Posted in Forces of Nature, Landscape, Photography, Road Trips, Weekly Photo Challenge

Afraid Of Ladders

I will walk under a ladder, but (unless it’s very short) I won’t climb atop one. Metal, wood, plastic … whatever it’s made from doesn’t matter. It’s the balance/height combination that makes me shy away.

I almost fell from  a tree when I was seven years old, though. Luckily, it was a friendly willow.

These days I usually drive up to look down.

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Death Valley is famous for SCORCHING HOT weather. But at Dante’s View (above) you’ll appreciate a fleece jacket in the mornings—even in late summer. And at an elevation of 5,476 feet, you’ll feel like you are on top of the world.

The photo below was taken from Zabriskie Point. It’s much lower than Dante’s, but still able to separate the foreground/background and give depth to the view.

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I’ve been a big fan always of getting my camera in different places and trying to seek the unusual vantage point. —Joe McNally

 

Posted in Close-Up & Macro, Forces of Nature, Photography, Plant Life, Weather, winter

Beautifully Brutal

or-1218-2016-131-on1Winter’s bullied the Willamette Valley this season, slapping us with snow, ice, and inconvenience.

or-1218-2016-044In December, freezing rain brought widespread power outages; the damage to trees, especially the oaks, epitomized a brutal side of nature. A lesser storm iced the roads again this week, while another brief round may arrive tomorrow.

or-1218-2016-053-on1Meanwhile, the temperature in Wisdom, Montana, fell to -46°F the other day.

There’s no such thing as bad weather, just soft people. —Bill Bowerman

Posted in Abstract, Forces of Nature, Landscape, Nature, Photography, rocks, Utah

Cathedral Valley

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The Temple of The Moon at Sunrise, Cathedral Valley, Utah

After our rewarding stopover in Delta, Ulrich and I angled southeast, to Capitol Reef National Park and Cathedral Valley.

We made an early start from Duke’s Campground in Hanksville the next morning, driving west on State Route 24 to Cathedral Valley Road, near Caineville. We weren’t making the entire loop tour, only the fifteen or so miles out to The Temples of the Sun and Moon, but it was slow-going due to frequent World Class Washboarding. I parked near the Temples barely five minutes before direct sunlight began spilling into the valley.

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Befitting its name, the valley was q-u-i-e-t, and it was all ours. Shouldering our tripods, we wandered pleasantly until the light lost its edge and shadows began to recede. I cooked bacon and scrambled eggs and potatoes for breakfast then, and was cleaning dishes when the first Jeep tour arrived.

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Who can resist cracked mud? Not me!

The washboards felt even worse on the return leg, so I took it easy and stopped several times for pictures. Back in Hanksville, we ate lunch at Blondie’s before continuing south on Highway 95.

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Midday light, ideal for a harsh landscape

 

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Posted in Abstract, Forces of Nature, Photography, Weather, Weekly Photo Challenge

Rainy Day Today

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Meeting a friend at a local café to talk about photography and life has become a Sunday ritual for me. Our preferred shop is smallish; the background music doesn’t intrude too far into quiet conversation, and the drinks are just right. In the spring and summer we take our refreshments outside to a table, but by late November the furniture has been put away and rainy days, like today, have returned.

Puddles were growing on the sidewalk outside as I sipped my coffee. I watched people passing, headed to the several stores surrounding the café. But there was something about these folks, on this morning, strange and yet familiar all at once. With three shopping weeks left before Christmas, almost no one appeared to be hurrying.

Oregon once owned an honest reputation for wet weather, but recent drought years have tarnished that. Like many others, I’ve forgotten the sound of rain beating steadily on a rooftop. Perhaps those passersby, like me, were comforted by the return of its voice to autumn’s relaxing choir.

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Posted in Abstract, Forces of Nature, Landscape Photography, Patterns, Photography, Southwest US

“Out Of The Office”

Until early October I’m trading the tidy confines of my office-cum-spare bedroom for the expansive elbow room of the desert Southwest. If plans (and weather) hold up, my friend Ulrich Rossmann and I will experience new-to-us locations in several states, including New Mexico, which until now has always been a bit too far away.

Here’s a rocky duo from northern Arizona from 2012, and a wish that autumn arrives with gentle hands.

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I search for surprise in my architecture. A work of art should cause the emotion of newness. —Oscar Niemeyer

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Posted in Forces of Nature, Landscape Photography, Photography, Weekly Photo Challenge

The Tall One

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On a visit to Alaska in 2013, I had one chance to see Denali, and was not disappointed. It dominates its landscape much as an ocean overpowers a beach.

I processed the image using a combination of programs, mostly ON1 Photo 10; removing some of the sharpness that is revered by many, I opted for an overall worn look, realizing as I finished that the effect is similar to the scratches and smudges on transparencies that were returned to me from a stock agency, many years ago. So in that respect, this image is definitely filmlike.

All right everyone, line up alphabetically according to your height. —Casey Stengel
Posted in Flowers, Forces of Nature, Weekly Photo Challenge

That Time of Year, Again

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In The Morning

 

Spring is truly one of the great forces of nature, and nowhere as sweet as the first yellow iris blooming in my wife’s flower garden.

“Every morning, every evening, ain’t we got fun”
—from Ain’t We Got Fun, by Whiting, Egan & Kahn

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In The Evening