Oregon Photo Tour/Ken Rockwell Homage - 2012 by Dave...
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  2. Oregon Photo Tour/Ken Rockwell Homage - 2012Oregon Photo Tour/Ken Rockwell Homage - 2012
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Yellowstone Country - Autumn, 2008
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Route 66, California - Barstow to Amboy - 2008
Route 66 - Barstow to Amboy, California - 2009
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Land of Fire and Ice - The Cascades and Northern C
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Point Reyes National Seashore, California - Previe
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Yellowstone Country 2009
Yosemite in Autumn - October, 2009
Sierra Nevada East Side - 2009
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Oregon Photo Tour/Ken Rockwell Homage - 2012
Yosemite - Selected Images, 2014
It's been a few years since I photographed the coast of Oregon. It was good to do so again, in the company of several photographers, some who were old friends, some who were new, and all of whom I enjoyed spending time with.

Our trip took us from Portland, where we all met, to Astoria, on the northwestern tip of Oregon, down to the vast sand dunes south of the town of Florence, and back to Portland. We were out to push beyond the limits, to think and see and photograph in new ways, portraying images both iconic and unique. And we tried to photograph the people of Oregon. We also had to contend with some overcast and occasionally rainy weather. Although more sun would have been nice, the clouds meant we could photograph all day long, and we ended up with some dramatic light that we could never have had under relentlessly blue skies. It's true: bad weather can help make great photos.

Unfortunately, one person who wasn't with us was the inestimable Ken Rockwell, who had to bow out of the trip. We missed him and one of us would often remark, when we passed a particularly colorful location, that we were seeing a Ken Rockwell photo.

Here, then are some images that can serve as my homage to Ken; he was with us in spirit, if not in the flesh.

Note: Ken and I are putting together a photo trip for this summer (probably late August) in the San Diego area. Bookmark iqtours.com and check it in late June for details. And you can follow me on Facebook here.
Peter Watching the Transit of Venus
The first order of business was watching the Transit of Venus. I passed out solar glasses for everyone, and most of us photographed the event, too, with the help of special filters provided by one of our participants.
The Transit of Venus (Plus Sunspots!) - from Sunny Portland!
We certainly encountered our fair share of overcast and at times rainy weather on our trip. Although the skies were cloudy when we all arrived in Portland, they cleared in time for the Transit of Venus. Luckily, one of our participants brought along some special filters he shared with the group that allowed us to view and photograph this rare celestial event. The two other dark spots, below Venus, are sunspots.
City of Bridges
We spent a pleasant time, after dinner, walking along the west bank of the Willamette River. A telephoto both compressed and brought the bridges close together.
Hanging Out
This young women, in downtown Portland, didn't mind posing for me a bit. Of course, I had to first ask her permission (and her friends), something not easy to do for many photographers; it was something we practiced on this trip.
Beneath the Bank of America Entrance, in Portland
Cottonwood Grove
One of our first stops was unplanned: a grove of cottonwoods off Highway 30. It was impossible not to try to photograph the sense of light and color and depth.

Although there were lots of planned stops for documentary/postcard shots, much of the trip also included serendipitous encounters, like this one.
Red Pond
We came upon a strangely-colored pond a little before returning to the main highway.
Leaf and Water Drop, at the historic Flavel House, Astoria, Oregon
Triple Vision - Multnomah Falls in a Water Drop
I photographed lower Multnomah Falls, in the fabulous Columbia River Gorge, from beneath the guard rail, not once, not twice, but three times in the same image.

Note the lower fall is viewed, upside down and reversed, inside the drop of water that's hanging off the rail. For that matter, you can see the fall a third time, in its reflection off the black-painted bottom of the rail.
At Multnomah Fall, Columbia River Gorge
On our last morning, we traveled from Portland into the vast Columbia River Gorge, where we photographed a couple of waterfalls, including the most famous, Multnomah. We equipped John with a red jacket and sent him up to the old bridge, where he turned loose his inner self.
Multnomah Falls in an Eyeball
Reflections, we learned, are everywhere.
Sea Anemone
We spent a few nights at the lovely Inn at Otter Crest, a few miles north of the town of Newport. Below the Inn, we explored a vast area of tide pools, filled with sea life.
In St. Marys Church, Rockaway, Oregon
Wreck of the Peter Iredale
The wind was gusting at 40 miles per hour. This was the worst weather we faced, yet it was weather which seemed appropriate for the subject, a steel-hulled sailing ship that went aground in 1906, as it headed up the Oregon coast toward the Columbia River.
Nancy in the Ruins at Fort Stevens
Soft light from overcast skies illuminated Nancy as she stood in a doorway.

Ft. Stevens was designed during the Civil War to defend the region around the mouth of the Columbia River. The fort was operational until the conclusion of World War II.

The old structures of the fort – a series concrete rooms, walkways, lookouts, and gun emplacements – seemed at first glance hardly worth photographing. Yet we found, once we made our way across a soggy stretch of grass, that the old Fort, exhibited an Nancy was a good sport to pose for several of us in doorway with a colorful background.
Fort Stevens - Receding Walkway
Peter Exploring Ft. Stevens
Brian is Exuberant On the Oregon Dunes
Just south of the town of Florence, we explored a portion of the vast Oregon dunes.
The Case of the Curious Cow
A dairy cow examined my camera as I photographed it, not far from the Tillamook cheese factory. In fact, an entire herd of cows crowded forward, held back from us only by the fence around their pasture. I've had cows check me out before, from safe distances. This one eventually stuck it's nose against my camera lens!

A few minutes before, I was at the wheel of the lead van, and I drove right by the cows in their beautiful green pasture. The sun had just come out after a few minutes of hard rain, and I decided to turn around to check out the cows. I'm glad I did. I photographed with just my wide angle lens and I think this is the best shot of a cow I've made.
A Young Woman at the Oregon Coast Aquarium
Ask nicely and often enough we're rewarded with portraits of people we may not know, and want to photograph. Such was the case with the young woman at the Oregon Coast Aquarium, in the city of Newport. (Having come from the City of Angels photojournalism workshop
the week before, I'd had a lot of practice approaching strangers.)
We came around a bend to discover a favorite jumping off point for paragliders. They rode the wind seemingly where they wanted, turning back and forth along the sun-drenched coast.
Sharks and their Wished-For Prey, Oregon Coast Aquarium
Mount Shasta from 30,000 Feet
All the wonderful Cascade volcanos were on view on my flight home, from Mt. Hood to Mt. Lassen, in Northern California. One mountain was large enough to show well in my camera's viewfinder, mighty Mount Shasta, its snow-covered slopes reflecting the dying light of the sun at the end of a long day.
The Photographers
Here's our group of 11.
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