US Route 26

In Oregon US Route 26 runs from the Pacific Ocean to the Idaho border. Along the way the changing landscape will entertain you for hours. From the beaches on the coast to the high cold mountain passes, the land unfurls itself before you. Tall stately forests make way for rolling grasslands where deep river gorges are cut into the ancient lava flows that shaped this land.

Scouting locations for photo shoots has changed a lot in the past decade or so. Google Earth has emerged as a great resource for landscape photographers. Within the Earth application you can search for great vantage points and even plan the time of day to shoot. This has become an indispensable tool for me to locate unique spots and navigate to them.

Of course nothing quite replaces actually going out and scouting. The “sketches” that I make while on these scouts sometimes end up in the portfolio other times they help to refine the final image.

On this day in January I was out sketching at a spot I have been researching for quite some time. A long term project that I am working on is to capture portraits of the mountains of Oregon. Mt. Jefferson is one of my favorite peaks on the horizon. So as I rolled down Route 26 to see what I could see. To find that spot where Google Earth thought I should be. Sometimes the scouting seems more like work and on this day the weather was not cooperating either. A thick layer of clouds had descended upon the valley floor. Without a view what good would the scout trip do?

Now I did not stop I just kept going and I am glad that I went. As I approached the location the rise in elevation brought me to the top of those clouds. The light streaming through the forest and then the view of Jefferson itself was just amazing. When I turned around and started back thinking my cup was full, that this one was in the bag, the eery forest caught my eye.

Trees silhouetted against rising fog.

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