Posts Tagged ‘three fingered jack’

Bend Oregon Wildflower Photos!

Let me start this seasonal update by noting that I Love wildflowers.  I mean I really love them.  I seek them out every year and I do extensive planning around the timing of the peak blooms of different wildflower locations in the Bend, Oregon area.  Yesterday, I drove to Central Oregon’s beautiful Smith Rock State Park and I saw some of the first wildflowers of the season.  While the flowers were far from overwhelming, they did get me excited for wildflower season, which made me think about the wildflowers in the Bend Oregon area.  Smith Rock  is one of the first places in the Bend area to begin bursting with spring color but there are countless other areas of wildflower beauty.

Smith Rock Wildflowers

Smith Rock Wildflowers

The sulfur flowers in the above image from Smith Rock State Park are subtle yet they have a subdued beauty, like many of the wildflowers in the high desert.  Currently you can find the first few blasamroot starting to pop at Smith Rock as well as desert phlox, fiddleneck and even a few Indian Paintbrush.  Another early desert flower can be found along the Alder Springs Trail near sisters Oregon.  It is the delicate yet beautiful Bitterroot.  The Bitterroot is a classic western flower, often found on dry mesas and only in early spring.

Bitterroot Blossoms

Bitterroot Blossoms

Another classic spring Beauty that can be found in the alder Springs area is the Balsamroot which can be seen with an amazing backdrop of lichen covered basalt columns.

Balsamroot and Basalt Columns

Balsamroot and Basalt Columns

The Bend Oregon area has lots of attractive stands of balsamroot like the one seen above and most of them are located near waterways such as the Deschutes River, the Crooked River and and Whychus Creek.  Slightly later in the wildflower season, Bend’s beautiful Tumalo Falls starts to glow with small stands of wildflowers.  Incidentally, This image was selected by the Sierra club to be featured in their engagement calendar.  While the penstemmon and Indian Paintbrush aren’t crowded into the Tumalo Creek basin, their are nice pockets of them and the falls are located a mere 10 miles from Bend, Oregon.

Bend, Oregon, Tumalo Falls

Bend, Oregon, Tumalo Falls

Another relatively early blooming location is the Cascade lakes highway, located south of Bend.  There are many lakes along the Cascade lakes Highway and two of my favorites are Hosmer Lake and the more well known Sparks Lake.  Hosmer is further south and at slightly lower elevation, so wildflowers bloom a bit earlier at Hosmer Lake than they do at Sparks lake.  while there are countless wildflowers at both lakes, my personal favorite wildflowers are the Mountain Heather at Hosmer Lake and the wild columbine at Sparks Lake.  Below is an image (which makes an elegant print!) of Hosmer Lake with a backdrop of Bend Oregon’s own Mt. Bachelor.

Hosmer Lake, Mountain Heather

Central Oregon's Hosmer Lake

Incidentally, I recently released a beautiful poster of Mt. Bachelor in winter and it is for sale if you visit this link, Mt. Bachelor Poster.

Sparks Lake is approximately 25 miles from my hometown of Bend and it is one of those places that is blessed with a stunning natural composition.  It is hard to take a bad picture at Sparks Lake!  Below is the beautiful south sister mirrored in the glassy waters of Sparks Lake, with an adornment of columbine .  Windless mornings like this are rare along the Cascade Lakes Highway and even more rare is a windless morning at Sparks Lake when a bald eagle lands in the tallest tree in your composition!  If you look very closely at this Sparks Lake print, there is indeed an eagle perched at the top of the tallest tree in the print!

Wild Columbine along the shores of Sparks lake

Sparks Lake Wildflowers

Moving away from Hosmer Lake and Sparks Lake and the Cascade Lakes Highway and into the desert we will find one of my favorite Central Oregon wildflowers, the delicate Mariposa Lily.  Mariposa Lilies are very short lived and require very specific conditions in order to bloom.  They can be found in many desert areas in the Bend, Oregon area but in some years, they don’t bloom at all.  This amazing group of lilies was captured on a friends property in an undeveloped area of Bend.  It is rare to find one Mariposa Lily and exceedingly rare to find an arrangement like you see in this print.

Mariposa Lilies

Mariposa Lilies

The Mt. Jefferson Wilderness area is one of the next wildflower filled destinations to bloom in typical years.  It is filled with wildflower viewing opportunities and multiple trail heads to choose from on both the east and west side of the Oregon Cascades.  A few of my favorite trail heads are Jack Lake, Carl Lake, Whitewater, and Breitenbush.  One of the more accessible alpine meadows in the Central Oregon area is Canyon Creek Meadow which on select years is filled with a see of purple lupine, like you see in the image below.  This amazing wildflower meadow is backed by the Rugged Three Fingered Jack.

Canyon Creek Meadow and Three Fingered Jack

Canyon Creek Meadow and Three Fingered Jack

Another favorite wildflower location in the Bend area is the amazing Mt. Jefferson.  There are many worthy wildflower destinations in the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness area and one of those is Jefferson Park.  Although Jefferson Park requires some effort to reach, it is well worth the sweat.  Approximately 6 miles from the Whitewater trail head is the alpine eden of Jefferson Park.  There is tremendous variation in wildflower quality from year to year at Jefferson Park but every year is beautiful.  One of the most amazing wildflowers meadows I’ve ever seen is in the picture below.  I simply refer to it as Mt. Jefferson Wilderness and it typifies how I recall Jefferson Park and the entire Mt. Jefferson Wilderness Area.

Mt Jefferson Wilderness

Mt Jefferson Wilderness

Another favorite Bend Oregon area wildflower hike is the Broken Top Trail Hike.  Located off of the Cascade Lakes Highway, the Broken Top Trail requires a rugged drive up the rocky and rutted forest service road #370.  Typically, the 370 road is not open until late in the summer due to winter damage and heavy snowfall in the area.  Regardless of the requisite effort, it is worth it!  Below is another image of Bend’s beautiful Mt.Bachelor with a lush wildflower meadow, located above the Broken Top Trail.

Mt Bachelor in Summer

Mt Bachelor in Summer

There are many beautiful wildflower meadows located along the Broken Top Trail.  On of my favorite views of Broken Top is seen from the Broken Top Trail.

Broken Top

Broken Top Sunrise

This image of Broken Top was captured on a stunning, still morning after countless days of scouting.  Rugged yet placid, it is an excellent representation of Broken Top and this amazing area of the Oregon Cascades.  Technically, Broken Top is located within the Three Sisters Wilderness but Broken Top has a very different feel than the Western part of the Three Sisters Wilderness Area.  Below is another image of Broken Top, taken from a different spur of the Broken Top Trail.

Broken Top Trail

Broken Top Trail

The Western side of the Three Sisters Wilderness Area is very different than the eastern side.  The Western side receives much more precipitation and has more lush meadow areas.  Below is one of my favorite wildflower meadows in the western half of the three Sisters Wilderness Area, located near the Obsidian trail head.  I discovered this particular meadow in the Three Sisters Wilderness Area while backpacking with several friends.  It was was sprinkled with hundreds of thousands of wildflowers. One of the more amazing sites I’ve seen in Oregon!

Three Sisters Wilderness

Three Sisters Wilderness

All of these Bend area wildflower photos are available as fine art prints and all of them were captured with the large format 4×5 film camera that I use to capture all of my fine art prints.  For more information about my work, please browse through this site and if you are interested in purchasing a print, please do not hesitate to call me at 541-610-4815.

Thanks for visiting,

Mike Putnam


Landscape Photography Exhibit at the Redmond, Oregon Airport!

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.

Three Sisters Mountains, Oregon

Three Sisters Mountains, 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.

Smith Rock State Park

Smith Rock State Park

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

Beautiful Wildflower Meadow

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.

Lupines

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.

Redmond Airport art

Redmond Airport art

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.

Bend Oregon

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.

alpine stream

alpine stream

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.

Alpenglow

Alpenglow, "Summit Sunrise"

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!

Happy Holidays,

Mike


Water in the Desert, A Photographic tour of Central Oregon’s Diverse Landscapes!

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

"Wall of Light", Smith Rock State Park, Oregon

"Wall of Light", Smith Rock State Park, Oregon

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.

Mirror Pond and the Deschutes River, Bend, Oregon

Mirror Pond and the Deschutes River, Bend, Oregon

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.

Deschutes River Trail

Deschutes River Trail

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.

Sparks Lake Sunrise

Sparks Lake Sunrise

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.

Tumalo Falls

Tumalo Falls

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.

Bend, Oregon , Shevlin Park

Bend, Oregon , 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.

"Summit Sunrise", Three Sisters Wilderness Area

"Summit Sunrise", 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, Three Sisters Wilderness Area, Oregon

Proxy Falls, Three Sisters Wilderness Area, Oregon

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.

Broken Top Sunrise

Broken Top Sunrise

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.

Three Sisters Wilderness

Three Sisters Wilderness

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.

Newberry Crater and Paulina Lake

Newberry Crater and Paulina Lake

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.

Three Fingered Jack and Canyon Creek Meadow

Three Fingered Jack and Canyon Creek Meadow

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.

Metolius River

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!

"Tumalo Mountain Sunrise"

"Tumalo Mountain Sunrise"

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!

Mike

 

 

 

 


First Friday Art Hop in Bend, Oregon!

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!

Bend Oregon's Tumalo Falls with summer wildflowers

Bend Oregon's Tumalo Falls with summer wildflowers

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.

Newberry Crater and Paulina Lake

Newberry Crater and Paulina Lake

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.

Canyon Creek Meadow hike

Canyon Creek Meadow hike

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.

Deschutes River near Bend, Oregon

Deschutes River near Bend, Oregon

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.

Oregon Cascade Mountains

Oregon 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,

Mike Putnam

 


New Photographs Now showing at the Volcano Vineyards Tasting Room in Downtown Bend, Oregon!

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.

Photo/picture of Oregon's Mount Washington in autumn now on display at the Volcano Vineyard tasting room in Bend, Oregon.

Photo/picture of Oregon's Mount Washington in autumn now on display at the Volcano Vineyard tasting room in Bend, Oregon.

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.

Oregon's Crooked River Canyon with brilliant autumn color

Oregon's Crooked River Canyon with brilliant autumn color

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.

Picture of Purple Lupines in Central Oregon's Canyon Creek Meadow

Picture of Purple Lupines in Central Oregon's 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.

Photo of Oregon's Three Fingered Jack Mountain and Canyon Creek Meadow at sunrise.

Photo of Oregon's Three Fingered Jack Mountain and Canyon Creek Meadow at sunrise.

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.

Picture of Central Oregon's Three Fingered Jack Mountain and a wildflower lined alpine stream.

Picture of Central Oregon's Three Fingered Jack Mountain and a wildflower lined alpine stream.

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!

Benham Falls in winter.  This well known Bend Oregon waterfall is located along the Deschutes River Trail South O the city of Bend

Photo of Benham Falls in winter. This well known Bend Oregon waterfall is located along the Deschutes River Trail South of the city of Bend,Oregon

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!

Photo of a beautiful sunrise from one of Oregon's most photogenic locations, Central Oregon's Sparks Lake.

Photo of a beautiful sunrise from one of Oregon's most photogenic locations, Central Oregon's Sparks Lake.

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.

Vine maple in autumn color along Oregon's North Santiam River

Vine maple in autumn color along Oregon's North Santiam River

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,

Mike Putnam


New Fine Art Oregon Landscape Photography at the Bend Fall Art Hop

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.

Photograph of Three Fingered Jack Mountain in the Central Oregon Cascades.

Photograph of Three Fingered Jack Mountain in the Central Oregon Cascades.

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.

Smith Rock State Park's "Monkey Face" at sunset

Smith Rock State Park's "Monkey Face" at sunset

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!

Photograph of Shevlin Park in Autumn.

Photograph of Shevlin Park in Autumn.

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!


Central Oregon Greeting Cards. They’re Here!

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!

Central Oregon Cascade Mountains Greeting Cards

Central Oregon Cascade Mountains Greeting Cards

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,

Mike Putnam


Cascade Mountains Greeting Cards

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.

Cascade Mountain sunrise as seen from the summit of Central Oregon's South Sister.

Cascade Mountain sunrise as seen from the summit of Central Oregon's South Sister.

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!

As Always,

Thanks for Visiting,

Mike Putnam


Central Oregon Greeting Cards Part II -Three Fingered Jack

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.

Three fingered Jack Greeting Card as seen from Upper Canyon Creek Meadow.

Three fingered Jack Greeting Card as seen from Upper Canyon Creek Meadow.

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,

Mike Putnam


Central Oregon Cascade Mountain Greeting Cards!

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.

South Sister and Sparks Lake Greeting Card

South Sister and Sparks Lake Greeting Card

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,

Mike Putnam


First Friday Fine Art Photography show at Pandora’s Backpack

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.  

Mt. Bachelor and Red Indian Paintbrush in the Central Oregon Cascades

Mt. Bachelor and Red Indian Paintbrush in the Central Oregon Cascades

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.

Lichen covered basalt columns in Central Oregon's High Desert

Lichen covered basalt columns in Central Oregon's High Desert

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.

Middle Sister, North Sister, Mt Washington, Three Fingered Jack, and Mt. Jefferson as seen from Tam McArthur Rim

Middle Sister, North Sister, Mt Washington, Three Fingered Jack, and Mt. Jefferson as seen from Tam McArthur Rim

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.


Broken Top Photography Adventures

     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.

Middle Sister, North Sister, Mt Washington, Three Fingered Jack, and Mt. Jefferson as seen from Tam McArthur Rim

Middle Sister, North Sister, Mt Washington, Three Fingered Jack, and Mt. Jefferson as seen from Tam McArthur Rim

 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. 

 

Broken Top as seen from the end of the Broken Top Trail with a wildflower foreground in Central Oregon.

Broken Top as seen from the end of the Broken Top Trail with a wildflower foreground in Central Oregon.

      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.  

 

Central Oregon's broken Top shrouded in mystic clouds and fronted by a beautiful field of flowers.

Central Oregon's broken Top shrouded in mystic clouds and fronted by a beautiful field of flowers.

 

Broken Top with a foreground of Indian paintbrush, senecio, larkspur and pink monkeyflowers

Broken Top with a foreground of Indian paintbrush, senecio, larkspur and pink monkeyflowers

 

Even Mt. Bachelor posed for a few images.

Even Mt. Bachelor posed for a few images.

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.


Three Finger Jack and Canyon Creek Meadow

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.

Debbie and Emma packing into lower Canyon Creek Meadow

Debbie and Emma packing into 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.

 

Campsite in the Lower Canyon Creek Meadow

Campsite in the Lower Canyon Creek Meadow

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.

 

Three Fingered Jack fronted by Mountain Heather and Indian Paintbrush.

Three Fingered Jack fronted by Mountain Heather and Indian Paintbrush.

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.

 

Three Fingered Jack with Yellow and Pink Monkeyflowers

Three Fingered Jack with Yellow and Pink Monkeyflowers