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’m excited to announce that I recently hung some of my new Oregon Landscape Photography at the Volcano Vineyards Tasting room in Downtown Bend. Their address is 126 NW Minnesota St., which is located between Bond St. and Wall St. Through some mutual friends, Mark Merrick and Susan Ruzzo, we have gotten to know Scott and Liz Ratcliff who are the owner operators of the Volcano Vineyards and we all decided that their beautiful new tasting room would be an excellent location to share my art work with the people of Bend. They source their grapes in Southern Oregon where they craft phenomenal reds and whites. Their wines really are excellent. In fact, Volcano Vineyards is considered to be the most highly decorated winery for its size in the U.S. ! Follow this link for some more information about Volcano Vineyards’ recent awards. Volcano Vineyards. Below is one of the Oregon Landscape photographs that are currently on display at Volcano.
Timing and hard work and good friends were the keys to capturing this stunning Oregon Landscape photograph. I’ll simplify by saying that I’ve worked hard to make good friends, explaining two of the three keys. I take it back, I’ve been very lucky to find great friends here in Central Oregon. One of these great friends is Troy McMullin, who is an excellent photographer and exceptionally talented beer drinker. Thus we are friends! Troy found this glorious location which aptly displays the beauty of Oregon’s Mount Washington after he had scouted long and hard. It takes a grueling bushwack through dense underbrush along with a good GPS to find this location and I would have never found it without Troy’s extensive advanced scouting and his unusual ability to suffer in the name of adventure. Regardless, I owe him a thanks and I’ll probably buy him a beer sometime in gratitude for pointing me to this wonderful scene. As I mentioned, Timing was also crucial to capturing this landscape photograph. I wanted fresh fall snow and preferably some fall color on the opposite shores of Cabin Lake. The key is to get snow on the mountain and not around the lake and to have clear skies to the east so that the rising sun is not blocked from Mount Washington’s summit and preferably some clouds behind Mt. Washington to add some interest to the sky. Well, after several visits to this difficult location, everything came together. Once again, timing and/or luck were critical!
I was busy this fall. Below is another picture now hanging at Volcano. In this image I captured some wonderful fall color along the Crooked River north of Redmond, Oregon. Here is a link to a previous blog entry about this landscape photo. Crooked River Photo.
There are three separate images that I captured during a family backpacking trip into Canyon Creek Meadow at the base of Three Fingered Jack during this past summer. It is extraordinarily lucky for me to get three separate images with my large format 4×5 camera that are print worthy during the same trip but that was the case this summer during our trip to Three Fingered jack. The Canyon Creek area is always beautiful but this year the lupine meadows were especially full and stunning. Below are a couple images taken in the upper Canyon Creek Meadow.
I like that the lupines in this images are in excellent condition and I like the gentle sway that some of them have which gives this Oregon wildflower picture an elegant feel. There were Lupines everwhere as you can tell from the following image, also taken in Canyon Creek meadow.
Finally, here is one more picture from Canyon Creek Meadow that I took on the same backpacking trip. It is a different part of the meadow and I believe it generates a much different feel than most photographs you will find of Three Fingered Jack or Canyon Creek Meadow.
As I think about all the images I’ve currently got hanging down at Volcano, I realize that I’ve got that place pretty packed. I hope Scott and Liz don’t mind! Below is a distinctly more wintry image I took two years ago at Benham Falls along Bend, Oregon’s Deschutes River Trail. I was lucky to be able to drive to this location after such a heavy snow fall. It was actually pretty questionable and my poor daughter Emma got cold feet while patiently waiting for me to compose this snowy photograph. I’ve been to Benham many times and I’ve always had contrast control issues but the heavy snow load allowed me to capture an image that was not too contrasty. I am especially happy that I found this scenic waterfall while the trees around the river were still heavily flocked with snow, making for a great landscape image and making me a happy photographer!
The following is a Sparks Lake Photo that I have never printed until now and I’m very excited about it. I captured an awesome light display with great snow on South Sister and Broken Top in this image. I was able to capture rare and wonderful light at one of Oregon’s most photogenic locations. Please stop by volcano and tell me if you like it as much as I do!
Below is one more photo that can be viewed at the volcano tasting room in downtown Bend, Oregon. It is a simple but beautiful image of a vine maple overhanging the North Santiam River slightly west of the Cascade Crest. This individual tree had some of the most wonderful layering and color of any vine maples I’ve ever seen. It is a simple image but has a pleasant artistic feel.
Well, that includes all of the Fine art landscape photographs that I currently have displayed at the Volcano Vineyards tasting room on Minnesota Street in downtown Bend, Oregon. Please stop by to see my work and while you are there, buy a glass of wine. The Syrah is my favorite! Their wine really is excellent and Scott and Liz Ratcliff (the owners) are great people who are growing a unique and special business right here in Bend. While you are there, you might also tell them you like the photographs that currentl decorate the walls of their lovely tasting room!
All the Best,
I’m excited to announce that I will have a few new Oregon Landscape Photographs available to the public for the very first time at my usual art haunt, Pandora’s Backpack (the Patagonia Store) on Bond Street in downtown Bend, Oregon. Art Hop should kick off at about 5pm and should wrap-up at about 9pm. If any of you are in the vicinity, please stop by, say “Hello” and check out my new work.
Below is one of my new images which will be unveiled. It features Three Fingered Jack Mountain in the Central Oregon Cascades and a beautiful little alpine stream.
Lots of alpine wildflowers, live water , a cool local mountain, early morning light and interesting clouds help to make this image a winner. I captured this photograph while on a backpacking trip with my wife and daughter this past summer. It is a little bit painful to admit that the summer is in fact past! Here is a link to a previous blog entry bout our trip to Three Fingered Jack and Canyon Creek Meadows.
Below is an image of Smith Rock State Park’s legendary ”Monkey Face” formation. It is an iconic and stunning rock tower recognizable to rock climbers around the world and hikers around Central Oregon. This is another Photograph that I captured with my 4×5 large format camera this past summer.
Great sunset light and a beautiful cloud grouping will make this a special fine art print for those of you who are rock climbers and hikers of Smith Rock’s famed trails.
The last of my new images is from the crown jewel in the Bend, Oregon Park system, Shevlin Park. I often run in Shevlin Park. It offers several great trail runs/hikes which you can learn more about here. Shevlin Park trails. While I’ve always considered Shevlin Park an gorgeous and special place, I’ve had little photographic luck there until last autumn when I captured the following image which I’m thrilled about. You might even say that I’m as excited about this image as my daughter Emma is about picking out new school clothes, which is saying a lot!
This image captures several things about Shevlin Park that I love. Riparian environments,fall color,old growth ponderosas, larch trees,and Tumalo Creek are all embodied by this beautiful image! For a few more fall images from Shevlin Park, you can visit the following blog entry. Shevlin Park. I hope you all enjoy it and I hope I to see some of you Friday, October 2nd 2009 at Pandora’s backpack in downtown Bend!
I’ve finally got all the details ironed out and my small initial line of Central Oregon Greeting Cards are now available. I’ve tried out the paypal online payment system and it is working great. I’ve even had a few advanced sales prior to this announcement!
These cards will be available in boxes of 8. You can purchase 8 of any one given card or you can purchase the “variety pack” which has one each of the eight different cards. You can find a tab for my new purchasing page on the right side of the home page of this website, or you can click the following link to access the greeting card purchasing page. Central Oregon Greeting Cards Cards are offered of each of the following Central Oregon Cascade Mountains. Mt. Jefferson, South Sister, Mt. Bachelor, Three Fingered Jack, Mt. Washington, The Three Sisters, Middle and North Sisters, and Broken Top.
The Cards themselves are very high quality with an attractive satin finish. They will be an excellent way of sharing a hand written note with friends, family, and clients who live in Central Oregon and beyond. For those of you in the business world, these cards will offer you the opportunity to truly personalize your correspondences with valued clients and simultaneously share the unique beauty of Central Oregon with them. The cards will initially sell for $3.00 each and boxes of 8 will sell for $24. Discounts will be available for large purchases made by distributors. Please write to me through the contact page of this website for pricing details regarding large retail orders. The contact tab is located at the top right hand corner of this page. Central Oregon Greeting Cards.
These Cards will soon be available through shop in Central Oregon. I’ll keep you up to date regarding those locations via this website, but for now, please purchase them directly through this website.
Thanks For Visiting,
One of my favorite Central Oregon Landscape photos is pictured below on the last of my new line of art cards to be introduced. This mountain image was captured from the summit of Central Oregon’s South Sister Mountain at sunrise. The Pink alpenglow experienced during that clear morning sunrise is one of the special things about living in mountainous areas. As you may know, alpenglow is given it’s pink color because low level morning or evening light that first reaches the summits of high mountains has to travel through a greater amount of the earth’s atmosphere before contacting the earth surface. Because of this increased contact with the earth’s atmosphere, many of the light’s wavelengths are filtered out, leaving pink as one of the most prominent colors in the light’s visible spectrum, thereby giving Alpenglow it’s pink color.
Because I love mountains in general and I especially love our Central Oregon Mountains, this is one of my favorite Central Oregon Landscape photos. It would be very difficult to capture a more alpine feeling landscape image in the Central Oregon area. I’ve climbed to the summit of South Sister many times in the past. It’s a long and difficult but non-technical climb to the summit via the Devil’s Lake or Green Lakes routes. As it requires nearly 5,000 vertical feet of elevation gain to reach South Sister’s 10,358 foot summit, the climb is not for everyone. Several years ago I developed what my wife would refer to as an obsession with capturing this landscape photograph. I’ve climbed South Sister three times purely with the intention of capturing this mountain image. On the first attempt, I started late at night and climbed for five hours only to have the summit cloud in unexpectedly, totally obscuring any photos I had hoped for. The next time I climbed with good friend, Jake “Squishy” Bell. We started climbing the previous evening and summited and set up camp at about 11 AM. The next morning was frighteningly windy. It was impossible to stand still without being blown about by the wind. The sunrise was beautiful but the photographic conditions were impossible with my large format camera. Unfortunately, the bellows on my camera tend to act as a small sail in windy conditions. It was terrifying to be near the summit edge, much less to perch my expensive camera near it. I climbed down the mountain without taking a single shot. Very disappointing! On my next attempt, I climbed with two other people, my sisters ex-boyfriend and his sister. There was lots of snow on the route requiring endless post holing into deep snow on steep slopes, making for a long and tedious climb. The next morning was glorious! No winds and the beautiful alpenglow you see in the above greeting made all of my previous efforts worth while. The fine art version of this beautiful Oregon scene is also stunning. In the large 50 inch print, you can see volcanoes all the way to Washington State. Middle Sister, North Sister, Three Fingered Jack, Mt. Jefferson, Black Butte, Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams, Mt. St. Helen’s, and Mt. Rainier are all visible making this arguably the most alpine of any Oregon Landscapes. If you are interested in seeing this Fine Art Print in person, please feel free to contact me. If you are interested in purchasing this or any of my other Cascade Mountain Greeting Cards, please check back in a couple of days because they are almost ready for sale!
Thanks for Visiting,
The following image is of my second greeting card in the series of eight Central Oregon Cascade Mountain images. This picture was captured in the upper meadow in the Canyon Creek area high on the flanks of Three Fingered Jack Mountain, which is located in the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness area of the Central Oregon Cascades.
This scenic picture was captured during a backpacking trip I took with my wife, Debbie and our daughter, Emma. It is wonderful hike that passes through several different climate zones during the short 3.5 mile hike in to the lower Canyon Creek Meadow where we camped that evening. Emma was a trooper and as usual Debbie was patient with my landscape photography obsession. Because of heavy snowpack from the previous winter, I didn’t end up with the picture I’d envisioned but instead got this gem of a photograph. The Mountain heather grouping with red indian paintbrush sprinkled and a backdrop of three Fingered Jack make for a wonderful composition with with great color and texture to finish off this image. For those of you who haven’t been to the Canyon creek area near Three fingered Jack, it is a great short dayhike with excellent overnight options. Three Fingered Jack has several different shapes depending upon the location you are viewing it from which is part of what makes it one of my Central Oregon Mountains. High and to the left of this art card’s coverage, is a small alpine tarn which holds small ice bergs until late in the summer. For more great Three Finger Jack pictures, please visit the Mountain Gallery of our Pacific Crest Stock Photography website. Mountain Gallery If you would lie to order this or any of the other art cards in my Central Oregon Cascades Mountain collection, please check back soon as the cards have been ordered and they will available soon. Please check back to this site soon to see the next image in my new greeting card series.
Thanks For Visiting,
For those of you who are regular readers of my updates, hold on to your hats as I’m branching into something entirely different. I’m about to launch a small but super high quality line of art cards, greeting cards, note cards, or whatever you want to call them. they will open to a blank inside for personal notes to friends, family, clients, or associates. Regardless, they should be very nice and as you might expect, Central Oregon landscapes will be the theme. My first series of 8 cards is just about to be ordered and should be available in a couple of weeks. I hope to market them everywhere that sells attractive cards. I’ve received countless requests for less expensive products from people who genuinely seem to love my photography but don’t have $1,650 available for a framed 30×50 inch print. I get it! Especially in these difficult economic times. Thus my new business idea. I’ve always focused on the best quality that I could possibly achieve from the beginning of my process to the end. It all starts with great slow speed 4×5 transparency film in a balanced, accurately focusing large format camera with excellent quality multi-coated lenses on top of an exceptional carbon fiber tripod. This is just the film capture part of the process. Next comes the processing part of the image capture process. I can have a beautifully exposed capture of a once in a lifetime scene but if the processing is botched then everything but the memory is lost. That’s why I utilize the best processing outfit anywhere. Next comes the printing. Many people have asked if I do my own printing. I don’t for several reasons. The first of which is that it takes a long time to become a great printer and I’m simply too busy to perfect the art. The second is that I don’t have quite enough through put to justify having the requisite chemicals around in my already cramped basement. Also, maintaining a top quality color processing set-up is also time consuming and frankly, professional outfits can do it better than me and therefore I choose to have them do it. I consider my printers to be the best in the world. This opinion is shared by many of the best professional photographers in the world. Because all of this adds, y fine art quality photographs are not cheap. Because I’ve had lots of requests for my images at a lower price, I came to the conclusion that high end but fairly priced Greeting Cards featuring Central Oregon Cascade Mountains would be a good place to start. As always, quality was my first objective. The printing options are endless. Decisions regarding paper, print,and font had to be made. Then of course, I had to select only 8 of my thousands of images for usage. This was brutal! There are so many photographs that I’d like to make into art cards but I had to start somewhere. With endless help from my sweet wife, Debbie, and our great friends, Jason and Christine, we have finally reached the printing stage. I’ll offer a photographer’s insight into how each of my new greeting card images were captured over the next couple of weeks, until the Greeting Cards are actually available. I’ll also leak out more information about specifics of the cards, price, etc. To start off the grand introduction of my soon to be released art cards, I give you the following image of Sparks Lake, with the distant South Sister as seen from near the Cascade Lakes Highway.
I felt this was an appropriate card image to start with because it is such a recognizable location for many Central Oregon outdoor enthusiasts and because it was one of the first images that I captured that I was truly excited about. I had been to Sparks Lake for many previous sunsets but none have been the equal of this Sparks Lake photo. The scene was stunning that I got goose bumps. To capture that much color, with a perfect reflection of South Sister from such a scenic Oregon location was a gift. I always have a desire to do justice to a given location. Many of you have probably been to a scenic location and took some photos and when you returned home you were disappointed with your results because the photos didn’t do justice to the beauty of a given scene. Well, my goal is to never let this happen. Don’t get me wrong, it happens, but if the scene is beautiful, I keep going back until I get it right and I eventually do justice to the scene. this photo is very rewarding because I did justice to a famous and beautiful scene. The setting could not have been better. I was with My wife and our daughter, Emma, who was catching toads along Sparks Lake’s shore while I photographed the scene. The clouds were amazing, and the water could not have been more still. Knowing that this scenic location was a favorite of Oregon’s photographer laureate, Ray Atkeson is also immensely rewarding. Of all the time I’ve spent photographing Sparks Lake, that evening is still my favorite. I hope you all enjoy the greeting card version of this shot and please contact me if you would like to make a purchase. I’ll soon have a special Art Card/Greeting Card page on my website where it will be possible to register with PayPal and buy my cards directly from the web and I’ll send them directly to you. If anyone has any suggestions regarding locations that you’d like to see as part of my next series of cards, please leave a comment at the end of this blog entry. Until my next Greeting card entry, Take Care.
All the Best,
I’d like to officially thank Rod Bien of Pandora’s backpack in downtown Bend for hosting my photography show last Friday(3/6/09) The store is great, Rod has always been generous in allowing my huge fine art prints and cumbersome easels to clutter up his store and the staff at Pandora’s backpack is also a great group of people. Mo, Jordan, Thad and everyone who chipped in at last Friday’s art walk. It is very appreciated.
We had a great turn out and it was especially nice to see some old friends and collectors who I had regrettably lost touch with in the past couple years. Above is one of the many images that are still hanging at Pandora’s backpack which I captured with my large format 4×5 film camera.
For those of you that don’t already know, Pandora’s backpack is according to my understanding a Patagonia concept store. Meaning they are privately owned but carry almost a full line of Patagonia clothing. Perhaps if Rod Bien happens to stumble upon this entry , he could give us some details. Regardless, it is full of high quality, well made outdoor gear from my favorite outdoor company, Patagonia. Old Patagonia catalogs were one of my early photography inspirations. When I lived in Kentucky with my parents, I had a small collection of photos cut out of old Patagonia catalogs taped up next to my spot at the dinner table. It was my happy spot! Back to Pandora’s Backpack. It is a beautiful store with very attractive brick walls and some nice rugged wood details, all of which combine nicely with my large format fine art prints and the hand made cherry wood frames that I create for them.
The above is another one of my fine art photos which is currently hanging at Pandora’s backpack. I captured this image near the alder springs area outside of Sisters, Oregon. I met lots of new Bend residents at the show virtually all of who are living in Bend for the outdoor experiences that are available here. Having the Deschutes River, the high desert, old growth ponderosas, and the Cascade Mountains all within minutes of each other and minutes of Downtown Bend make this an amazing place for me to live.
This is yet another fine art image hanging at Pandora’s backpack and yet another reason I feel lucky to live and work in Central Oregon. An endless supply of beautiful photography subjects and some amazing sunsets are nothing to complain about. The above photograph was taken from Tam McArthur Rim high on the flanks of Central Oregon’s Broken Top Mountain in the Oregon Cascades. The sunset was clearly stunning but the view is always grand from this location. From left to right are Middle Sister, North Sister, Mt. Washington, Three Fingered Jack, and Mt. Jefferson. It is truly an amazing volcanic viewpoint.
If any of you are interested in seeing more of my work in person, please stop by Pandora’s backpack where my work is semi-permanently displayed. It is located at the On Bond street in the St. Clair building in downtown Bend.
Some of my favorite Central Oregon hiking areas are the alpine basins that surround Broken Top Mountain, located in the Three Sisters Wilderness Area near Mt. Bachelor. There are several beautiful hiking trails that hive good access to amazing alpine scenery high on the flanks of Broken Top, including the Tam McArthur Rim Trail, Park Meadows Trail, Green Lakes Trail, the Crater Ditch Trail, and the Broken Top Crater Trail. All these trails have their own unique visual attractions and different time frames at which they are at their floral apex. This of course means that , as a backcountry photographer I’m forced to make several photographic journeys to Broken Top every year. What torture. Tam McArthur Rim is one of the first Hikes my wife and I did when we moved to Oregon. It is beautiful, rugged, not too difficult, and easily accesible from the city of Sisters, Oregon, where we lived at the time. We now live in Bend, Oregon but the Sisters area still holds a special place in our hearts.
One of my favorite images of Tam McArthur Rim, which extends eastward from the shoulders of Broken Top and is highly visible from the city of Sisters is found below.
This shot was taken from Tam McArthur Rim and displays Middle Sister, North Sister, Mt. Washington, Three Fingered Jack and Mt. Jefferson to the far right. Obviously it was a spectacular sunset, one well worth the hike and even worth the uneasy feeling that comes with a cold hike out in the dark of night. Another of my favorite locations on Broken Top is the area covered by Broken Top Trail. This trail starts at a high elevation and stays there. The next image is from a couple years ago but I’m still fond of it. It was taken in the glacial basin at the southern end of the Broken Top trail.
Finally I’ll include several images from a recent series of explorations on the east side of Broken Top. I scouted this area several times within the same week and decided the flowers would soon climax. I then made sunrise outings on consecutive mornings to appropriately capture what I considered an exceptional floral display with a gorgeous back drop of Broken Top’s crater. The first morning, the light was poor and it was very hazy due to forest fires in the vicinity. The next was different. I awoke at 3:30 AM grabbed my enormous backpack full of cameras and lenses and drove to Sparks Lake to determine if the conditions warranted a long drive down forest service road 1370 with an hour long off trail hike carrying 50 pounds of gear to follow, all before sunrise. The conditions at Sparks Lake were questionable at best. Broken Top was completely obscured except for occasional glimpses of its summit. I envisioned moody light enhancing an already gorgeous foreground backed by the theatre of Broken Top’s pinnacles intertwined with misty morning clouds. This was one of those mornings where I gambled and won! Below are several images I’m thrilled with and I feel the best is yet to come. Only on exceptional occasions like this do I shoot with my 4×5 camera with the hope that a beautiful fine art print will be the ultimate reward. When the light was at its most dramatic, I utilized my 4×5 film camera and when it was less optimal, I shot with my high end digital SLR. So, what you see are essentially the second class images from a special morning. I’ll let everyone know if the prints come out as well as I hope they will. Regardless, enjoy the next few images and please let me know which you prefer by leaving comments at the end of this article.
Overall it was a beautiful and rewarding morning in one of my favorite backcountry locations, high on the flanks of Broken Top Mountain, in the heart of the Central Oregon Cascades.
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.