Bygone Days – Grass Valley, Oregon
I was in no hurry the last time I drove back home from Bend, OR. I pulled off Hwy 97 and drove through the back streets of Grass Valley. I found a jewel. Along side one of the streets were a line up of old trucks and a line up of old tractors. They were perfect for a vintage black and white photo.
I need to make a several day trip just to explore the area. There are so many treasures of a bygone era. Add to the “Bucket List”!
Milky Way in Central Oregon
The skies were clear and dark with a new moon. We were out in a remote area in Central Oregon near the Prineville Reservoir. The skies were brilliant with stars shining everywhere. I had not been in such a site since I was in Boy Scouts over 50 years ago. I stared, stared, and stared, totally engrossed in the beauty and the enormity of the heavens above me. I dreamed about all the possibilities out there for other forms of life. It was a wonderful, amazing night that I will never forget.
Fuji X-T1, XF18-135mm @ 35mm, f/22, 1/125 sec, ISO 400
This image of Oregon’s Painted Hills was taken from the main overlook. The overall scene was immense and beautiful. However, the bright mid-day sun made the image look flat. As I was surveying other images of the Painted Hills, I came across several dramatic images of the hills in late afternoon/early evening sun. I took the challenge to see if I could get close as I post-processed the image. Using a variety of adjustment layers and masks, I came up with the following image.
This is what I imagine what the scene would be in the warn early evening light, just before sunset. I can’t wait to go back and capture an actual sunset here.
Fuji X-T1, XF18-135mm @ 62mm, f/11, 1/350 sec, ISO 400
Driving up to Oregon’s Painted Hills, I saw this pastoral scene and stopped to capture the feeling. It was “high noon” and the sun was bright, but I still wanted to give it a try. To recreate the feeling I had, I processed the image in Topaz’s Impression and added a little texture in Photoshop. Who say’s you can’t make good images in bright noon day sun!
To get an overall feeling of the Painted Hills, I decided to try to take some hand-held panos. I used my left elbow as a pivot point to rotate the camera around my body. I used Lightroom’s pano function to merge the individual images. They did not turned out too bad.
Just turn around and see a whole different world. The last 3 posts looking West showed peaceful images without a cloud in the sky. Looking East was a totally different story. These clouds were just flying across the sky along the eastern horizon. I was intrigued by the wispiness of the clouds. There must have been quite a high jet stream up there. B&W provided the sharp contrast between the clouds and the bright blue sky.
These steep vertical spires of Smith Rocks separated the view between the images on my previous two posts. Looking at these massive rocks jutting out of the landscape makes me realize just how amazing Nature is. I attempted to use black and white to emphasize the drama of these spires. An early morning sunrise will make this image spectacular. I can’t wait to go back!
This is another image that I will use as a reference for coming back to Smith Rocks for a Sunset photo shoot. A sunset over Mt. Bachelor and the Crooked River should be interesting. In this image I tried to line up the Crooked River so it would lead to Mt. Bachelor in the distance.
We visited Smith Rocks (near Bend, OR) with a couple of great friends in early July at mid-day. Not the best time for great breath-taking images. So I focused on finding good compositions that I can come back to during another trip, at sunrise. This image frames Broken Top between two spires of Smith Rocks. The round boulder in the middle provides a little interest. I removed houses that were located along the tree-lined ridge in Photoshop. If you look close you can still see a few remnants.