The 2014 winter has been sporadic and mild in the Outdoor haven of Central Oregon. It has been great for trail running and disappointing for downhill skiing. I talked with an older, more experienced, talented and very kind photographer today and, indirectly, he inspired me to share some winter images of Bend and the Central Oregon Area. By the way, his name is Chuck Blakeslee. Really good guy.
So far in 2014, snow has been sparse , skiing rocky, and worries about irrigation in the High desert climate of Central Oregon abound.
Speaking with Chuck, made me realize that the snow pack in the Sierras was exponentially worse than the Northwest Cascades, which feed the irrigation needs of Oregon and Washington. The dark side of me relishes spring weather in January yet the conscientious side of me feels depressed and saddened about the dearth of snow in the cascades and the future difficulties that the snow deficit entails. Chuck’s information made me a bit less saddened, more hopeful, and willing to enjoy what we is available to me. Thanks Chuck! While the above image of Central Oregon’s beautiful Mt. Bachelor wasn’t taken this year, there is currently enough snow to ski and….. it could be worse!
Not long ago, Benham Falls on the Deschutes River, south of Bend, looked much like this.Winter Elegance. No longer. Currently, there is almost no snow in the Deschutes River trail area between Bend and Sunriver, Oregon. I originally captured this photo of Benham Falls while on an adventure with my wonderful daughter, Emma. I’ve been to Benham Falls countless times and many of them while there was snow on the ground but never with such perfect snow cover as you see in this picture. Just enough snow to cover up some unattractive under growth but not so much that the scene is a big white blob.
The next winter photo is also taken along the Deschutes River but it is an entirely different area of the Deschutes. This photo was actually taken in Central Oregon’s Tumalo State Park. I used to work near Tumalo State Park in a previous life but now, I thankfully work in all of the beautiful areas of Oregon. It is a pretty good gig!
This image of snow illustrates some of the subtleties of winter photography. When I captured this photograph, it was actively snowing wet, heavy, sticky snow. cold dry snow would not have stuck to the branches of the lovely red osier dogwood in the foreground, making for a less wintery, less interesting image. Temparature, timing,wind, could cover….it all matters.
The following photo of Central Oregon’s Cascade Mountains illustrates another fact about winter photography. It is hard, harder than you think. This image was taken from the summit of Tumalo Mountain, located near Mt. Bachelor and the town of Bend, Oregon. Summiting Tumalo Mountain requires a 1,400ft climb. Not Herculean but it is work. Add in 25 inches of fresh powder overnight, a 40 pound pack, a 3:00 AM start time, and make it zero degrees outside and you have a challenge. If and when you find an elegant snowy foreground, try getting solid footing for your tripod on top of 10 feet of powdery snow, then take your gloves off( it’s still zero degrees outside, much less with the windchill) and try to focus your camera. Also, don’t breath anywhere near your lens as it immediately freezes, leaving a layer of frost on your expensive glass. Not a good artistic effect! If you manage to not get powder inside of your film plates you might actually get some worthwhile images. I think you get the idea. It is hard, much harder than warmer weather photography. Well, this one was worth the effort but I don’t miss the pain of getting the feeling back in my fingers, 30 minutes after I got back in my truck and cranked up the heat. Luckily, they did warm up and I immediately went out and bought a pair of -50 degree boots to better preserve my toes the next time out.
I have slowly begun to realize that I am drawn to water which is not a problem unless you live a desert. While the Central Oregon area is technically the “High Desert”, water abounds which is part of why I love it so much in my home town of Bend, Oregon. The following image is of the beautiful, Tumalo Falls, taken 10 miles from my home in Bend.
While this image only takes a short cross country ski from a convenient trailhead. Snow conditions in this image were epic. Good sticky snow, very little wind and not too much snow the block things up and subdue detail. Once again, timing and conditions are everything in the world of winter landscape photography. It was cold enough to have nice ice formations adjacent to Tumalo Falls, yet warm enough for snow to stick on the trees and it wasn’t snowing so hard that falling snow dulled the detail in my prints. Quite the contrary, the detail is exceptional in this image of Tumalo Falls, one of my favorite quick getaways near Bend.
I offer one last cold winter image of Central Oregon to remind everyone of what may be ahead, unless global puts Central Oregon in a death grip for the winter. I took this photograph of Paulina Creek, in the Newberry Crater National Volcanic Monument. this was late in 2013, after an extended cold spell that thoroughly froze a waterfall in the monument.
The detail was pretty stunning in the scene along Paulina Creek. I hope my prints have half the detail that my eyes witnessed on that beautiful winter day. T vie more of my Oregon landscape Photographs, please visit the portfolio page of my website. It contains all of the Oregon Nature photos that I have for sale. Oregon Nature photos for sale.
Thanks for Visiting,
I have always been a person who possess a strong sense of place. Where I live has always been a great source of happiness for me. My wife, Debbie and I selected to live in Central Oregon nearly 15 years ago because it has an amazing geographic diversity and all the amenities we could want. My Landscape photography is often used as a semi-official representation of the natural beauty of the Central Oregon area. This usage of my work to represent Central Oregon is truly flattering and it inspires me to continue to refine my landscape photography portfolio. I recently opened an exhibit at the Redmond, Oregon airport, located just 20 minutes from my home in Bend. This usage of my fine art prints makes me as proud as any previous exhibits involving my photography. The Redmond Oregon airport is truly a gateway into and out of Central Oregon and having my landscape photography be one of the first representations of Central Oregon that visitors see when they arrive at the Redmond Airport, makes me beyond proud. All of the landscape photos in this blog entry are currently being exhibited at the Redmond Airport and they are all for sale, so feel free to contact me (541) 610-4815 and I can arrange for shipping of the print of your choice. It is also important to note that all of the Landscape photos being exhibited at the Redmond Airport are also available in multiple different sizes. For a list of the prints sizes I offer, please visit the pricing and sizing page of my website. Landscape Photography Pricing.
We initially moved to the small town of Sisters, Oregon and we eventually settled in our current hometown of Bend, Oregon. The view Of Central Oregon’sThree Sisters mountains seen below is located between the cities of Sisters and Bend, Oregon.
The High Desert vistas with the stunning alpine backdrop of the Three Sisters Mountains and Broken Top Mountain are very well represented with this elegant landscape photograph. The Central Oregon Cascade Mountains are only part of what makes this wonderful part of the world special. Smith Rock State Park, is near the city of Terrebonne, just minutes away from the Redmond airport. Smith Rock’s stunning rocky spires draw rock climbers from around the world. Because of the it’s strong vertical lines and the adjacent Crooked River, Smith Rock State Park, is also a paradise for landscape photographers and it one one of the locations that adds to Central Oregon’s remarkable geographic diversity.
Located near our first Central Oregon home, in the city of Sisters, Oregon, is the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness area, where One can fine some of the most stunning alpine wildflower meadows anywhere in the United States. Both of the following landscape photographs from the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness Area are currently on display at the Redmond Airport. This first landscape photo includes the amazing Mt. Jefferson and a beautiful wildflower meadow
Also in the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness Area is Three Fingered Jack, which offers some of the easiest access to high alpine areas in all of Oregon as well as some of the most beautiful meadows filled with lupines anywhere in the world. The Lupines in this print are not always this stunning but the hike to this meadow, Canyon Creek Meadow is always stunning, with or without the lupines.
Closer to my current home in Bend, Oregon, is the gorgeous, Tumalo Falls. The following print of Tumalo Falls is also currently on display at the Redmond airport. This Tumalo Falls print has an elegant feel and it does an excellent job of capturing the grandeur of this iconic, 97 ft high waterfall, located near the town of Bend, Oregon.
There are also several oregon landscape photographs currently on display at the Redmond Oregon airport which I captured in and around the Three Sisters Wilderness area, located west of Bend, Oregon. One of the most beautiful landscape photographs I’ve ever captured is the following photograph of Sparks Lake, located near Mt. Bachelor, Southwest of Bend, Oregon.
This was a rare windless sunrise over Sparks Lake that allowed me to capture this scene of the always beautiful scene near the Central Oregon hub of Bend, Oregon. Sparks Lake is a shallow, easily accessed lake which has a boat ramp and camp grounds and is only 22 miles from the town of Bend, Oregon. A gorgeous 50 inch wide print of this image is currently on display at the Redmond airport. It is important to know that smaller and less expensive sizes of this print are always available so please visit the pricing page of my website to view the prices associated with the available print sizes. A less grand but equally elegant image of mine was captured within the Three Sisters Wilderness which is visible in the above image of Sparks Lake, near Bend, Oregon. This image of a lovely alpine stream is sort of an un-paid assignment given to me by my loving wife! Years ago she gave me the simple charge to capture “a stream with pretty flowers”. Easier said than done but eventually I finished the assignment and now a print of this delicate piece of alpine bliss is on display at the Redmond airport.
The last landscape print that I will share is also on display at the Redmond airport , “Summit Sunrise” does an excellent job of capturing the essence of what I want in a beautiful landscape photograph, it captures a “Sense of Place”. I camped on the summit of Central Oregon’s South Sister purely for the purpose of capturing this image with my 4×5 film camera. This print, “Summit Sunrise”, does an amazing job of capturing the experience of standing atop of South Sisters amidst morning alpenglow. The view of the Oregon Cascades is sweeping, including, Middle Sister, North Sister, Three Fingered Jack, Black Butte, Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams, Mt. Rainier, and Mt. St Helens, all being bathed in the pink glow of alpenglow.
In addition to all of the images seen above, I have several additional fine art Landscape photos also on display at the Redmond Airport. For more information about My various display locations throughout Bend and Central Oregon, please visit Bend Oregon Art Gallery. This new website will highlight which fine art landscape photographs I will have on display at my various “Bend Oregon Art Galleries”.
Thanks for visiting and if you happen to see my landscape photographs at the Redmond Airport, please drop me a line and let me know what you think!
I recently captured a new image with my 4×5 film camera which is seen below. I was and am still very excited about this image. I have taken several other beautiful images from Central Oregon’s Smith Rock State Park, so I was struggling to come up with an original title for this Photograph. One of the working titles under
consideration for this print was “Water in the Desert”. In the end the name didn’t quite suite this image but the title did give me the idea for this blog entry, a photographic tour of the lakes, rivers, and streams of Central Oregon. Central Oregon is located in the high desert, on the eastern edge of the Cascade Mountains. ”Desert” is defined by the New Oxford American Dictionary as: “A dry barren area of land, especially one covered with sand, that is characteristically desolate, waterless and without vegetation”. Well, Central Oregon is certainly dry by Pacific Northwest standards, averaging between 12-15 inches of precipitation per year. However, Central Oregon certainly is not “without vegetation” nor is it “waterless”. As a matter of fact, I would argue that because of its various water supplies, Central Oregon is one of the most environmentally diverse areas of the United States.
The cultural hub of Central Oregon is most certainly the City of Bend and the backbone of Central Oregon’s water is the mighty Deschutes River. With this in mind, it seems logical to start a photographic tour of Central Oregon’s watery desert in the City of Bend and its historic and scenic Mirror Pond, which is actually a section of the Deschutes River which is dammed up in the middle of Bend. Below is a photograph of Mirror Pond in Bend’s Drake Park at sunset.
Incidentally, this view is one of the reasons I moved to Bend almost 15 years ago. This scene is in the middle of downtown Bend and features the glacier covered Middle Sister and North Sister mountains as an amazing backdrop. Did I mention that this “desert” had some diversity? Not far South of the recreational paradise of Bend is the Deschutes River Trail, where I captured the following photo of the Deschutes River in it’s Autumnal glory.
This image of the Deschutes River is clearly far from arid. The riparian areas along waterways in Central Oregon are filled with vegetation and on some years offer stunning fall color. South of the city of Bend and along the Cascade Lakes Highway is an elegant chain of lakes simply referred to as the Cascade Lakes. These lakes are filled primarily via winter snowmelt. Some of the better known lakes along the Cascade Lakes Highway are Wickiup Reservoir, Crane Prairie Reservoir, Little Cultus Lake, Cultus Lake, Lava Lake, Hosmer Lake, and Sparks Lake which is seen below.
I captured this beautiful image of Sparks Lake at sunrise, the morning after an autumn snowfall had blanketed South Sister and Broken Top Mountains. The still reflection and gorgeous morning light on the clouds make this one of my favorite fine art prints. To see this image and many others, please visit the galleries page of my website , by clicking here Oregon Landscape photos.
Closer to the town of Bend is Tumalo Creek, which is fed by snow melt from the Central Oregon Cascades. Tumalo Creek is a tributary of The Deschutes River with which it connects just north of the city of Bend. West of the city of Bend, Tumalo Creek takes a 97 foot plunge and forms one of Central Oregon’s iconic features, Tumalo Falls. Incidentally, the following image of Tumalo Falls is currently the cover image for Visit Bend‘s annual guide to The city of Bend and the Central Oregon area.
Once again, we are not talking about your typical desert. The lush riparian areas along Tumalo Creek are beautiful any time of year but especially in summer and fall, which is when I captured the following image of Tumalo Creek as it courses through Bend’s Shevlin Park.
I believe that this image of Shevlin Park captures the park and Tumalo Creek at their very best. Elegant yet dry ponderosa forests give way to rich riparian areas which include Engelman spruce, larch trees( the vibrant golden trees seen in this image) and many others. Shevlin Park is a phenomenal resource for Bend and the Central Oregon area and I feel that this photograph does an excellent job of capturing its beauty.
Due west of the city of Bend lies the wondrous Three Sisters Wilderness Area. This wilderness area is included in this photographic tour because the heavy winter snows which accumulate in the Three Sisters Wilderness Area are a primary source of the water for streams and rivers in the Central Oregon area. The Three Sisters Wilderness Area can be accessed from multiple locations in the Central Oregon area. The following image, titled “Summit Sunrise” was taken from the summit of Oregon’s South Sister Mountain, which lies at the heart of the Three Sisters Wilderness Area.
Much of the snow in this sunrise image from the Three Sisters Wilderness Area eventually will end up as water in the Deschutes River and its tributaries. I captured this image after a hard climb and a restless night atop of South Sister. It was my third expedition to the top of South Sister, purely for the sake of capturing this image. It turns out that the Third time was a charm! Included in this image (from nearest to farthest) are Middle Sister, North Sister, Black Crater, Black Butte, Three Fingered Jack, Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams, Mt. Rainier, Mt.St Helens and the Chambers Lakes basin is in the lower right hand corner. To see three volcanoes in the state of Washington(Mt Adams, Mt. Rainier, and Mt. St Helens) taken from the middle of Oregon in the same photographic print is pretty special and that is part of what makes this image one of my favorites!
Below is another image which illustrates the geographic diversity of the Central area and more specifically the Three Sisters Wilderness Area. This image is of the mighty and elegant Proxy Falls.
Proxy Falls is an enormous veil of water located on the wet ,west side of the Three sisters Wilderness Area. It is one of the most beautiful waterfalls I’ve ever seen and its mossy richness also helps to visualize the diversity of the Three Sisters Wilderness Area. Below is photograph of Broken Top Mountain which is also located in the Three Sisters Wilderness Area. Broken Top Mountain is best accessed via trail heads located off of the Cascades lakes Highway near Bend, Oregon.
This beautiful wildflower filled image is actually taken from the dry side of the Three Sisters Wilderness Area. The thick stand of wildflowers is fed by spring snow melt from Broken Top Crater seen in the background of this image. Yes, the Three sisters Wilderness area is an amazing and diverse place. One of my more recent Large format fine art prints from the Three Sisters Wilderness Area is seen below.
This enchanting image of the Three Sisters Wilderness Area includes a nearly full moon and South Sister as a backdrop to an elegantly curving alpine stream. I accessed this image via the Obsidian area on the west side of the Three Sisters. It is a long backpack to this area but seeing this amazing stream lined by thousands of spring wildflowers was certainly worth the aches and pains. I was accompanied on this trip by old and new friends. I’d like to thank Rod, Troy, Matt, Froy, Bob and Jessie for the great adventure that allowed me to capture this recent fine art print.
East and slightly south of the city of Bend, Oregon lies yet another jaw-dropping location, Newberry Crater National Volcanic Monument. Newberry Crater is an enormous volcanic cauldron( much like Oregon’s Crater Lake National Park) which has two large lakes, East lake and Paulina Lake in is basin. I’ve scouted there countless times and this is definitely the best image I’ve captured yet from Oregon’s Newberry Crater.
This image of Newberry Crater does an excellent job of capturing the juxtaposition of desert and water. Newberry Crater is a relatively dry area but snow melt feeds Paulina Lake which is seen in the image above. I enjoy the warm morning light bathing both the pinnacles of Paulina peak in the foreground and the Three Sisters Mountains in the background.
No photo tour of Central Oregon’s waterways would be complete without a visit to the Metolius River Basin southwest of the city of Sisters, Oregon. due west of the Metolius Basin lies the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness Area. Within that wilderness area lies Three Fingered Jack Mountain and the lupine filled Canyon Creek Meadow which are seen below.
Canyon Creek is almost entirely fueled by snow melt from Three Fingered Jack. This mountain is one of the jewels of the Central Oregon Area and is only a short drive from the city of Sisters, Oregon. The waters of Canyon Creek flow into the enchanting Metolius River. The Metolius River is magical on any day but is especially so in autumn. Below is one of my favorite images of the Metolius river.
Turquoise tinted waters, old growth ponderosas, the Wizard Falls Fish Hatchery, excellent fly-fishing, rustic cabins, and the delightful Camp Sherman Store all make the Metolius River a fantastic place to visit for both children and adults.
I hope this photographic journey of Central Oregon helps to illustrate that while the Central Oregon area is arid, it is far from a desert. In fact it is blessed with countless waterways both small and large and that these waterways are bountiful with vegetation and beauty. Of course, it should be noted, once again, that virtually none of this beauty would be maintained with snowmelt from the amazing Cascade Mountain. Skiers and boarders love it and snowbirds hate it but winter snow fall is the key to the diversity and beauty of our wonderful Central Oregon landscapes. As a tribute to our life giving snow I’ll share one more image in this Central Oregon photo tour. This image is ”Sunrise from Tumalo Mountain”. It includes Central Oregon’s Broken Top Mountain and the Three Sisters Wilderness Area covered in a heavy blanket of life-giving winter Snow!
A few notes about the images in this photographic tour of Central Oregon’s diverse landscapes: All of the images in this tour and all of the images in my Fine Art Photography collection were captured with an old ,wooden 4×5 film camera and real film. For more information about the camera gear I use to capture all of my fine art prints, please visit here, Large format Photography Gear. Additionally all of the frames that I include with my framed fine art prints are hand made by me from Cherry wood lumber. For some information about my framing, visit here Landscape Photography framing. The best resource for up to date information about my many photography exhibits and new print releases is the facebook page for my photography business. Facebook: Mike Putnam Photography.
I hope you enjoyed the tour and Thanks for visiting!
Hello Photography friends! After a two month sabbatical, from First Friday festivities, I will be back with with new Fine art prints at my familiar haunt, of Patagonia of Bend. Patagonia of Bend is located at 920 NW Bond Street, in Downtown Bend, Oregon.Fall Art Hop and my show will take place this Friday, 10/7/2011. I’ll be in the store from 5:00 PM until about 9:00PM. Rumor has it that the affable owner of Patagonia of Bend, Rod Bien, will be providing his signature frosted animal cookies and some only slightly toxic white wines, for free! I’ll be showing some new prints including the image of Tumalo Falls with summer wildflowers seen below. This Tumalo falls photograph is printed, framed and ready to show. It is definitely my favorite summer image of Tumalo Falls, and I think my collerctors will love it!
The diversity of color and texture make this a visually stunning print. Because of the heavy snow fall in the Central Oregon Cascades last winter, Tumalo Falls’ flow was the highest I’ve seen it last summer, so it will be all but impossible to duplicate this wildflower and waterfall Photograph.
The following image of Paulina Peak, Paulina Lake and the Central Oregon Cascades as seen from the Newberry Crater National Volcanic Monument will also be premiered during Bend’s First Friday Art Hop.
This Newberry Crater/Paulina Lake is one I’ve been trying to capture for two years. Until now I’d been foiled by snow,clouds, wind, you name it, I’ve been beaten by it, until now! A wonderfully colorful sunrise against the pinnacles of Paulina Peak, heavy snow cover on Mt. Bachelor and the distant Three Sisters, and the misty shores of Paulina Lake far below make this landscape photograph worthy of all my efforts. I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I do!
One of my favorite Prints and one that I have shown very lightly is from Canyon Creek Meadow, at the base of Central Oregon’s Three Fingered Jack. The Canyon Creek Meadow hike is one of my favorites in the Bend area and this is one of the most flower filled landscape photographs I’ve seen. There are always lots of lupines in Canyon Creek Meadow but the year of this photo was exceptional. It was simply the best and most dense stand of Lupines I’ve ever seen.
Another lightly shown image in my collection of Landscape photographs is from Bend’s beautiful Deschutes River Trail. The Deschutes River runs through the middle of my beautiful hometown of Bend, and the Deschutes River Trail parallels much of the Deschutes River. The section of the river trail seen in this stunning autumnal image is located south of the city of Bend. This photograph was captured last fall, perhaps the best year for fall color along the Deschutes River that I’ve ever witnessed.
The fact that such beautiful scenery can be found just minutes from the city of Bend makes me feel lucky to live here!
I haven’t yet decided which additional prints I will display during the First Friday Art Hop, but the following image of the Oregon cascades is a leading candidate as it captures what I think is the best composition of Oregon’s beautiful Cascade mountains.
Please, if you are out this Friday(10/7/2011), stop by Patagonia@Bend and say hello! I look forward to seeing some of my photography friends and to meeting some new ones.
See you Friday Night,
I’ve been to the summit of Paulina Peak in the Newberry Crater National Volcanic Monument countless times over the last ten years and I have finally captured what I think will make a beautiful fine art photograph. Newberry was created in 1990 and comprised over 50,000 acres of land. The high point of the Newberry National Monument is Paulina Peak at 7,985 feet. In my opinion, the view from the summit of Paulina Peak is one of the most dramatic in Oregon and that is why I wanted to take my time and capture a spectacular image from this amazing location. I will offer this image in two forms, the horizontal version seen below and a vertical image which is further down in this blog post. The horizontal image from Newberry crater does an excellent job of capturing the scale and textures of this amazing location. The Pinnacles of Paulina Peak, Mt. Bachelor and the Three Sisters in the distance, and Paulina Lake far below all captured together during a beautiful summer sunrise promise to make this photograph a welcomed member to my fine art landscape photographs collection.
While I love the above image from Paulina Peak, I also felt it was worthwhile to offer a version of this image which emphasizes the cascade mountain range in the background and the rugged pinnacles of Paulina Peak. While these two images were captured during the same sunrise, they have a very different feel.
I’m even considering adding one of these images to my collection of Central Oregon Greeting Cards.Selections are welcome as to which of these two images would make the best greeting card. Hopefully this image will be available at the next First Friday in Downtown Bend, so please check back regarding specific for the photography show.
As with most aspects of my life as a Landscape photographer in the Bend Oregon area, things have evolved. I try to continually improve the quality of my Photography, my Greeting cards, my fine art prints and the service that I offer to collectors. I have recently found a printer for my greeting cards which is far superior in term of image quality and do to the higher volume of cards that I’ll be purchasing, the costs will be no more than my previous line of cards. The selection of available cards is different as I want my collection to share the beauty and diversity that the Bend, Oregon area has to offer. Below each of the following images, will be a few special thoughts about why a given image was selected to be part of my new and improved Central Oregon Greeting Card collection. Please visit my Central Oregon Greeting Cards page to purchase cards now! So here are the new cards!
Central Oregon’s Mount Jefferson Wilderness Area is one of my favorite places in the world and this is my favorite image from that beautiful location. This was part of my previous greeting card collection, but I couldn’t resist including it in my new improved card collection. This scene captures the most beautiful wildflower meadow I’ve ever experienced and one of the most beautiful mountains in the world! Needless to say, I was thrilled when I first viewed the 4×5 transparencies that I captured that day with my large format landscape camera. I was honored to have this image grace the cover of the Visit Bend over two years ago. Visit Bend is an innovative and exceptionally effective group staffed by talented and personable people. I consider their guide to be the best regional guide in Central Oregon and quite possibly the the entire Pacific Northwest area. This image has proven to be very popular amongst Fine Art Photography collectors and and Bend visitors alike!
This image of Bitterroot Blossoms along the Alder Springs Trail, near Sisters, Oregon is new to my collection of Central Oregon Greeting cards. I wanted a beautiful representation of the Central Oregon high desert and this image of luminous desert wildflowers fit the bill. Also, it is a favorite of my beautiful wife, so I really had no choice!
The above image taken high above the Crooked River, in Smith Rock State Park is another image which captures the rugged beauty of Central Oregon’s high desert. Delicate sulfur flowers surrounding an aged sagebrush, are backed by a Smith Rock feature know as “The Monument”. Smith Rock is a phenomenal destination for visitors to the Bend area and I hope this new greeting/note card will help share the beauty of the Central Oregon area.
This beautiful Image of the Oregon Cascades bathed in the alpenglow of morning’s first light is my best attempt at sharing the stunning alpine scenery that is found in the Three Sisters Wilderness area, near Bend, Oregon. I worked really hard to get this shot and No, it was not taken from an airplane! I’ve been asked that question dozens of times! I actually climbed Central Oregon’s South Sister three times with a 40+ pound pack in order to capture this idyllic alpine image. The first time, clouds rolled in, the second, hurricane force winds prevented me from even setting up my tripod and on the third attempt, the conditions were blissfully calm and the alpenglow was resplendent! I captured lots of great images with my beloved wooden 4×5 camera that morning, but this is my favorite. I don’t think a more dramatic and alpine scene can be found in Oregon. Mountains that are visible in the large fine art version of this image (from nearest to farthest) include Middle Sister, North Sister, Black Crater, Black Butte, Three FIngered Jack, Mount Jefferson(see Mount Jefferson Wilderness above), Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams, Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Rainier! Awesome!
Incidently, an image I captured the same morning as this(slightly different composition) is still used in advertising campaigns by Bend’s Bank of the Cascades and fine art prints of this beautiful scene can be found in private and corporate collections across the United States.
Bend Oregon’s Tumalo falls is an iconic Central Oregon location and a popular departure point for summer adventures such as hiking and Mountain Biking trips. I’ve been to Tumalo Falls dozens of times and this was by far the most colorful I’ve ever seen this area. I happen to be exploring with my now 8 year old daughter, Emma, during a heavy autumn rain. Emma was a trooper and I captured what is one of my favorite Oregon landscape photographs. While Bend is considered to be in the high desert, it is surrounded by water! Tumalo Creek, the Deschutes River, the Cascade Lakes, and numerous small streams course through the Bend area and I wanted to represent this characteristic of the Central Oregon area with one of my new note cards.
Sparks Lake is an easily accessible Boating and hiking destination near Bend, Oregon. The composition and serene beauty of Sparks Lake draws photographer from around the world. I’ve been to Sparks Lake dozens of times and this is by far the best image I’ve captured from it’s beautiful shores. The night before I captured this stunning photo, there was an alpine snowfall and the clearing storm left a gorgeous array of clouds as the sun rose. In addition to being a popular fine art print, this image was also recently selected by the good folks of Visit Bend as the cover shot for their newest tourism guide of the Bend, Oregon area. Follow this link to learn more about Visit Bend!
The above image of Central Oregon’s Mount Washington was captured along the shores of a backcountry lake in the Mt. Washington Wilderness Area. I have to thank my friend, beer buddy, and partner in our stock photography business, Pacific Crest Stock for first finding this hidden location while bushwacking far from any trails. To visit our stock photography site, follow this link, Oregon stock photos. This view of Mt. Washington is the best I’ve found and the fresh alpine snow combined with fall color along the lake shore make for a stunning greeting card.
The above image of Aspen leaves is one of my most popular fine art prints and will make a colorful addition to my collection of Central Oregon Greeting Cards. These leaves were along the Deschutes River Trail south of Bend. Bend’s high elevation and arid climate allow for aspen trees to thrive. There are stands of aspen trees scattered throughout the Central Oregon area. In autumn during select years, these trees can explode with color, making beautiful and delicate scenes like the one above.
Either a variety pack including one each of my 8 different cards or boxes of 8 cards of the same individual image are available. Envelopes are included with the cards . To order cards, please visit my greeting cards purchase page. Central Oregon Greeting Cards. For retailers that are interested in larger purchases, please contact me for retail rates.
Thanks For Reading!
This is installment number 7 out of 8 images in my soon to be released line of Central Oregon Cascades greeting cards. The cards have allegedly been printed and are in route to Bend but the shipping will take several more days. I’m in the process of setting up e-commerce options on my website and finding appropriate shipping boxes for my cards. It will take until nearly the end of the month but things are progressing rapidly. The following image is one of my favorites of all the fine art images I’ve ever taken. It includes my favorite mountain, Mt. Jefferson, an incredible alpine flower meadow and a stunning lenticular cloud cap filling out this spectacular cascade mountain scene.
As an avid gardener, this scene is especially special for me. I always hope to find flower filled foregrounds but I rarely find them despite hundreds of hours of blind but hopeful backcountry wandering. I had visited this exact location with my friend , photographer, and fellow beer sommelier, Troy McMullin a few days prior to the day I shot this image. I realized that the flowers would be optimal in a few days so I decided to return. In between, I took a short backpacking trip to Oregon’s Mt. Hood. I knew that the light would be best for my Mt. Jefferson scene in the evening and I knew that it was a long way and a lot of vertical gain to reach this scene so I decided to go light and fast, trimming my pack weight to about 30 pounds. I knew I would be hiking out in the dark of night so I double checked the batteries for my headlamps and grabbed some extra food for my hike out.
I was extremely eager to get back to this scene so I hiked in very rapidly. It is about a 9 mile one way hike to this location which also requires extensive off trail scrambling and a good GPS reading to find. When I arrived I was thrilled and immediately set up my tripod and began composing the scene. As I worked the scene, something fantastic began to happen. A small lenticular cloud began to form over the summit of Mt. jefferson. I couldn’t believe my good fortune. Lenticular clouds often hold dense, artistic patterns but it is very difficult to predict their formation. They virtually always improve a landscape photograph. Clear blue skies are happy, but are somewhat boring and common in the world of Oregon Landscape Photography. The formation of this lenticular cloud was too good to be true! I nervously but frantically shot the scene and eventually captured what I think is one of the best Oregon landscape photos I’ve ever seen. To be able to enjoy this phenomenal scene was a wonderful experience. To be able to capture this scene on film was truly a gift!
After exposing all of the 4×5 film with my large format camera, I quietly enjoyed the scene and then quickly hiked out as darkness fell. I floated down the trail remembering the scene I’d just captured. In addition to this being one of my favorite landscape Photos, it has been well received by others. This same image will soon grace the cover of Visit Bend’s annual tourism guide for the Central Oregon area. To take a sneak peak at the cover please visit this link Visit Bend Cover. The link will take you to a previous blog entry I wrote about the cover shot on our Pacific Crest Stock Photography blog. To see this fine art photograph in a framed version, please visit the Visit Bend visitor center in downtown Bend. Their address is: 917 Harriman Street Bend, Oregon 97701 They currently have this image on display and they will soon carry my line of Central Oregon Cascade Greeting Cards.
Please check back to this blog in a couple of days as I have one more greeting card to announce and a final announcement when the greeting cards are officially for sale, hopefully by the end of April.
Thanks For Visiting,
Some of my favorite photographs have been earned through physical toil and hard work as much as artistry and creativity. One of these favorites is a shot I captured from the summit of South Sister. South Sister is normally a long and difficult but not technical climb with a breath taking view as a reward. Several years ago I became determined to climb South Sister with full camping gear as well as my large format 4×5 camera, sleep on the summit and capture morning’s first light on Middle Sister, North Sister, and the rest of the pacific crest extending northward to Mt. St. Helen and Mt Rainier in Washington state. I climbed South Sister three different times with a fourty+ pound pack before finally getting the shot I was after. One of these climbs I did solo, the next with my friend Jake Bell, and the last with friend Brad Hensley and his sister Lisa. The shot came out better than I’d imagined, thereby making all the suffering along the way worthwhile. Below is that shot which I still enjoy, partly because of the work that went into capturing that moment, high in the Central Oregon Cascades.
Another one of my favorite Central Oregon locations is the Chambers Lakes area high on the crest between South Sister and Middle Sister. It is visible in the lower right hand area of the image above. It is a strange and beautiful alpine terrain along with stunning mountain views that makes this area special. An elusive shot which I’ve obsessed about but has to this day I have not captured includes South Sister reflected in Camp Lake with beautiful alpenglow bathing both of them. A couple years ago friend and fellow photographer, Troy McMullin and I hiked into this high lakes area in early spring only to find the lakes were frozen solid. We got some nice shots but not necessarily the ones we were after. With the recent snows high in the Cascades and a good weather pattern approaching, I decided to revisit the Camp lake area. I contacted several friends all of whom either knew better or were unavailable. I decided to go solo! I loaded camera and overnight gear into my trusty Dana Designs backpack. Starting pack weight topped out at 63 pounds! Yikes! The hike starts at Pole Creek trailhead outside of the city of Sisters. There were only two other cars there and the weather was pleasant, in the high 40′s. After October 15th, the hiking season is unofficially over, trails are no longer maintained and trail head signs were covered for the winter. During the first thirty minutes of hiking I zig-zagged around over thirty down trees blocking the trail. They were mostly beetle killed lodgepoles so it was no real loss to the forest but an inconvenience for me. Eventually the lodgepoles thin out as did the down trees. The trail is 6.5 miles one way to camp Lake and it’s beautiful setting. About half way to Camp Lake the trail was mostly snowed over and eventually I was post holing nearly every step because of my heavy pack. By the time I reached the lake, my legs were aching. My pain was worsened when I reached the lake to find that it was completely frozen over, again! I was devastated. the setting was beautiful, as always, but I would clearly not get the shot I had suffered for.
The night was cold but beautiful and my beloved Western Mountaineering sleeping bag kept me cozy. The sunrise offered some alpenglow color and clouds that would not cooperate for a truly great photo.
As the morning progressed, I snapped a few more photos until the light became too harsh. I packed up and enjoyed my last few moments alone at Camp Lake(first time I’ve been the only one spending the night there). The return hike was long but uneventful. I left having spent a beautiful evening at a phenomenal location but not having gotten the shot I was after. The good news is that I’ll soon return to this special location and try to capture the elusive reflection shot I’ve been after for years. If you are like me, you start dreaming about your first civilized meal on the way out of the back country. For my first meal, I chose to visit my good friends at Three Creeks Brewing Company in Sisters. Their signature burger was delicious as always. The Head Brewer, Dave Fleming has recently concocted a phenomenal IPA, call HooDoo VooDoo IPA. An outstandingly aromatic nose leads the way through a wonderfully balanced body and a supple refined finish. It’s a great beer and definitely worth a try if you are ever exploring in the Sisters area.
Debbie, Emma and I recently enjoyed an overnight backpacking trip in the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness area. The trail is relatively short (about 5 miles round trip) and the scenery is stunning. Emma was a trooper while Debbie and I groaned about pack weight. Below is a shot of my girls shortly after entering the lower Canyon Creek Meadow.
The flowers in the lower meadow were a little bit ahead of their prime, but the area is beautiful nonetheless. Below is a shot of our campsite in the lower Canyon Creek Meadow with a nice view of Three Fingered Jack.
Upper Canyon Creek Meadow is much more alpine in nature and is generally considered to be more scenic, which makes it well worth the additional effort to get there. While the upper meadow is stunning, camping there is discouraged due to heavy use. Instead, backpackers are encouraged to camp in the lower meadow and day hike up to the upper meadow sparing it from the extra wear and tear associated with overnight use. Because of the heavy snow pack from last winter, the flowers in the upper meadow are still a bit early, but there were individual groupings that were quite exceptional. below is one of my favorites. Mountain Heather in the foreground, red Indian Paintbrush in the midground, and backed by the towering Three Fingered Jack.
The next couple weeks should continue to be quite beautiful in the upper Canyon Creek Meadow with thousands of lupines and Monkeyflowers preparing to bloom. I will leave you with one last image of Three Fingered Jack taken from a previous visit to the upper Canyon Creek Meadow which features a nice foreground of moss yellow monkeyflowers and pink monkeyflowers. This image was captured with my cherrywood 4×5 large format view camera.