special that I had to go back to it one more time. There is snow in the forecast as I write this, which definitely has me itching to leave.

Thanks for looking and feel free to share. You can also follow the journey on Facebook for more current photographs that may not be on the blog. https://www.facebook.com/JosephFilerPhotography

Oregon Again!

After a couple of years of talking about it, my sister was finally able to accompany me on one of my photo expeditions. We had a fantastic time together and the search for images almost became unimportant.

We started this expedition in northern Oregon around the Columbia River Gorge. We were disappointed that the trails and waterfalls around the Gorge were still closed off due to the Eagle River fires of 2017. We did make one afternoon trip down to Trillium Lake for sunset before moving up our schedule to head to central Oregon.

The calm conditions at Trillium Lake were just what we had hoped for, but we didn’t figure in all the people that would be at the lake on a Saturday afternoon enjoying various summer activities. The kayaks and paddleboarders didn’t do the reflection any favors, but I do feel this image conveys the enjoyment of being out there with others to enjoy a great sunset.

Oregon, Trillium, Lake, Sunset
Summer Sunset : Prints Available

We moved on to central Oregon, basing in the town of Sisters, which is a wonderful little town northwest of Bend and close to the rivers and waterfalls we were targeting. There is a section of the McKenzie River, that for some reason, has a bright and deep blue color to it. You would think from looking at the images that it couldn’t really be that colorful and that I increased the color. The river really does have that much color!

Sahalie Falls is a large and powerful waterfall that you start out quite close to. To get the scene right, the trick is to get back from the falls to include the river. It’s a slippery, muddy climb down the embankment and you risk falling in the river, but the result is worth it!

Oregon, McKenzie River, Sahalie, Falls
Sahalie Falls : Prints Available

Just up the trail from Sahaile Falls is a wonderful log footbridge that goes over the river. I simply cannot pass up bridges like this. It was not possible to find a place along the river to photograph it from there, so I decided on an image of the bridge itself. As it turns out, this may have been good fortune, as I really like the image.

Oregon, McKenzie, River, bridge, wood
Summer Crossing : Prints Available

Our next target on the river was Koosah Falls. Photographing these falls was the biggest challenge of the trip. It was an extremely steep, muddy and root filled scramble down a steep 50 foot embankment to get in position. I wasn’t sure if I should do it, but I really wanted to capture this image. I was absolutely thrilled with the result and equally happy to make it back up the embankment to the trail.

Oregon, River, McKenzie, Waterfall
Koosah Blue : Prints Available

We searched for every possible location to access the McKenzie River and there was only one more that we found, at the end of the river before it poured into a reservoir. There wasn’t really a marked trail, but I could see that if I crawled under and over some downed trees, I could get to a small area with a great view up the river. I can’t begin to say how thrilled I was to find this spot. I have never seen it photographed from here before. The colors were vivid and the view spectacular.

Oregon, McKenzie, River, Blue
Blue Rush : Prints Available

Next up will be the Grand Canyon in mid-August during the monsoon storm season. I am hoping to capture some lightning images over the canyon along with some great sunrises and sunsets. This is another one that has been on my list for a while.

Thanks for looking and feel free to share. You can also follow the journey on Facebook for more current photographs that may not be on the blog. https://www.facebook.com/JosephFilerPhotography