While some might feel this is not nature photography because it is arranged, it sold as a stock photo a couple times including a cover. So who cares, right?
Oregon’s McKenzie River flows down the western slope of the Cascade Mountains, heading towards Eugene.
It is a designated Wild and Scenic river that flows through old growth forests, is lined with a series of incredible waterfalls, and is a popular area for kayakers, hikers, and rafters…
…and photographers. Anytime of the year is amazing to photograph along the river but fall is special. The river is lined with a variety of maple trees, river rapids, small cascades, and in the deeper pools of water, the color is a tropical blue.
In celebration of fall here is another image of Multnomah Falls in Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge from a few years ago. This image was successful as a stock photo, even earning a calendar cover.
Fall is in full swing in many areas of the west here and reports I am seeing is it looks pretty good. Two days ago I ventured across Oregon’s Santiam Pass and while the color was great near pass levels, it was barely started in lower elevations at 2000′. So this is an image from a trip a few years ago, one of my last trips using the 4×5 view camera before selling it all.
When it comes to outdoor photography, many photographs have a star subject in them. It could be anything in the scene and often it is something that caught your eye.
Sometimes the star of the photo is obvious and other times it is not. When I find a star to photograph I often look for other features in the landscape that support the star and when those work well, you have a well composed image.
But in today’s digital world, composing and capturing the star and the supporting elements, is only half the process to a great photo. The other half of the process is in the digital darkroom. That is where you complete what you started in the field and that is the case here with this image.
Scott Lake in the Oregon Cascades is a popular viewpoint for nature photographers. I was up there several times over the last month and captured this image on the first visit in July. We are in a terrible drought so the water was very low. That is of course terrible but also a blessing because this rock is right up close to the shoreline as a result of the low water and makes a great foreground element.