Tag: Family

Photography

Central Oregon Vacation

I was lucky enough to spend a week in the Bend, OR area for a family vacation.  Full of good times, beautiful locations and fun adventures!  Mountain biking, White Water Rafting, ATV’ing, Photography, hiking, lightning, sun, card games, Timbers winning and the USA Women’s Soccer team becoming World Champions!!

Since this was a family vacation, majority of these photos are taken with my phone in lieu of my big setup. There are quite a lot of photos just as a heads up.

Be sure to click on the photos for a larger view, especially the panorama shots.

MTB Ride along the Deschutes River Trail

A popular but gorgeous trail that follows along the Deschutes River.  Pretty easy trail overall with no real hard technical sections save for a few rocks that may be difficult to get up without using your feet.  Great views along the river by some rapids, waterfalls and some areas to stop and take a quick dip in the river.

Edison Butte OHV (ATV)

We decided to hit up Edison Butte OHV area for our ATV rides.  Having never been here, I looked up some youtube videos of the area, and found mostly Jeeps and 4×4 rigs. After talking with a local, he still recommended this area, so we went!  It was a lot of fun and a great ride for me. A couple gorgeous views as we made our climb as well. Some areas where you could go faster, but there was quite a bit of rock crawling/climbing over sharp lava rocks that was slow and technical. Not a trail I’d take a beginner on or someone who doesn’t have good control of their bike, but it wasn’t overly difficult and we made it with no flats!  If you look at the trail map below, we started on the right hand side and made a big loop up to Kwohl Butte Shelter, down to Sheridan Mtn. Shelter and then followed trail 3 back up to our trailhead and parking area.  Some sections were really dusty and I was glad to be taking the lead as you’ll see the results of my two riding partners with dirt mustaches!

White Water Rafting on the Deschutes River

A few of us went white water rafting as well!  About half of us have done this before, and even this same section of river, but it had been many years.  This was a ton of fun!  Our raft was feared early on by the others as Nick decided to take a flying leap through the air to take out another guide into the river.  From then on, the other rafts would always turn away as we neared.  Couple people also had the pleasure of falling into the river on a couple rapids.

These photos are courtesy of the photographer with High Desert River Outfitters, the company we went with.

Hiking at Smith Rock State Park

Nearing the end of our trip, we wanted to check out Smith Rock.  Having never really spent any time here, we were all impressed and amazed with how gorgeous the area was.  Two of my brothers and I decided to take the harder hike and go up Misery Ridge Trail for the better views and it did not disappoint!  It was a tiring hike, but totally worth it.  Next time I will bring my bike and do some riding here as well.  In a couple photos you can see my standing on a rock near Monkey Face rock, and in a couple others if you look real close, you can see a climber making his way up Monkey Face as well.

Painted Hills

We hit up Smith Rock in the morning and then headed for the Painted Hills.  This is an absolutely stunning and unique area that everyone has to see in person to believe it. The textures and colors are just unreal.  We didn’t do much hiking here since the temperatures were the hottest of our entire trip topping out at 103 degrees, ouch!  We still couldn’t help but to get out for some very short distances to get some views and pictures.

Sparks Lake Sunset

One evening I decided to duck out and check out Sparks Lake for the sunset. I brought all my camera gear along in case it turned epic.  If you haven’t seen my shots from my first trip here last year, the sky had to be rather impressive to top that one.  This was not such a night, but this location is just so peaceful and amazing to be at regardless of the color in the sky.  The first 3 shots here were taken with my DSLR and the rest with my phone.

That’s about it! Was a really great and fun week for all.  Do you have any favorite spots in the Central Oregon Area? I’d love to hear them and put them on my list for my next visit!  Have any favorite photos from the area? I’d love to see those as well.

Photography

A Weekend of Photography

Over Memorial Day weekend I was lucky enough to spend the majority of my time out and about in nature with some great friends and other photographers!  Being primarily a landscape photographer, it is always a blast hiking, biking and photographing the beauty nature has to offer.  To end it all, I was able to visit some family and take a few photographs of the newest addition to our family, my niece Kacie.

Being on the coast, I usually have to drive a fair bit to get to the waterfalls and other areas but that’s never a problem since I get to listen to podcasts, audiobooks and music to pass the time and get me pumped up for shooting!

The weekend entailed a few different places…..

  • Opal Creek Wilderness area
  • Scotts Mills Park
  • Abiqua Falls
  • Silver Falls State Park
  • Visiting family! 

Continue on to see my favorite pictures from the trip! Click on each image for a lightbox view for better detail.

Opal Creek Wilderness

 

Opal Creek is an area that I’ve been wanting to visit for a while now. It always sounded so beautiful with a good variety of stuff to shoot.  It was definitely an incredibly beautiful place with some fantastic colors throughout.  To get here, you start with a 3 or so mile hike to a place called Jawbone Flats.  The flats is basically a small area with some cabins that you can rent which will put you much closer to the center of everything around.  You’re not allowed to drive to these cabins, so you have to hike or bike.   

In this case, I met up with a couple friends Saturday morning and we biked in.  Being the out of shape guy I am, it was quite tiring, but a lot faster than hiking in.   We are able to do some short hikes to the beautifully colored water, some great rapids and waterfalls mixed among a beautiful forest area. There is plenty more to see including some old growth forest, more waterfalls and such but those were a bit further than we were wanting to go for this trip, and one of the bridges crossing the creek has been washed out and never replaced to my knowledge.

 Upstream view from atop a bridge that spans Opal Creek.  You can see where the creek gets its name from the beautifully colored water. It's very inviting!

 SawMill Falls along Opal Creek. This waterfall is right where an old saw mill used to operate and one can assume, where its name originated from.

I had a Cokin P series filter set with a few other filters and accessories for it that I lost to the creek while taking the shot above.  I was able to climb up some rocks to get a slightly different vantage point than the easy one with no problem. On the way back down is when the filter holder fell into the water and floated out of reach before I could get down safely with my camera to snatch it.  Luckily, it’s a fairly inexpensive set of items to replace if I choose to do so. Was it worth it to lose that stuff while getting this shot?   I don’t know, it’s a beautiful view, but with a little more care, I probably could have left with everything in my possession. 

Scotts Mills Park

 

Scotts Mills county park was our meeting place before heading up the road to Abiqua Falls.  Marty (one of the friends and photographers) wanted to shoot this park before heading out and thought it would be a good meeting place and he was right!

There’s not much to shoot overall, but there is this pretty cool looking waterfall of sorts with some man-made aspects and interesting rocks all round it.  I arrived earlier than our planned meeting time since I didn’t sleep well the night before and was able to catch just a glimmer of color from the sunrise. 

 Small waterfall at Scotts Mills County Park along Butte Creek with some great and interesting man-made aspects to it.

Abiqua Falls

 

Abiqua Falls is easily one of the best waterfalls I have been to.  The hike through the forest, along the creek bed all to open up in this beautiful area of column rock and a gorgeous waterfall in the middle.  It’s not the easiest to get to, but definitely worth the trip.  It starts with a pretty rough drive down a road for about 2.5 miles or so.  I highly recommend a 4×4 vehicle or at least one that has higher road clearance.

Once you get to the trail head, it’s only 1/2 mile hike or so to the waterfalls, but don’t let the distance fool you. It’s a fairly steep hike through the forest down to the creek bed.  There are plenty of steep areas that have ropes to help you climb up and down.  Once you get to the creek bed, you’ll walk upstream a short distance, but this short distance requires climbing over, under and around numerous fallen trees and over loose rocks. 

As you get closer you hear the waterfall from a good distance, but you can’t see it until you round the last corner and opens up into this amazing area you see below! 

 The beautiful Abiqua Falls showing off a great water flow this time of year.

 Abiqua Falls from a lower perspective showing some of the rocks along the creek.

After leaving Abiqua, we headed for Silver Falls State Park.  We continued down a road passing some great looking forest areas only to come to a locked gate. So we had to turn around and lucky for us, the car leading the way had a photographer in it who convinced the driver to pull over to photograph the forest with some great light and fog throughout. 

 Fog in the forest creating an eerie but beautiful feeling and that's what I wanted to create with this image.

Silver Falls State Park

 

After Abiqua Falls and a quick lunch, we headed over to Silver Falls State Park.   This is a very well known state park that’s home to a lot of waterfalls. Most famously known for 10 or so falls along it’s trails that are pretty easy to access if you’re willing to walk the distance.  One of the unique aspects about this place are a couple of the waterfalls you are able to walk behind which is always an interesting experience if you’ve never done it.

 Double Falls at Silver Falls state park.  Above the big waterfall you can see just a tiny bit of the upper falls.

 A waterfall at Silver Falls state park.

 A view from under some of the rocks that you can get to from walking behind the waterfall.

 A more traditional view of one of the waterfalls at Silver Falls state park.

 A view from directly behind the waterfall. Taken rather quickly to avoid all the spray from the water.

Family to end the weekend

In addition to all the beautiful outdoor nature I was able to photograph this weekend… I was also lucky enough to photograph the newest addition to our family. My niece Kacie!

She was 6 days old when these were taken and really did not want to sleep at all for us while we were trying to do a shoot.  The shot with her eyes closed only lasted a minute or so, but was long enough to capture that pleasant and peaceful look on her face. 

 My niece Kacie having a curious look on her face.

 A very rare moment during our shoot when Kacie had her eyes closed. It didn't last long though!

 Kacie lifting her head on her own with a determined look on her face.


It was definitely a fun filled and busy weekend.  Couldn’t think of a better way to spend a few days, except maybe if there was a Portland Timbers game in there somewhere. Which I was able to watch in my motel the first night. 

Let me know what you think of the photos and these places! Have you been there? want to visit?  Have any stories and places you’d like to share? Post away! 

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