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Eclipse

Since our Bend house was about 20 miles outside the eclipse’s path of totality, we drove 30 miles to Black Butte Ranch which was about 10 miles inside the path. Fortunately we were able to stay with Portland friends, Gale and Roger, and their lovely family and have a very sane, uncrowded viewing site on one of the private golf course’s fairways. I had previously decided to not photograph the eclipse but instead just fully experience it. However, my grandson convinced me otherwise (it wasn’t difficult) and I’m glad that I did decide to capture it. However, it was almost a disaster — I missed the first 30 seconds of the 1:14 totality when I knocked my camera’s cable release loose (while removing the lens’ solar filter) and had to fumble in the dark to reattach it. But I saw and was able to photograph the totality’s full trailing half. In any case, the experience as AWESOME and I suspect that I’ll do almost anything to see another!

Photo Album Link

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Owens Valley, Death Valley, Valley of Fire, & White Pocket

I am finally getting around to posting images from a productive two week March photography outing with Bend friend, Andy. The impetus for trip was a 5 day photography workshop in eastern California, lead by Erin Babnick and Ted Gore. I have long admired both Erin and Ted’s work, and last year I enjoyed an Erin workshop in the Dolomites (Dolomites albums).

As part of this workshop and on our own, we explored California’s Death and Owens Valleys, Nevada’s Valley of Fire, and Arizona’s White Pocket. We were also unsuccessful in obtaining a permit into The Wave and had to turn back on the drive into South Coyotes Buttes due to road conditions. In fact, this failure was a final nudge toward ordering a Sprinter 4×4 camper-van from Sportsmobile 😊. I have a long list of difficult-to-get-to locations waiting for this baby, but unfortunately they will have to wait until after its delivery late next summer 😢.

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Columbia Gorge Waterfalls in the Fall

One of the best times to photograph in the Columbia Gorge is during fall color. So this year I patiently waited through a record wet October, hoping that a weather window would open before fallen leaves rotted. Finally, right at October’s end, 2 to 3 days of relatively dry weather were forecast and off to the Gorge I went. After a very wet afternoon shooting Washington’s Panther Creek Falls, the next two days did turn out to be dry and were spent on the Gorge’s Oregon side. Oneonta Gorge and its Falls were my principal goal, but hiking up the gorge was impossible due to high water (neck deep at spots). So I turned my attention to two other favorites: Mossy Grotto and Elowah Falls. The fall color was minimal but did add some interest.

The trip’s photo album can be found here.

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Steens Mountain Fall Color

In my opinion, Steen Mountain’s aspen fall colors can be among the best in the western United States. This year’s reports were outstanding, but unfortunately I was unable to get to them at their peak. Nonetheless, a week later there was still some good color and, as an added bonus, it was the morning of the season’s first snow fall!

This was also my first outing with my new camera: a Canon 5D Mark IV, the successor to my Mark III’s. I am extremely pleased with it, especially its touch screen user interface and much improved dynamic range (i.e., the ability to capture a wider range of lights and darks in a single shot).

The trip’s photo album can be found here.

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Italian Dolomites

After 3 wonderful weeks at our shared Chez Mirabel house in Provence, Martha and I drove to Toulouse where she linked up with a 10 day art workshop. And I then drove to northern Italy for 3 weeks of hiking in the Dolomites. The first two days were in Santa Maddalena (aka Santa Magdalena) in the Dolomite’s northeast. I then spent 11 days on a self guided walking tour along the Dolomite’s western edge, arranged through the British company, InnTravel. Finally, I spent 6 days on a central Dolomites photography workshop lead by Erin Babnik. There are photo albums that cover each, together with a Favorites album holding my overall favorite images from the trip.

The trip’s photo albums can be found here.

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