Archive for April 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Winter’s Last Act?   8 comments

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The Value of Kindness   35 comments

The first image made after the act of kindness, sunset along the Columbia near home.

The first image made after the act of kindness, sunset along the Columbia near home.

Believe it or not this is a photography-related post.  I was recently surprised with a loaner camera!  A person I met through my photography club, someone who went to the same college as I but who I don’t know well at all, saw my situation and took pity on me.  She loaned me her Canon 60D because (she said) it wasn’t really being used.

Now I know plenty of other photographers who have cameras much better than that as backups (they shoot with top of the line cameras).  And I have spent time shooting with these people.  None of them were coming forward after learning of my recent misfortune, losing my camera gear over the waterfall.  This is despite the fact that it would not have disrupted their photography.  This was her only DSLR, she didn’t know me very well, and she made the sacrifice.  That’s real kindness.

Springtime in an Oregon forest.

Springtime in an Oregon forest.

Elowah Creek in Oregon's Columbia River Gorge tumbles down the canyon below the waterfall of the same name.

Elowah Creek in Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge tumbles down the canyon below the waterfall of the same name.

You never learn about kindness except through acts like this.  If someone can afford to do something for another without being put out or inconvenienced; I think it’s nice of them.  But it’s not the same as this.  This is the kind of thing that humbles you and makes you think about your own decisions.  To go through life convincing yourself that you are kind and giving without ever doing something for another that causes you real inconvenience is the same as fooling yourself.

And now I’m searching too hard in my history for times when I have displayed real kindness.  I want to change this.  I want to be able to come up with instances right off the top of my head.  And I’m sure you do too!  The only way to accomplish this is to act when the time is right.  We all know that, but the thing we tend to forget is the happiness and joy that we derive from acts of real kindness.

Spring brings the water flowing down theverdant side canyons (such as Elowah Creek) of Oregon's Columbia Gorge.

Spring brings the water flowing down theverdant side canyons (such as Elowah Creek) of Oregon’s Columbia Gorge.

Pink bleeding hearts bloom in a green Oregon forest.

Pink bleeding hearts bloom in a green Oregon forest.

And so we go along making a flawed calculation; that is, focusing solely on how much inconvenience or pain comes from our decisions.  We forget about the payoff because we don’t experience it very often (if at all).  What I’m saying is that small acts of kindness that don’t cost us anything give us a good feeling, sure.  But it’s nothing compared to the feeling we get when we give something up in our lives in order to give something to another that will fundamentally change someone’s life.  My benefactor did not know me as well as other people did, but she knew enough.  She knew that I didn’t just lose a piece of equipment, I lost the ability to express myself and to share my love of nature and the world.

A spring rainstorm passes over the Columbia River Gorge in the Pacific Northwest.

A spring rainstorm passes over the Columbia River Gorge in the Pacific Northwest.

Spring flowers bloom on Rowena Crest in Oregon.

Spring flowers bloom on Rowena Crest in Oregon.

So she did two important things before the decision to give.  She figured out how much that gift would mean to me, and she ignored the fact that she would be putting aside her own passion for an uncertain amount of time.  When she saw my reaction I could tell right away it was worth it.  She was experiencing the benefit of a genuine act of kindness.  And this is an often-forgotten part of it’s value.  It doesn’t just benefit the receiver.

Most of us know this, but we have to stop and think about it.  We mostly act out of the belief that there are so many who need so much that we cannot possibly give enough.  Maybe if we won the lottery we could give to our heart’s content.  I say this because I know my own mind has fooled me in this way.  I am going to give back to this kind person in an effort to pay her back for her kindness.

Elowah Creek, Columbia River Gorge, Oregon

Elowah Creek, Columbia River Gorge, Oregon

Oneonta Gorge is tough to access during spring's high water, but it's still my favorite time to visit.

Oneonta Gorge is tough to access during spring’s high water, but it’s still my favorite time to visit.

But I know one thing for sure.  Even if I did nothing for her she would still derive a fundamental benefit from her gift.  And it will make her more likely to do it again in the future.  (By the way, if you’re reading this V, I’m using the word “gift” in a loose manner; I promise to give back your camera!)   The only question for me is, will I pay it forward?  Believe me I’ll be thinking about it.  If the opportunity arises to give when it genuinely costs me something, I hope I’m ready to pony up.

I hope your weekend went well and you have enjoyed these images shot with the loaner camera.  I also hope you’ll consider giving to my campaign in order to speed the return of her camera.  Although I will be giving it back at some point anyway, both her and I would love it to be at the end of this campaign when I am able to buy a replacement for my lost camera.  Also consider re-blogging or otherwise sharing my post The Campaign.  Thanks for reading and thanks so much for your support for my blog.

Michael

Dusk falls over the Columbia River where it flows along the border of Oregon and Washington through its famous gorge.

Dusk falls over the Columbia River where it flows along the border of Oregon and Washington through its famous gorge.

 

Single-image Sunday: Abstracted Earth   4 comments

I visited the Painted Hills last week.  This is a beautiful area in central Oregon that is part of John Day Fossil Beds National Monument.  The excuse for my trip was to see the lunar eclipse.  Well, the clouds rolled in just in time for the eclipse, so that was a bust.  A quick reminder to please check out my campaign to get back on track to making images.  Please share and help me get the word out, whether or not you can contribute right now.  Here’s the link.  Thanks!

Camping in the Painted Hills was very peaceful, lonely even.  I just had my little point and shoot camera of course, so there were some opportunities missed (especially low light and night sky images).  But I did catch some nice light on the hills.  I’ll do a post on the Painted Hills this week & explain why they look like this (it’s been quite awhile since I’ve talked geology here).  I hope everyone is enjoying their Easter Sunday!

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The Campaign   18 comments

A skiff of snow overnight and a very frosty autumn morning near Dallas Divide in Colorado's Rocky Mountains.

A skiff of snow overnight and a very frosty autumn morning near Dallas Divide in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains.

This is an image from my last road trip through the American West.  I had hoped to just catch the fall’s last colors in the Rockies, after most of the other photographers had gone, believing the peak had passed.

I spent a freezing night and next morning the sun didn’t show.  Instead the light was a sort of overcast glow, great for details and colors in either macro or intimate landscapes, but with a sky very unfriendly to larger landscape images.

Besides very high contrasts, the relatively featureless sky was a problem.  As I drove down out of the Mt Sneffels Range trying to avoid being stuck in the snow, it turned to rain.  So I just stopped and admired the beautiful tones and detail in the landscape, and the great fencing in that country, decorated with frost.

I decided to throw on a parka, protect my camera from the cold rain and make an attempt at capturing some images.  I was sure none would end up to be award-winners, but that wasn’t stopping me with this fairly unique color palette in front of me.

Now I know that just broke my promise of avoiding giving you a boring blow-by-blow account of image capture in this blog.  But I just wrote that because this is one of those images I could never have made with this point and shoot camera I’ve been using ever since my DSLR died a painful death.

Too much detail and depth would have been lost, and the colors would not have been rendered quite as faithfully by the little zoom lens.  And besides, you really need a decent DSLR, one with good dynamic range, to handle these contrasts.  Even using a graduated ND filter is virtually impossible with a point and shoot camera.

And there are countless other images that I’ve made that would never have been possible without a certain minimum  in quality of camera and lens.  Starscapes, for example, are impossible.

In other words, this little snapshot camera can only go so far before it stymies me.  It won’t work.  I simply cannot remain a serious photographer this way.  I can’t pursue my short and long-term goals, can’t chase the dream.

This long exposure starscape from the Grand Canyon would of course had been impossible without my full-size camera.

This long exposure starscape from the Grand Canyon would of course had been impossible without my full-size camera.

Last week I started a crowdfunding campaign in order to replace the lost camera gear.  Although I’ve gotten some contributions, for which I am so grateful, it needs to ramp up in speed.  I’m working on some other (local non-tech-based) ways to advertise the campaign, but I definitely need more online help as well.  There is no problem with the campaign.  The goals I have are both realistic and designed to make a difference.  And in exchange for contributions I am giving away high-resolution, high-quality images, plus my knowledge.  But more eyes need to see it.

I can be persistent, almost to an extreme.  I will keep at this until I succeed.  I have real faith that my vision and the way I see this beautiful world will garner enough genuine appreciation among people to be worth continuing and doing something useful with.

And so, please, when you have a few minutes, check out the write-up and sample gallery.  It is on a crowdfunding site called Indiegogo, and here is the link:  My Campaign.  If you decide you can afford a contribution, you will not only have my heartfelt thanks, you’ll have some of my images for your wall too!

But I have another request.  Equally important to contributions is getting the word out to a wider audience.  You all are a pretty darn loyal and sincere bunch.  In fact, you’re what has kept me blogging!  So I have faith you can help me to spread the word.  Share that link, talk to your friends, have them take a look at my website (though there is a good sampling of images also on the campaign’s page).

I hope you don’t mind if I remind you by including a simple blurb and link in succeeding blog posts.  It’s very important to me.  Thanks for reading and have a fantastic weekend!

One of my favorite sunset  images, classic Oregon Coast.  The metaphor is too tempting: I don't want the sun to set on my photography.

One of my favorite sunset images, classic Oregon Coast. The metaphor is too tempting: I don’t want the sun to set on my photography.

Single-image Sunday: The Viewpoint   12 comments

One of my favorite viewpoints in the Columbia River Gorge is on the Oregon side, a short hike from the (Historic) highway.  I’ve had some trouble getting the perfect light, but this day I came close.  It’s sad it had to happen after my DSLR died, so this is with my point and shoot.  Though pictures like this captured with a lower-resolution camera and cheaper lens look okay on the web, it is when you print at larger sizes when a DSLR with good glass will show a big difference.  But I like the image anyway.

There are several spots from which to photograph at this place, which is one reason I like it.  All of the spots you need to perch on the edge of a cliff, so you can’t be afraid of heights.  It’s funny, but I’ve become more cautious over the years around drop-offs.  There was a time I would walk right up and stand at the edge; now I am more likely to hunch down and even lay on my belly to get close.

The other reason I love this place is that it appears to be relatively unknown by other photographers; I’ve never seen another there.  It’s a great view upriver into the heart of the Gorge.  Notice the barge moving slowly upriver.  Hope your weekend is going well.  Thanks for looking.

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Friday Foto Talk: How to Handle Contrast the Natural Way   9 comments

Dead camel thorn trees trace a former watercourse in the Namib Desert near Sesriem.

Dead camel thorn trees trace a former watercourse in the Namib Desert near Sesriem.

Contrast is one of the main things photographers have to deal with.  Even in the studio a lot of work goes into handling contrast in the amount of light across your subject.  And in natural light there is only so much you can do to control contrast.  For the most part you just need to accept and deal with it.  In this post I’ll discuss ways to handle it without going too crazy with filters, multiple exposures and post-processing.

Before we get to tips, here are some things you should know:

      • Let’s be real.  Your eyes can pick up details in a much larger range of brightness than your camera can.  This is called “dynamic range”.  In fact, one of the biggest reasons to get a big fancy DSLR is to get a little closer to the dynamic range your eyes can see.  A point and shoot (which I’m using now) can only see a fraction of the range your eyes can see.

 

      • Contrast is relative.  So if you shoot dark scenes, your camera sees that as normal light and meters accordingly.  To the camera that not-too-bright sky is very bright in comparison with the mostly dark scene.  The same goes for mostly bright scenes, where dark things come out as silhouettes.
This interior courtyard in the ancient Khmer ruins of Ta Prohm, Cambodia was a contrast nightmare.

This interior courtyard in the ancient Khmer ruins of Ta Prohm, Cambodia was a contrast nightmare.

 

      • Clearly, contrast is a part of natural light, so you definitely want some.  When it gets bad you’ll know it by using your histogram (see below).  The trick is to pay close attention to your scene and try to reproduce the amount of contrast you have.  If there is plenty of black, that’s what you should have.  If some places are so bright you can’t see detail, that may be what you want (the sun for example).

 

      • You need to think about how you want to handle the contrast in your scenes.  Do you want to minimize it and go for an HDRish look, which has been very popular lately.  Or do you want to keep a fair amount of it in your finished image.  This decision will help to define your style.  Do you want to be popular or stay true to your vision?

 

High-contrast scenes like this one in Death Valley, California, can make for dramatic images.

High-contrast scenes like this one in Death Valley, California can make for dramatic images.

      •   Another decision you will make is where and what you shoot.  A big choice is in what direction relative to the sun (see below).  Will you shoot high-contrast scenes or will you deliberately avoid them?

 

      • The direction you shoot makes a huge difference.  If you shoot with the sun behind you (frontlight), you’ll have very little contrast.  If you shoot into the sun (backlight), you’ll have the maximum.  If you shoot at an angle to the light, the amount of contrast varies according to the scene and quality of light.

 

When you're shooting from within a cave like her in the desert of Mexico, you're guaranteed to have high contrast.

When you’re shooting from within a cave like her in the desert of Mexico, you’re guaranteed to have high contrast.

Ready to shoot?  Here are some tips:

      • First of all, you will do well to handle contrast from the beginning instead of just trying to reduce it later on computer.  That’s what this post is about, handling contrast on the front end.

 

      • Use your histogram.  Get set up and shoot, then look at your histogram.  Or, if your camera allows it, use LiveView and set your LCD screen to show your histogram in one corner.  Use the Evaluative or Matrix metering mode (and Exposure Simulation in LiveView).

 

      • If the histogram is stretched out across the width of the graph, you’ve got some serious contrast.  But it’s not necessarily bad until the histogram starts climbing up the sides.  The right side (representing over-bright areas of the scene) is much worse than the left side (over-dark areas).  You can recover more in the shadow areas than in the bright areas.  Though Lightroom has gotten very good at both, you still can’t recover highlights from completely blown-out areas.

 

Using reflective surfaces, like here in Botswana's Okavango Delta, can both even out contrast and double the great light.

Using reflective surfaces, like here in Botswana’s Okavango Delta, can both even out contrast and double the great light.

      • Don’t be afraid to shoot with high contrast.  This is what makes your images pop, after all.  You want to handle it not make it disappear – read on.

 

      • But try to minimize the amount of it in your scene.  You can make small movements with the camera, changing your composition slightly in order to exclude some or all of a relatively bright area.  For example, with a sky much brighter than a foreground, you can move the camera down to exclude most or all of it.  You can move your camera to exclude too much dark area as well.  But always remember you can successfully incorporate more dark than bright in your images.

 

This recent image, with my point and shoot, I probably would not have used a graduated ND filter with.  But the bright water was enough to create a lot of contrast.

This recent image, with my point and shoot, I probably would not have used a graduated ND filter with. But the bright water was enough to create a lot of contrast.  I also excluded the sky.

 

      • Some people make it a habit to shoot into the sun, especially with candid people shots.  Extremely bright areas near your subject can form a partial or complete silhouette.  It’s a popular look to have a fairly bright subject in partial silhouette, with the bright sunlight partly silhouetting and partly wrapping around your subject.  The precise composition makes or breaks these images.

 

      • Shoot away from the sun.  As long as the light is beautiful, shooting front-lit scenes is a fine way to avoid contrast.  But the light should be near direct from the sun when it’s fairly low.  That way you have some contrast, instead of ending up with flat light.  Shadows are great in this situation; they increase contrast and depth.

 

Normally the desert is a haven for high contrast, but low frontlight from the rising sun softens and evens out everything in this Death Valley image.

Normally the desert is a haven for high contrast, but low frontlight from the rising sun softens and evens out everything in this Death Valley image.

      • By shooting across the light, at more or less 90 degrees to the sun, the shadows will give you plenty of natural contrast.  If the sky is too bright you may need to use a graduated neutral density filter (see below).

 

      • If you are shooting toward a low sun (even if it’s behind clouds), your contrast will be high.  There are a couple ways to handle it.  One way is to choose scenes with reflective surfaces.  Water, snow, bright sidewalks or squares in a city, any reflective surface really, can dramatically reduce the amount of natural contrast in your scenes.  It’s part of the reason I tend to think of water when I’m choosing a place to shoot.

 

 

Sunset, Point Lobos, California coast.  Though I used a graduated ND filter here, the sky is still very bright.

Sunset, Point Lobos, California coast. Though I used a graduated ND filter here, the sky is still very bright.

      • If you decide to shoot at a place with darker surfaces and a relatively bright sky or water, you will likely have some trouble with your light meter.  If you point most of the frame at the dark foreground, for example, your camera may easily overexpose the sky.  If the frame covers a good chunk of the bright sky, your camera will underexpose the foreground.

 

      • This is when a graduated neutral density filter (or two) comes in handy.  These rectangular filters are especially useful when you are shooting into the setting or rising sun.  If you already know about these filters, great!  But if you don’t, next Friday’s post will cover the basics.

 

      • Try to limit your use of the grad. ND filter to when the histogram climbs up the sides of your histogram (particularly the right side).

 

      • Also be aware of how much you can easily recover from shadows and bright areas later on the computer without running into problems like halos on edges or other artifacts.  Knowing what you can and can’t do on the computer will help you to decide how much to minimize contrast when you’re shooting

 

      • Reflective foregrounds as mentioned above are probably the most natural way to minimize contrast.  But more than this, they allow you to shoot well-balanced compositions in very low light, when the color tones darken and become very rich.  With a dark foreground you are left with either avoiding that beautiful sky or shooting only the sky.
Low light and a reflective foreground equals the perfect amount of contrast for me: along the Willamette River near Portland.

Low light and a reflective foreground equals the perfect amount of contrast for me: along the Willamette River near Portland.

      • But if you’re committed to shooting a scene with high contrast and either have no graduated ND filters or they aren’t able to fully compensate, I recommend taking this approach for most scenes:

First, lower your ISO to the minimum your camera allows.  This will lengthen your shutter speed so hopefully you don’t have a moving subject that will look distracting if it’s blurred (water is an exception).  You will almost certainly need to be on a tripod with either a shutter-release or using shutter delay, plus mirror lockup.

Then shoot (and re-shoot) until you get the histogram as far to the right as possible without climbing up the right edge.  Of course this will yield a dark image, which you will later have to brighten and recover shadows from on the computer.  But the very low ISO will keep noise to a minimum.  You won’t totally avoid noise, since it always shows up when you brighten significantly on the computer.  The upside to this approach is that you can recover details and show that beautiful sky to its best advantage.

      • If you don’t have time for the tripod, and are grabbing a quick shot, you can often get away with allowing some things to go totally dark – a silhouette (see top image).  Then you don’t have to worry about ISO as much.  But you still need to make sure the histogram doesn’t climb up the right edge (too much).  All depends on the nature of the scene of course, and whether over-bright subjects look natural when they’re blown out.  The sun and moon are the best examples.

Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend!

The old point and shoot camera is at its limits in a recent shot of glacier lilies high above the Columbia River in Oregon.

The old point and shoot camera is at its limits in a recent shot of glacier lilies high above the Columbia River in Oregon.

Sunset over the Okavango, Botswana.  A hand-held shot from a boat, I had to go with faster shutter speed and underexpose in order to not blow out the sky.

Sunset over the Okavango, Botswana. A hand-held shot from a boat, I had to go with faster shutter speed and underexpose in order to not blow out the sky.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Misty   20 comments

After checking out Ailsa’s weekly photo challenge and finding it was Misty this week, I couldn’t resist!  Most of these are from the archive but are fairly recent images.  A couple are very recent, taken with my point and shoot.  Please note these are copyright-protected and not available for free download without my permission.  Click on the image to go to the main gallery page, and please contact me if you have any questions.  Thanks for looking and enjoy!

In spring, the forests of the western Cascade Range in the Pacific Northwest receive regular infusions of misty rain and fog.

In spring, the forests of the western Cascade Range in the Pacific Northwest receive regular infusions of misty rain and fog.

A fisherman tries his luck at Lost Lake in the dawn mist.

A fisherman tries his luck at Lost Lake in the dawn mist.

Mount Rainier emerges one foggy early morning at Reflection Lakes.

Mount Rainier emerges one foggy early morning at Reflection Lakes.

Narada Falls at nightfall, Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington.

Narada Falls at nightfall, Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington.

Mist over Lost Lake, Oregon.

Mist over Lost Lake, Oregon.

Fog and mist are typical when venturing into the evergreen forests of the Pacific Northwest in winter.

Fog and mist are typical when venturing into the evergreen forests of the Pacific Northwest in winter.

On the Olympic Coast in Washington, mist and fog are common.

On the Olympic Coast in Washington, mist and fog are common.

Dark and mysterious:  Columbia River Gorge, Oregon.

Dark and mysterious: Columbia River Gorge, Oregon.

Mist and fog hang about the temples and pyramids of Tikal in Guatemala.

Mist and fog hang about the temples and pyramids of Tikal in Guatemala.

When waterfalls are in spring flood, mist fills the air, like here at Wahclella Falls in Oregon.

When waterfalls are in spring flood, mist fills the air, like here at Wahclella Falls in Oregon.

The rugged coastlline at Big Sur, California.

The rugged coastlline at Big Sur, California.

The thermal areas of Yellowstone on cold mornings are comparatively warm, misty magnets for buffalo.

The thermal areas of Yellowstone on cold mornings are comparatively warm, misty magnets for buffalo.

As the dawn mist begins lifting, a pond in the Montana high country begs to be fished.

As the dawn mist begins lifting, a pond in the Montana high country begs to be fished.

 

Sun vs. fog in a redwood forest, northern California.

Sun vs. fog in a redwood forest, northern California.

At sunset, mist and fog fill Oregon's Columbia River Gorge behind Vista House.

At sunset, mist and fog fill Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge behind Vista House.

 

 

 

 

Single-image Sunday: Sunset from Munra Pt.   12 comments

I finally broke the photo drought and went up to the Gorge for a hike with my old point and shoot.  The goal was to make it up to the summit of Munra Point by sunset.  I rode my moto out there on a gorgeous afternoon.  One of the only benefits to having no DSLR these days is I can go very light!  So I made good time on the extremely steep route.  The point and shoot isn’t bad.  It’s a Canon S95.  Though the lens is not the quality I’m used to, it does a pretty good job for a P&S.   The best thing is it shoots RAW, so high contrast shots like this, where the camera itself doesn’t do a great job with the intense light contrast, can be dealt with in Lightroom.

Munra Point has a great view of the Columbia River flowing west through the Gorge far below.  This time of year there are spring flowers: glacier lilies & grass widows, among others.  At one point you need to climb hand over hand for a short stretch, but there is a rope to aid you.  It comes in very handy on the way down, when darkness is rapidly closing in.  I forgot a light.  My headlamp was still in my regular camera pack, which is no longer in use.  So I needed to go down fast in order to make it through the forest part before it got totally dark.  All in all a fine return to shooting.  Though I can’t help feeling a bit frustrated using a camera with much less control than I’m used to, I can certainly deal with it for now, at least to scratch the itch.  Thanks for reading!

Sunset over the Columbia River Gorge from Munra Point.

Sunset over the Columbia River Gorge from Munra Point.

The End   50 comments

A rainbow reflected in a small lake along the Columbia River.  It was classic Oregon springtime weather that last day.

A rainbow reflected in a small lake along the Columbia River. It was classic Oregon springtime weather that last day.

I’ve been trying to avoid this post for the last few days.  This weekend I was shooting at the top of a waterfall, a virtually unknown one called Summit Creek Falls in Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge.  It’s rare you can get in a relatively safe position to shoot decent pictures at the lip of a falls.  Most of them end up being disappointing because when you look down you lose the sense of depth in pictures.

Anyway, while I was there I momentarily broke one of my rules and didn’t have my neckstrap on.  Only one other time did I do that in the past couple years, and that’s when the 5DII went in.  Murphy’s Law is a vicious thing.  Murph took over at that point and my tripod, Canon 5D III and an L lens went over.  Amazingly it got caught about 10 feet down off the lip of the 100-foot falls, on a submerged log or rock.

Triple Falls, Oneonta Creek, Oregon

Triple Falls, Oneonta Creek, Oregon

After almost dying in a foolish attempt to climb down and get it (maybe a bit of subconscious suicidal thought going on there!), I stopped and caught my breath and thought about the certain consequence of going any further.  I retreated back up, took off my bootlaces, rigged a slip knot and loop, tied off to a long stout stick I found, and went fishing.  I was able to grab hold of a tripod leg.

It’s funny to think about, but if I still had my fancy Gitzo tripod (which has twist leg locks), I would have never recovered it.  With my old trusty Manfrotto that has bulkier lever locks, I was able to grasp it with the loop.  After a frantic wrestling match, fighting the implacable, uncaringly powerful spring snowmelt, I got it.

Oneonta Creek, Columbia River Gorge, Oregon

Oneonta Creek, Columbia River Gorge, Oregon

An Oregon forest strains the clouds.

An Oregon forest strains the clouds.

Fog moves in towards evening in Oregon's Columbia River Gorge.

Fog moves in towards evening in Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge.

The gear had been pounded with tons of water for almost an hour.  But my tripod and head (not like the camera but not inexpensive either) are fine.  I just got off the phone with Canon and they can’t accept it for repair.  They say if it’s repairable it would be almost the cost of a new camera.  So it’s gone.  My bad: no insurance!

My backup camera, a 5D II that  had itself been repaired from a brief dip at the top of yet another waterfall, I sold a couple months ago to help pay off the bill from the 5D III more quickly.  So I’m down to an older point and shoot, which means I’m down to snapshop/street photography only.  I am in the worst financial shape of my adult life right now so can’t afford even a used cheaper DSLR.  I will likely sell off the rest of my gear and give up the dream of going fully pro, at least for now.

Looking down from a footbridge that spans the top of Oneonta Gorge.

Looking down from a footbridge that spans the top of Oneonta Gorge.

I debated discontinuing this blog, but my interests are so varied, and I believe I have much to say.  So I’ll keep at it and probably post Friday Foto Talks too, though perhaps not every Friday.  One negative about this plan:  I’ve been blogging for quite awhile now and I have included many images in my posts, believing that I will always be shooting new images; now that’s not the case, and so some of the example images will be reposts from my archive.

So that’s it.  A sad week for me, and something big in my life has now gone.  A big transition back to just observing light and nature instead of always wanting to capture its beauty.  But it’s how I started out and how I came to be a decent photographer in the first place.  Please don’t feel bad for me.  It was a great run!

By the way, these images are from the last day shooting with my camera.  CF memory cards are amazing!

The very last image.  Just ahead is the lip of Summit Creek Falls.  Note my tripod leg; this is an unprocessed image.

The very last image. Just ahead is the lip of Summit Creek Falls. Note my tripod leg.  Unprocessed & uncropped.

 

 

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