Artwork From the Best Oregon Photography Locations
Oregon offers some of the Pacific Northwest’s most captivating scenery. There are awe-inspiring waterfalls such as Multnomah Falls, snow-capped mountains, lush rainforests, beautiful beaches, and stunning rock formations. The colors displayed by the Oregon landscape include brilliant purples of lavender when in bloom and the dark calming greens of the forests in the Columbia River Gorge and reflective blue hues seen in Sparks Lake. One draws strength and inspiration from these beautiful nature locations.
My Beautiful Oregon landscape pictures seen below are for sale and include some of Oregon’s most famous landscape locations—the Portland Japanese Garden, McKenzie River, Mount Hood, Sparks Lake, Trillium Lake, Columbia River Gorge, Smith Rock State Park, Silver Falls State Park, Multnomah Falls, Koosah Falls, Sahalie Falls, and more. Prints of any of these would be a beautiful addition to your home.
Visiting and Photographing Inland Oregon
A lot of photographers I know spend a great deal of time in Oregon. Many live there. After making quite a few trips to Oregon it's easy to understand why.
Whether you're sightseeing, camping, hiking, photographing, or some combination thereof, the Beaver State will provide you with an excellent adventure. For this page, I’m only talking about the inland side of Oregon. See my Oregon Coast gallery for information on why the coast is great to visit.
Beginning in Portland, there are the famous Portland Japanese Gardens that has what has probably become the most photographed Maple Tree in the world. The other scenes and settings there are beautiful as well, especially in the Fall.
A short distance south of Portland is Silver Falls State Park. South Falls, Lower South Falls, and Middle North Falls are the main attractions. Be sure to check if there is good water flow over the falls before going. Remember that Winter is the rainy season in Oregon.
Traveling east from Portland, you come to the Columbia River Gorge area. The view of the Columbia River itself is at sunset from up on the Historic Columbia River Highway from the Portland Women's Forum State Scenic Viewpoint with the Vista House above the river.
The big attraction here is the waterfalls, like Multnomah Falls, Latourell Falls, Wahclella Falls, Elowah Falls, and Metlako Falls. As I understand, due to a mudslide, you can no longer photograph Metlako Falls. I am glad I shot it when I did.
In the Spring, it’s time to view and photograph the Balsamroot and Lupine flowers. The two best places are Rowena Crest and just across the Columbia River in Washington State at Columbia Hills State Park.
Mount Hood is impressive almost any time of year, but I like it in the Spring and early Summer when there is still a good amount of snow on it. My favorite locations are at sunset from Trillium Lake and at sunrise from the Lavender Valley Farm in mid-summer.
Heading south from Hood River takes you to Bend, Oregon. There is much to see and photograph there. A favorite is Sparks Lake with views of South Sister and Broken Top mountains. Smith Rock State Park is a must-visit while in Bend.
Also near Bend is the incredible aqua blue water of the McKenzie River with Sahalie Falls and Koosah Falls. It’s a place I could hang out for days.
For a totally different environment, Eastern Oregon offers the John Day National Monument with its painted hills and the Alvord Desert. Further south from Bend is Crater Lake National Park, which I recommend going to in the Spring while there is still snow on the crater. I just love the look of the snow there.
If I was limited to photographing in only one state, Oregon would be one of the ones I would have to consider. Coastlines, mountains, dense forests, waterfalls, rivers, and deserts are a pretty complete list of possible photographic subjects. If you get the chance, get out there and experience it!
Fun Facts About Oregon
Oregon was admitted to the union on February 14th, 1859 as the 33rd state…. Another Valentine’s Day state. It is the only state that has an official nut (the hazelnut/filbert) and its nickname is the Beaver state as the beaver was a very important animal to the early trappers and hunters trying to make a living in Oregon.
When thinking about Oregon and sports, one name that comes to mind is the Portland Trail Blazers who won the NBA title in 1977 with Bill Walton on their team. But they are not the only winners from the state of Oregon. Dick Fosbury, who was born in Portland Oregon, changed the sport of high jumping by creating a backward style of jumping that became known as the “Fosbury Flop”. Using this unusual approach to jumping he qualified for the 1968 Olympic team and won the Olympic Gold Medal while breaking the world record for high jumping.
When visiting Eugene Oregon make sure you take your bicycle with you! The League of American Bicyclists has given it a Gold Rating due in part to its efforts to create a strong bike culture that welcomes bicycling. It has been rated as one of the top cycling communities in the United States by Bicycling Magazine.
In 1894, Peter McIntosh who was from Canada brought his cheese-making expertise to Tillamook County. His nickname, “Cheese King of the Coast” was well deserved. Over time small creameries joined forces to make sure all the cheese made in the Tillamook was of the highest quality. Today you can visit the Tillamook Cheese Factory which is one of the top tourist attractions on the Oregon coast with a million visitors a year. While there, you can see how cheese is made, check out their gift shop, and enjoy some great products—from ice cream to cheese to fudge.
Once done eating, you will need some exercise so lace up those Nike shoes (the ones with the Swoosh logo) and stroll around Oregon. Nike is headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon, and was founded in 1964 as Blue Ribbon Sports by Bill Bowerman, a track-and-field coach. The Nike brand shoe was introduced in 1972. The famous Swoosh logo was designed by Portland State University student Carolyn Davidson in 1971.
Do you want to take a very short walk in your Nike shoes? Then head out to the Portland….. home of the world’s smallest park—Mills End Park—which consists of one tree and is a small circle 2 feet across in the median strip of SW Naito Parkway.
Need a haircut? Forest Grove, Oregon, is the home of the world’s tallest barbershop pole, standing at 73-feet tall. When the pole needs repainting, the local fire department steps in to help.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas – and Oregon should know as it is one the top producers of Christmas Trees.
Go Deep – Go very Deep…….. Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States. It was formed more than 6,500 years ago within the remains of an ancient volcano. What strikes you the most when you visit the lake is the crystal-blue waters.
Cheers to you—as of 2021, Oregon has over 800 wineries in the state. They have come a long way since the 1840s when the first vines were planted by settlers arriving on the Oregano Trail wagons.
Spooky Thoughts….. and last but not least, Oregon is home to many ghost towns. These abandoned communities are found throughout Oregon and give you a glimpse of life in the early 1900s. Your imagination will wander while walking through the empty streets and through the silent buildings… imagining what it was like to live in a town of that size.
Oregon is a state you should put on your “to-do” travel list…whether you want to tour historic sites or enjoy the outdoors or sit quietly and sip a glass of wine at a winery…there is something here for you to see and do.