Search Results for “oregon”

March 22, 2015

By the base of Proxy Falls, Oregon

Proxy Falls is one of the most frequently photographed waterfalls in Oregon. It most certainly is once of the most photogenic waterfalls. But being surrounded by the lush forest and given its height, it is a bit tricky to photograph the same. As most of the PNW, getting to the spot is a major part of the experience. The trail goes over an old lava flow, then entering a mixed confer forest.  From the end of the trail, the falls are viewed through a natural channel in the thick surrounding forest.

Proxy Falls is created as the Proxy Creek breaks over a high wall of basalt, which is adorned by mosses. At a height of 226 feet, the two streams that flow down is a sight to behold. This is my attempt to capture the falls with all its surroundings and the majestic mood !

Canon 7D : Canon 10-24 mm : ISO 100 : 16 mm : f27.0 : 30 sec

  Proxy Falls, Three Sisters Wilderness 
Willamette, Oregon, USA
June 6, 2013

Meanwhile at a Trail in Oregon

I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in tune once more – John Burroughs

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 100 : 39 mm : f22 : 30 sec

Buy Print   Mirror Lake
Mt Hood, Oregon, USA
March 9, 2013

Adios Oregon

With a heavy heart, contemplation, reflection and open mind – I bid good bye to the beautiful Oregon, that pretty much had become my second home. I will continue to share the beauty of Pacific NW (Still have gigs of shots to process from the previous years :)) and looking forward to that. Open to next opportunities, heading out to urban city of Chicago – exited to explore what life has in store !!!

This particular shot is from Fern hill wetlands, which easily became my favorite spot for sunset and bird watching. Though just 20 odd miles from Portland, it gives a typical countryside feel far away from the frenzy city life !!!

Camera : Canon 7D
Lens : Tamron 18-270 mm
Filter : 3 stop ND Filter
ISO 100 : 27 mm : f19 : 30 sec

Buy Print   FernHill Wetlands
Forest Grove, Oregon, USA
December 13, 2012

Stonehenge – right here at Oregon

I came across Maryhill in Washington, when I was trying to finalize (light pollution free) places to shoot Geminids meteor shower. This park has a full-size, astronomically-aligned replica of Stonehenge and was commissioned by Samuel Hill and dedicated on July 4, 1918 as a memorial to those that died in World War I. The memorial was completed in 1929.

The peak of Geminids is actually tonight (Dec 13, 2013), but given the overcast weather here at the northwest, it is not very promising. Hence, when there was a break in the weather yesterday, decided to take my chances. It was a nice experience, braving the December cold and watching the meteor shower in person. I was able to witness close to ~5 in a span of 15 minutes, as I was scouting / setting up at the location. But subsequently the skies were clear only for a few minutes – here and there. So much for the forecast and almost clear skies. It was not a great night for capturing the meteors, but given the new moon and having the entire place to play with some lighting, it turned out to a pretty good night for some star photography.

I used a small headlamp to light up the inside of the Stonehenge. The light from a near by settlement was reflecting on the clouds creating the yellow. The (once distracting series of) tower lights, harmonized with the fog resulting in the lovely red hue over the horizon. Incidentally, the passing by Union Pacific train decided to play along and lit up the outside of the Stonehenge. Wish there had been a meteor on this particular shot, oh well … I just love it when a plan comes together, or not :)

Camera : Canon 7D
Lens : Canon 10-22 mm
Filter : None
ISO 3200 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 30 sec

Buy PrintMilky way @ Stonehenge
MaryHill, Washington, USA
October 25, 2012

Salt Creek Falls, Oregon

Oregon is blessed with so many many waterfalls. Still, at 286 feet, Salt Creek is definitely one among the most impressive. Located at Hwy 58 around 20 miles east of Oakridge, it is easily accessible. The view point is just 20 feet from the parking, but it is well worth to take the hike down to the base of the falls. There are many views along the canyon rim as you hike down, but I still liked this view from the top. Though the scale of the falls is not very prominent in this view, I dig how this showcases the falls along with her landscape. One could just watch the fog play hide and seek – all day. The cool breeze of the enduring autumn fog along with a hint of falls colors added to the grandeur.

Camera : Canon 7D
Lens : Canon 10-22 mm
Filter : 3 Stop ND Filter
ISO 100 : 10 mm : f22 : 1 sec

Buy Print   Salt Creek Falls
Hwy 58, Oregon, USA
June 21, 2012

Fairy Falls, Oregon

Fairy Falls is located at the Wahkeena Canyon area of the lovely Colombia George Wilderness. The trail starts with some beautiful stonework and a wooden bridge over Wahkeena Creek. The trail to the left leads to Multnomah Falls and the one to the right leads to the Fairy Falls and beyond. Wahkeena Falls and the overflowing creek might not be as popular as the near by Multnomah Falls, but let that not fool you. The Fairy falls is one of the much smaller falls in the George, but is brilliantly beautiful. Even at just 20 feet, the stepped formation creates such a dreamy flow. It is a wonder to watch and just get lost with.

The initial trail has a paved, but pretty steep section – climbing about 600 feet in about 1/2 mile. With about 10+ switchbacks it does drain energy. But once you cross, it is more scenic, wild & enjoyable. The kids definitely would enjoy this as the hike meanders across pseudo bridges and water cascades. It is a little over 2 miles round trip, if you decide to turn back at the Fairy falls. Depending on the season do carry water and chocolates to munch – I sure was glad I did :)

Buy Print   Fairy Falls, Wahkeena Creek Trail
Columbia River George, Oregon, USA
May 8, 2012

Covert Gem of Oregon – Abiqua Falls

A visit to Abiqua falls is quiet an encompassing experience. It starts with the leisurely silver falls scenic drive from Silverton. Before you could realize, you are navigating over and down the hilly terrain. Yes an ATV would be awesome, but don’t worry you can manage with any decent passenger car, provided you drive slowly. From the parking lot, the walking quickly changes to hike, then a bit of trek, some scramble across the rocks and logs, throw in a bit of sliding, scrambling, dodging the water as you navigate your way based on the falls that you hear at the distance. Falling just at over 100 feet – it is not the biggest of the Oregon falls, but getting the glimpse of this falls after the adventures trek gives a kind of peaceful and serene contentment. It is as if you just entered a different magical world. This weeks I share with you a slice of moment from my visit. The late afternoon sun just lit up the lichen creating the glowing contrast with the falls.

Buy Print Abiqua Falls @ Santiam State Forest
Marion, Oregon, USA
June 4, 2020

Artography : Photo to Painting

But why ?

Cause everything looks better in Watercolor :) 

If you had been following my blog, you would be aware of my dabbles with creating art out of my photographs. This article is about my journey around the same. For a while, had been wondering what to call it. Few things that came to my mind were – Painting with Pixels, Pixel Painting, From Click to Canvas, Painting with a Click, Digital Painting, Artography, Paintograhy etc.

Digital Painting (using Digital tools like stylus, touch screen, tablet etc. and relevant software to create paintings) has a rounded definition and it would not fit for this kind of work. Artography was defined as – An artwork so realistic you thought it was taken by a camera. It did not sound right, but apart from this so-called urban site, I did not see it being used elsewhere. Paintography also seems to be used in a few places and defined as a combination of Digital Photography and Digital Painting. This term seems to have been registered by http://paintography.org, but that site is no longer online.

Am inclined towards using Artography or Painotgraphy – as it goes more closely with ‘Creating Art inspired by Photographs’ :) Anyways, what is there in the name. Let us get started.

A triptych depicting different portions from different work to highlight the painting effect.
A triptych depicting portions (at 100%) of different artwork to highlight the watercolor effect.

Search for the Artist within

A photographer is an artist who paints with light.

As a kid, I had been fascinated with painting. I am grateful to have had my chances to play with watercolor and acrylic during my childhood. Growing up, I lost touch with most of these, dabbling only occasionally. 

A couple of years back, during one of my Oregon road trips, came across this lady at The Crown Point Overlook (Portland Women’s Forum State Scenic Viewpoint / Chanticleer Point). She was lost in her world, painting the lovely Columbia Gorge view along with the Vista House. It was soothing to watch someone, lost completely in one’s art and nature. Though I envied her, I felt I neither had the skill, nor the tools or the time (damn so many excuses…) to be doing that. My thoughts keep going back to this scene and be able to do it someday. It was probably a decade back, but it kind of stuck a cord and still stays with me.

As a hobby, I do feel more connected with Photography, but my heart keeps coming back to Painting. For some reason, it seems to have an intimate & personal touch. Thus when I came across Digital Painting, I was intrigued. Initially started with it, (mostly) due to laziness (and the familiarity of the software and the digital environment).  Not being able to carry the tools of the trade (for painting) everywhere also played into it. The more I play around it, I realize – the flexibility, joy & fulfillment of the creative process and the final output is winning me over.

Eventually, it is all about creating a compelling canvas reminiscent of a painting – evocative with rich color, contrast, texture and convey the mood it was intended for. The medium or the means did not matter as much – at least for me personally. I believe at the peak of creativity, one is completely in ‘the present’ and everything else dissolves – it is kind of a personal journey! 

Added advantage – no one questions if this was edited. It is a given that the painting – native or digital – is purely the creation of the painter. There is no question on if it is real. The camera just disappears from the equation :)

Know the difference between Science and science fiction? Science needs to sound and feel real to be accepted. In the same lines: Photos need to feel and look real to a great extent. But Painting is not restricted by these views.

The Creative Process 

The purpose of art is to get lost … 
To get lost in yourself & your own world.

Working on the digital watercolor over the past few years, helped me try out different techniques to get the right feel. It is different, personal and all the more fun. There is no right or wrong. The process is continually getting refined. Below are a few significant things that work for me …

Scouting: Looking for the scene

Every painter, unlike a photographer, begins with a blank canvas.

When creating art or for that matter anything you do – it helps to start with the end in mind. As a photographer, this starts way way before the shutter is clicked.

For example, I had this vision of creating a fall color scene with a leading road. Waiting for the right season, scouting the locations on google street view & then in person, checking out the weather and being there at the right time – got me this.

Wait for the light, hike up for the view, but when things don’t come together, don’t feel bad to use the artistic liberty, as required. This particular scene (below), I had wanted to go for that full reflection, with the morning fog. After driving for several hours and reaching early in the morning realized – there was no way to access the water for a lower vantage or wait for the seasons to change for a higher water level. So I completed the reflection in Photoshop :)

Lighting is crucial

Lighting as with any kind of photography is critical to capture the mood of the scene. You can address some in post, but you can never get the depth of the landscape in the middle of the afternoon when the light is harsh. Plan for the light to be right. A dynamic twilight with a ton of drama makes for a great subject than a boring plain blue afternoon sky :)

Dynamic Range & Manual Blending

The Mood & Feeling conveyed, is more important than what is actually getting captured. 

A few years back when High Dynamic Range (HDR) became mainstream, it immediately became a boon and a bane to photography post-processing. As with any technique, if pushed to an extreme, the results start to look unrealistic & plastic. So why are we talking about HDR? Traditionally, painters use different techniques and local contrast to depict a higher dynamic range – closer to that of human perception. HDR helps achieve this.

As we start with a photograph as the base, the post-processing around Manual Blending helps to increase the dynamic range of the scene. Several tools that can help around these are Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop CC, Aurora HDR, Photomatix.

If you have never heard of HDR, this tutorial from Elia Locardi should help you to get started.

Secret Sauce

Over the years, I had tried different stand-alone software(s), Photoshop plugin(s), actions, followed / tried different articles / tutorials on converting photos to paintings. Out of all – below are the (very few) options that cut it pretty close to obtain the true painting look and feel.

1. Watercolor Action set (Photoshop)

Have tried several Photoshop actions over the years. I was not convinced that Photoshop action(s) can ever be so versatile to handle different types of images until I came across the watercolor action last year. This Watercolor Artist action set was released by Adobe themselves and is quite comprehensive. I truly believe that if you are well versed with custom brushes, this action alone can help convert any photo to a lovely watercolor. One downside, personally – the results, though impressive have a very similar feel, irrespective of the source.

Step to download, Tutorials, Samples and more: https://create.adobe.com/2019/3/20/transform_photos_int.html

2. Fotosketcher (Free)

Fotosketcher is a hidden gem. I was surprised to learn there was just one individual – David Thoiron – behind the development and maintenance of this amazing software. Thank you, David. Though, even after Ver3.5, this is called a hobby project and is made available for free – it still has a lot of customization and options to covert photo to a painting – pencil sketch, oil sketch, Ink Sketch etc.

For my needs – Watercolor option under Painting Effects (Painting 5) had yielded the best results.

Download : https://fotosketcher.com/download-fotosketcher/

3. Dynamic Auto Painter (DAP)

DAP is a stand-alone software and comes with a cost, but as the name suggests, this is a dedicated s/w to convert your photos to paintings. It is worth the price and comes with a multitude of key features. There is a wide variety of paintings effects that you can generate. You can get started with the default settings and once you are comfortable with the s/w you can try out other advanced options.

For my needs – Aquarell and options under the same had yielded the best results. Generally, I use an output size of “Print for Web” or “Large Size Print” and mostly turn off natural borders. I also disable “Real Canvas” and get the canvas feel later in Photoshop as it gives me more control.

Download : https://www.mediachance.com/dap/index.html

Bringing it all Together

Art is not about perfection – it is about expression

Even with all the above options, I am yet to come across a single tool that does the conversion exceptionally well for all scenes and different lighting conditions. This is where – you as an artist get to bring in your choices & artistry.

If you have tried your hand on drawing / painting – even for a bit, it helps. If not, don’t fret, you will pick these as you play along.

  • the distant objects are not as detailed as the ones that are near
  • focus and details can aid in driving attention to where it is intended
  • local contrast can be used to boost the dynamic range selectively
  • deep and detailed local shadows bring the rendering to realism
  • basic color theory and color harmony

For a painter, grey is the richest color, the one that makes all the others speak: Paul Klee, Artist

Luminosity Masks

Luminosity Masks – as someone said – is the next best invention to sliced bread. It involves quite a learning curve but is a great addition to one’s post-processing toolset. Once you have a hold., it is like a magic wand starting with things like Dynamic blending that we discussed in the earlier sessions.

Each of the Secret Sauce that we saw earlier, perform well for a combination of given light and contrast. Digital Blending with Luminosity Masking gives you the power to get the best of each one and bring it all together.

There are many online locations where Luminosity Mask Actions can be downloaded. But it is worth taking time to go over the basics, as it greatly aids with manual blending. A good one with details around basics can be found at Tony Kuyper‘s blog.

Finishing Touches

The quality of paper is crucial for watercolor. It generally defines how watercolor & strokes respond. The amount of water (wet on wet) controls the flow and helps revel the underlying paper’s texture. Textures add a subtle, yet significant feel to the final painting. In our case, we don’t have a way to mimic the water flow for each stroke, but we do have the freedom to try out different textures, in post and see what works out. Choose your background appropriately, depending on the effect – watercolor paper, aquarelle paper, canvas etc. Here are a few sample textures, to get started. Depending on the shade of the texture, you can try different Layer blend modes. For lighter shades – Hard Light or Overlap works just right. You can also adjust the Opacity to control the strength of the texture.

Signature adds a nice personal touch. When the final art is meant for print, I prefer to sign on the canvas. Depending on the print material, some of the options that work great are Deco Color (Silver) Marker, Sakura Pigma Micron Pen, Pentel Sunburst Metallic Gel Pen, Signo Broad Point Gel Pen. For online publishing / sharing, a soft signature or e-signature via Photoshop works equally great. It is easy to create a signature on mobile or even scan / take a photo of your signature from paper. Once you have the soft copy, covert it to a transparent png and add it in via a layer with (Multiply or Overlay blend mode) in Photoshop.

Art impacts others, the process of creating art impacts the artist.

Below are several of my work. Hope you let yourself to be impacted ! These involve a blend of several of the above techniques and finally finished in Photoshop. If you feel inspired, do give it a try and share your work of art in comments …

Go, Create some art :)

March 23, 2020

Arena of Abiqua

This week shot is from 8 years back, but the experience of Abiqua trail is still so fresh in my mind that I can smell the fragrance of the moss & feel the chinless of the water.

Abiqua Falls is part of the same geological formation as the waterfalls at Silver Falls State Park, and is not far from there as a bird flies (but significantly longer in distance when travelling by road).

As for the hike, one would have to climb over and around rocks and logs, but it can be done. If you are not a big fan of getting messy during hikes – you might not as much enjoy all the sliding, scrambling and wading – but at the end, when you get a glimpse of this view – am sure you would feel it was all well worth it :)

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100: 12 mm : f13 : 1/3 sec

Abiqua Falls
Marion, Oregon, USA

January 27, 2020

Standing Out

Fitting in does not mean you belong.
Standing out does not mean you are desolate.

Don’t be afraid to Stand out.
We are born unique, but spend the first couple of decades of our life, learning to confirm. Learn – it is important. But – Learn critical life skills. Learn what helps you to stand out. Learn to differentiate what is being shoved down your throat by so-called society.

Don’t be afraid to Stand out. Don’t lose the uniqueness that is You.

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 10 mm : f5.6 : 1/45 sec

Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm
Woodburn, Oregon, USA

February 5, 2016

Spouting Horn

A little further from the Devils Churn, there is a parking pull out for this ocean anomaly – Spouting Horn. One could hike down to the view point to enjoy the same. Just make sure to watch ur steps. Spouting horn is kind of an Ocean Geyser. It was interesting to reflect how this is evolving. Over time the pounding waves gradually widened a fracture in the rocks forming Cook’s Chasm. The edge of the Chasm was undercut, forming a cave. Eventually a crack on the top of the cave created a perfect setting for the Spouting horn.

Canon 7D: Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 200 : 18 mm : f22 : 1/45 sec 

Always do what you are afraid to do – Ralph Waldo

Spouting Horn
Cape Perpetua, Oregon, USA
January 3, 2016

The Moon and the Mountain

If you have read the “Where the Mountain Meets the Moon”, you would known about Minli who sets off on an extraordinary journey to find the Old Man on the Moon. She encounters an assorted cast of characters and magical creatures along the way, including a dragon who accompanies her on her quest for the ultimate answer.

Here is a magical shot from valley of Sandy River, as the full moon dances with the majestic Mount Hood. A big cheers for all the adventures and answers you seek for in the coming new year. A Very Happy New Year – 2016 to my Friends out here. May this new year be beautiful, sweet, creative, and happy one for you.

 

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 100 : 270 mm : f11 : 1/20 sec

    Jonsrud View Point
Sandy, Oregon, USA
August 7, 2015

Let Nature be, it will heal itself …

Recently reading about the forest fire in the west coast was heavy in my heart. The dry weather and drought was definitely fuelling the same. But reading about the options of ‘clear cutting’ or ‘thinning’ to reduce forest fire did not help either. Only we, humans, could come up with such options. Too much of our scientific thinking and that we could control things without messing others. Initially this may sound like a good counter intuitive plan, but just thinking thru it, will help realize the long term impacts. If wolfs could change the course of rivers, we ought to respect and agree that the butterfly effect would have drastic impacts in future on these kind of actions.

Let nature be. It will heal itself.

Reading all this, reminded me of the feeling I had when I shot this, couple of years back. I had gone out to enjoy the fall colors. The morning was crisp, the air was cool, there was mist settling over the distant trees. There was even a sprinkle of snow. Even with all this, it was kind of a eerie feeling to witness these chopped trees. It felt almost alien, as if they were trying to drag themselves to the water to get some relief for their soul.

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 100 : 119 mm : f5.6 : 1/60 sec

   N Santiam Hwy
Detroit, Oregon, USA
July 27, 2015

The Celestial Alignment

When life knocks you down, just roll over and enjoy the stars :)

This shot is from a few years back, when I was out at Trillium Lake to enjoy the Perseids Meteor Shower. Being my first night-out shooting, I consider myself lucky to have captured the Perseids. It really did not start out that way. The first half of the night was more of hide and seek, as the meteors were adorning the skies, especially where the camera was not pointed at. I was much worried that the possibilities would only go down, as the moon was coming up.

As the night was wading, the moon was coming up the horizon. But only after I decided to stop chasing the Perseids, did I notice that the moon brought in Venues and Jupiter along, in a lovely celestial alignment. As I zoomed in to capture the night sky along with the Moon, Venue & Jupiter – a Perseids – decided to join the show too. I couldn’t be more glad, when all things came in alignment :)

Perseids Meteor Shower is one of the more consistent meteor showers in the northern sky. Its coming up in a few weeks (Aug 12-14, 2015) and the waxing crescent (3%) would not be hindering the same. Have you planned where you would be enjoying the show from for 2015 ?!

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 1600 : 19 mm : f5.6 : 15.0 sec

   Trillium Lake
Mt. Hood, Oregon, USA
May 10, 2015

The Last Kiss

This was from the lovely viewpoint at Sandy, Oregon. I love this spot for its accessibility. Just drive, get out of the car, and you are greeted with this view. Jonsurd Viewpoint is a hidden jem in Sandy, Oregon.

This was a incidental shot. It was all about being prepared when the opportunity presents itself. As  I was awaiting for the blue moon to raise from behind that majestic Mt. Hood, the sun was setting behind us. It was such a lovely scene, the shadows running ahead – first over the trees, then over the Sandy river, then the plains and then over Mt. Hood itself.  For a spilt second, the last rays of the sun, kissed the tip of Mt. Hood – creating this surreal scene !

 

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 100 : 25 mm : f22 : 4.0 sec

Buy Print   The Last Kiss
Sandy, Oregon, USA
May 4, 2015

Sunset by the Tulip Fields

Wanna enjoy some sunshine
Wanna feel some happiness
Wanna feel vibrant
– Head out to the Tulip fields :)

Out in the west we have Skagit Tulip farms or the well known Woodenshoe Tulip farms (where this was shot). Out in the east the prominent one is at Holland, Michigan. If you love tulips then these places are worth a visit. You have to plan ahead if you want to see the fields in bloom, the tulip season is short, late March to early May. If you have never experienced acres and acres of blooming tulips in every color you can imagine, you should at least go once. It is spectacular !

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 10 mm : f22 : 0.7 sec

Buy Print Sunset by the Tulip Field
Woodburn, Oregon, USA
April 21, 2015

I need a shot of Tranquility

When ever I need a shot of tranquility,
When even I need to rejuvenate,  
When ever I need a kick in the butt,
When even I need to find my self – I get to nature.

This shot is from a lovely night at Mt hood. It is always quiet an experience to be admits nature and once the sun goes down its even more intimate :)

It has been quiet a while – time to make some plans and shake some hands, with nature !

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 : ISO 100 : 18 mm : f3.5 : 301 sec

Buy Print   Reflections by Mt Hood
Trillium Lake, Oregon, USA
March 14, 2015

Elements of Nature

ExploreTheElements Explore the Elements – is a Travel Photoblogging Challenge run by the good folks at Thomas Cook. Photography and Travel, by themselves compliment each other pretty well. A Travel Photoblogging Contest, with such a theme, then is a match made in heaven :) It is similar to the the earlier contest – ‘Capture the Color’ from few years back – just with a nice twist in the theme. For me, the contest was definitely intriguing because of the theme. It is all about identifying the shot that signifies the meaning of each of the Elements in Nature – Earth, Water, Fire & Air. Personally, it had lot of connection with my pursuits – seeking new experience, capturing the same and sharing with you all – by way of Travel and Photography.

I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in tune once more.

Short-listing the potential entries, I was kind of surprised. It gave a significant insight into the kind of shots I had captured. Noticed, it was easier to pick a lot of shots for one category, while being nearly bankrupt on another :). Additionally it was a welcoming challenge, in itself, to identify that single shot for each Element of Nature. There were a lot of shots with expansive views and to my liking, but I zeroed down on ones that stuck a cord with the theme – #Elements of Nature. I wanted to showcase the shots that were in synergy, with my soul searching, experience and mood from my travels.

We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.

Hope you enjoy viewing them, as much as I did in capturing and sharing them :)

Earth  

earth-icon-grey Bryce Canyon is not much of a canyon. One could visit the place umpteen number of times, but still be awed. It is just magical. The hoodoos change with time – due to the forces of wind, water and snow. The colors are amazing and different, depending on the time of the day. Heading out at 4 AM was well worth it, as the early morning with the dawn’s first light, is probably the best times to enjoy this view. The hoodoos look so delicate, yet at the same time stubborn – that result in this beautiful formation.

I love this shot for the flow it has – from the skies to the mountains, from the mountains to the plains, form the plains to the forest and eventually to the canyons. It is as if you get a glimpse into dissected view of mother earth, evolving over 1000s of years !

Morning Glow @ Bryce, Utah

Water 

water-icon-grey

Thor’s Well at the rugged Oregon coast is well, just a pit – 10 feet wide and 15 feet deep. But when the tide is high, the play of water makes this place so out of the world. It literally feels like Thor’s well, aptly popularized by one of the photographer around 2006.  Standing there, dodging each wave, witnessing the power of the ocean – is quiet intimidating. It gives such a humble feeling and at the same time a sense of being part of the something much bigger !

Getting this shot involved a lot of pre-planning and then some more. The preplanning involved – locating the spot and planning to get there when the tide was high enough during a sunset. It took additional scouting and caution to get to the actual spot. Getting this shot was all based on the rhythm of the waves and timing. I had wanted a long exposure on the foreground, but had wanted the sprouts of the waves in the back to have some structure. After shooting for almost an hour, it all came together, with a bit of luck. A huge double wave hit the coast as my exposure was closing out, resulting in this frozen moment !

Thor’s Well, Oregon Coast

Fire 

fire-icon-grey  I could not think of anything better to represent energy, than the creation of Earth itself. Witnessing the beautiful synergy of the energetic forces of nature, catalyzed by the lava is a lifetime experience.

It is an adventure just to even witness the lava flow, but it is all the more intriguing and intimate to follow the lava from the crater to the ocean entry. They make the way thru the lava tubes and eventually culminate at the ocean.  The lava flow, when it happens, is mostly over multiple days. But to get this shot, I planned for the morning twilight, when there is enough light to lit the water and the sun is not yet out, so the lava can be captured in its beauty.  Sleeping in the car at the parking lot, helped, but still had to plan for the time to actually get to the spot. Personally for me, it was such a intimate experience, shooting from the water and witnessing the raw beauty of earth being created.

Fire and Ice, Ocean Entry Kilauea

Air 

air-icon-greyStanding at the foot of a majestic 250ft waterfalls does something to your self. The cool breeze thru the hair, the spray of the falls on the face – opens up your senses. You kind of realize that you are not bound to this body and could just fly if you wanted to. It just nudges you to connect with nature.

It had been almost a decade, from when this was captured, but I could still sense that feeling of belonging, as I just stood there enjoying the grandeur of the falls. Some of life’s best moments are not planned , but instinctive.

P.S: This symbolizes my feeling when am out there in nature and I love the shot so much, that it had been my online profile avatar for years :)

At the Foot of Latourell Falls, Oregon

Being driven by Photography for the past couple of years, I decided to share the same via this blog. This and the online community paved way to know, meet and shoot with some great folks. As part of this contest, I would like to nominate the few of my friends whose work I admire a lot. I know, this greatly reduce my chances at the contest, when I pull in these guys. But it is all about getting the best of the shots right ;-) These are some amazing photographers, do check out their work too.

Through Strange Lenses – Jimmy McIntyre

The Star Trail – Ben Canales

Out of Chicago – Chris Smith

Aaron Priest

ShreeniClix – Shreenivasan Manievannan

January 18, 2015

Punchbowl at Eagle Creek Trail

Eagle Creek Trail is just gorgeous and magical. The round trip hike to Tunnel Falls is 12 miles, but it is definitely worth even to hike up just to Punch Bowl (round trip ~ 3.4 miles). A stop off at 1.5 miles let you get a peek at the lovely Metlako Falls too. There are a few narrow sections with 500 foot plus drop offs. If you are worried about the height, several have a cable to hold onto on the uphill side.

Punchbowl Falls can be enjoyed from above or down below. When you finally get down to Punch Bowl Falls, the only way to see it, is to walk across the vast rocky stream and bingo – she is straight ahead with amazing view. Definitely plan on wearing waterproof boots or waders ! I was there around June and decided to venture into the water with bare foot. The water was still cold and the rocks slippery. It is not a pleasant feeling to hike back 2 miles in wet shoes either :)

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 100 : 33 mm : f22 : 8.0 sec 

 

If you are in sync with nature, there is beauty, even when things come crashing down, like the waterfall :)

Punchbowl Falls
Eagle Creek Wilderness, Oregon, USA
September 24, 2014

As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning

The perks of shooting out the whole night is that you don’t need to wake up early to catch the sunrise ! After chasing the perseids over the night, it was well worth stopping by at Jonsrud Viewpoint. With a view like this, just a few steps from the parking, this spot never disappoints !

It was quiet cold for a summer morning, the sun was coming up in the horizon and kissing the valley with its golden light. And as if to respond the blanket of fog started rolling, without haste to reveal the Sandy river below. As I walked out that mid summer early morning, this is what I saw !!!

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 100 : 13 mm : f4.5 : 1/750 sec 

Buy Print Jonsrud Viewpoint
Mt. Hood Scenic Byway, Oregon, USA
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