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Author Topic: North West USA and then some....  (Read 8900 times)
DamienSeidel
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« on: March 11, 2013, 01:07:16 PM »
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In January I took a road trip around some of the Utah/Arizona National Parks. Being from Australia, the trip was mind boggling with the vast landscapes throughout the area.

Now I am already thinking of going back in September/October. I was thinking of heading up through Oregon, maybe up to Washington then over to Wyoming as I want visit Yellowstone and Grand Tetons NP's. Then I would think about heading back down through Utah to Moab and then across to Colorado.

What I was wondering if anyone can tell me of some awesome landscape photography locations in Oregon, Washington, even Idaho or Montana for on the way to Wyoming. Then I also need some advice on Colorado. I believe I am choosing a good time of the year to go, less tourists and some great colours coming through as the leaves turn.

Later in the trip I am also thinking of going to Tennessee and Kentucky - so any pointers for that area would be great as well.

I shoot panoramas. If you'd like to take a look at some of my stuff to get an idea of what I shoot, here is my flickr account.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/damo89/
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2013, 02:24:27 PM »
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Driving all of it?
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DamienSeidel
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« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2013, 11:45:22 PM »
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Driving all of it?


That is the plan at this stage!
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PhotoEcosse
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« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2013, 04:38:10 AM »
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If your route takes you through Twin Falls, Idaho, then the falls themselves are worth a few shots, especially early morning when rainbows appear. Can be challenging to find viewpoints that exclude buildings, though.

We took seven weeks to drive much the same trip in reverse last year. Flew from Scotland to LA and then took in Joshua Tree NP, Grand Canyon, Zion and Bryce Canyon, Kodachrome, Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, etc., and then flew back to Scotland from San Francisco. I'd love to take longer to do a similar trip again, maybe in the autumn (last one was in April/May).

On different trips I have also done Colorado and Washington/Oregon but each of those really need a month on their own. If you find yourself in the North-west, the Olympic peninsula is good for temperate rain forest photography and, if you are there, take the ferry from Port Angeles to Vancouver Island which is really spectacular.

Wherever you go, enjoy it.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2013, 04:41:02 AM by PhotoEcosse » Logged

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RobSaecker
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« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2013, 01:49:43 PM »
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What I was wondering if anyone can tell me of some awesome landscape photography locations in Oregon, Washington,

That's an awful lot to ask. Smiley Nevertheless, I'll give it a shot.

Both the Oregon and Washington coasts offer spectacular scenery, including seastacks similar to one of the photos on your flickr account.

All the high Cascade peaks (Crater Lake, Jefferson, Hood, Adams, St. Helens, Rainier, Baker) have amazing vistas, in the right conditions. Of course, they also have to potential to be completely clouded in. I've got a not especially good image from Rainier here, and a somewhat better one from Hood here.

The Columbia Gorge. Have a look at the wikipedia page if you're not familiar.

The Olympic Penninsula, as already mentioned.

In eastern Washington, the Palouse, of course, see the LuLa article. Also the Channeled Scablands, again see wikipedia for more info.

That's probably enough to chew on. September/October are usually the nicest weather in western Oregon and Washington, and yes, most of the tourists have gone home.
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francois
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« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2013, 02:18:54 PM »
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Phototrip USA offers a book on Oregon: Photographing Oregon (Amazon link). I have the book but haven't found the time to return to Oregon.

Phototrip USA is the company behind the well known Photographing the Southwest books.
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Francois
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« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2013, 03:13:33 PM »
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Take a quick look through my Flickr as well as looking at the photos I've "Favorited". Lots of location ideas for landscape photography in the Pacific NW.
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marvpelkey
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« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2013, 10:25:07 PM »
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Of the four states you specified, Oregon is probably the most diverse (coast with flat sand or seastacks, inland mountains, lakes, rivers, waterfalls, desert, volcano fields, and it goes on and on) and the one I would concentrate on the most. Having said that, for your type of photography, I would suggest:

Oregon - Crater Lake, Columbia River Gorge, almost any part of the coast, Painted Hills, east side of state lava beds.
Washington - Olympic National Park (Rialto Beach, Second Beach, Hoh Rain Forest, Hurricane Ridge), Palouse area.

The places I have listed are highlights of each state, and I've probably missed some good ones. I've been to all these locations and each is excellent for panoramic photos, with the falls along Columbia River Gorge great for vertical and the rest horizontal and vertical.

Cheers,

Marv
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Glenn NK
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« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2013, 11:20:10 PM »
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If you are even near Oregon, do not miss the Oregon Coast.  I spent two weeks in Sept 2011, and can't wait to get back.

We drove through Oregon in mid-February this year (still a bit wintery), but the interior also has some great image sites.

Of all the states I've been to (ND, SD, MN, WI, MI, ID, UT, CO, WA, OR, CA, NV, AZ), my favourite is OR with MN a close second.  My apologies to the rest of you.

Glenn
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DamienSeidel
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« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2013, 11:44:18 PM »
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Some great information filtering through. Just reading about these different places gets me really excited about this trip! Thanks guys, and anyone else that want to chime in, feel free!
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neile
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« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2013, 10:30:35 PM »
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I'm a little late to the party, but I'll chime in with info on the Washington Coast.

For the core beaches in the northwest part of the state (First, Second, Rialto, and Ruby) as well as the Hoh Rainforest your best bet is to use Forks, WA, as your base. The Olympic Suites Inn is a good place to stay and the Forks Coffee Shop is the only place in town worth eating at.

At First Beach an interesting walk is to the left, all the way down to the end where you'll find some rock formations when the tide is low.

At Second Beach there's several options with sea stacks, although they aren't nearly as impressive as the ones in Oregon. It's a 20 minute hike each way to get there, but still worth it, and this is my favourite beach in the area. The sand mixes with water runoff from up the hill and can make for some interesting patterns. Both First and Second beach are 20-30 minute drive from Forks proper, as they are on a road off of US-101. Make sure to account for that when trying to get there for sunset.

I've never really understood the allure of Rialto Beach, but if you slap a lensbaby on your camera anything is possible.

Ruby Beach is another location that I've never really figured out, only ever getting one photo I was happy with. Still, since it's an easy stop, it's worth going.

The Hoh Rainforest is pretty but hard to photograph. The understory in the forests on the coast is so messy it makes it hard to come up with good compositions. Make sure to keep an eye out for pleasing compositions on the road into the rainforest. I actually have better luck getting good photos outside the actual park.

For all these locations timing the tides is key. Low tide at sunset is MONEY. Use http://saltwatertides.com/ to figure out when the tides and sunset sync up.

And of course if you're swinging through the Seattle area stop in and say hi Cheesy

Neil
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neile
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« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2013, 10:35:26 PM »
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A few more comments, for regions outside of the Washington Coast:

  • You'll be too late for green fields in eastern Washington if you are planning on September/October for your visit.
  • Colorado is spectacular if you time it right for the fall aspens. Photographing the Southwest: Volume 3 has good info on places to shoot. I particularly enjoyed the county roads heading south out of Ridgeway, just off Route 62.
  • Depending on how far south you are going in Oregon, Bandon Beach is a must stop.

Neil
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DamienSeidel
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« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2013, 04:21:59 AM »
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Thanks for the info Neil, at least now I won't bother with wasting my time in East WA if the conditions aren't going to be optimum. Bandon beach looks awesome. That is on the list for sure! Is there much along the coastal area of Oregon and Washington to shoot for sunrise or during the day?

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neile
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« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2013, 11:33:05 AM »
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The Olympics are pretty good at blocking sunrise Sad At that time of year you have a reasonable chance of fog though that can be pretty interesting in the forests, and there are plenty of lighthouses along the Oregon coast that could work out. Depending on the tides you may wind up with some nice B&W shots of ocean texture with rocks, and if the clouds cooperate that'll give you texture in the sky. Just don't expect crazy colour.

Neil
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duane_bolland
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« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2013, 01:32:19 AM »
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I live in Portland.  What may not be obvious to an outsider is the extreme climate change between the coast and inland Oregon.  Astoria gets 67 inches of rain a year.  Portland gets 43.  The Dalles, just 85 miles to the east, gets only 14 inches.  This change in climate is very apparent while driving through the Columbia River Gorge.  But the CRG is so much more than that.  Rugged cliffs, waterfalls, wind surfing, great hikes, and much more.  My vote for the two must-sees in Oregon are Crater Lake and the Columbia River Gorge because they are both geologically unique and breathtaking.  The coast is nice, but it is just a coast--much like in Australia.  I'm sure there is not a Crater Lake in Australia.  Navdog (not me) has some great photos of Oregon. 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/48084824@N00/

Someone previously mentioned Bandon and someone else mentioned the Olympic Coast.  I've done both.  If you really want to do the coast, the Olympic Coast trumps Bandon big time.  The beaches south of LaPush are awesome as is Cape Flattery. 

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SangRaal
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« Reply #15 on: March 18, 2013, 08:56:17 PM »
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I think there are great photographs to be made all along the columbia river from the coast inland past Mt Hood dams(especially the Bonneville) First Americans salmon fishing up through the columbia river gorge also along this area is the lewis and clark trail. Mt Hood is an active cinder cone volcano rapidly turning into an open caldera as the ice top collapses into the forming crater,you can access this feature on the opposite side from the columbia gorge through the town of Government Camp. The road up to Mt Hood has another photogenic feature the Timberline lodge(where the movie the shining was filmed the basement has mosaic floors of native american mythology that seem to shift and move).  Above the Timberline lodge on Mt. Hood is the Palmer Glacier where during late july and early august most of the national world cup Ski teams (and wannabe ski racers) practice. you can pick up the Snake river from there and drive east through Idaho for more great scenery especially the sawtooth mountains (Ketchum and Sun valley). you can drive east from there into wyoming and find Yellowstone National Park  the Tetons and Jackson Hole. At some point you might want to detour north to Montana and photograph Glacier National park while there are still ice fields.
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menandar
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« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2013, 02:10:06 PM »
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I love panoramic images. And you did manage to create some really good panoramic landscapes!!!





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RobSaecker
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« Reply #17 on: March 19, 2013, 08:22:13 PM »
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Mt Hood is an active cinder cone volcano rapidly turning into an open caldera as the ice top collapses into the forming crater,

I think you must be confusing Hood with some other mountain; Hood is a stratovolcano, not a cinder cone, and I can find no reference to formation of a caldera. See the USGS page for more info.

That said, the rest of your post is spot on.
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SangRaal
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« Reply #18 on: March 20, 2013, 01:13:15 PM »
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Sorry Rob you are correct that Mt Hood is a stratovolcano as are most of the north american pacific northwest volcanoes. However I am moderately familiar with Mt Hood since I spent multiple weeks in Government Camp and on Hood in years 1966 through 1972(my stint on the US ski team ended) doing dry land and ski training; and again spent the last week of July first week of August skiing Hood/ helping a friend run his summer ski race camp 1985 through 2004. A stratovolcano is a tall conical volcano made of of various layers of magma, pumice and ash, Mt Hoods outer layer is ash(where it is not covered by ice and snow) so what I meant is that if one is hiking Mt Hood they will be slogging through rotting volcanic ash and rubble . The USGS has a great Photo montage in the Timberling lodge that covers the entire 20th century gradual collapse of the Crater Rim chronologically. If you open the wikipedia article on Mt Hood you can easily see the collapsing crater rim on the east south east side of the volcano (palmer glacier directly below it) on the NASA space lab photo or in the photos taken from Crater Rock. In 1995 I did a night climb up to the summit with the goal to ski down on the pearly gates ice chute at first light with several other skiers, we ended up being forced to rappel most of the way down, 2 or 3 days later the route we ascended collapsed with climbers on it.
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mshea
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« Reply #19 on: March 20, 2013, 05:44:52 PM »
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+1 for Ruby Beach, low tide at sunset. Rialto Beach is nice for huge piles of driftwood.

Succor Creek Road leading to Leslie Gulch in Oregon, at the Idaho border, are quite interesting. Leslie Gulch at sunrise and sunset. Beautiful yellows and reddish golds, and there's a BLM campsite in the middle of it.

Merrill
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