[/caption] The Central Oregon Cascade mountain range offers an amazing array of volcanic cinder cones and ancient lava flows. This photo was taken near Yapoah Crater and is looking north with views of Mt. Hood, Jefferson and 3 Fingered Jack. The silver color near 3 fingered Jack is the burn zone left by the B&B fire that destroyed much of the forest. The McKenzie Pass offers several hiking trails that will take you within this area with several opportunities to hike the summits of several volcanic cinder cones or alpine mountains.
[/caption] The Santiam river offers some of the best views of the foothills along the western slopes of the Oregon Cascades. There are trails that will take you up to 5,000 feet so you can look over the forest below and view the many foothills that dot the landscape or you can hike the many trails that follow along the dozens of creeks deep within the forest. During the summer months you can cool off in the creeks and in Spring and Fall you can enjoy the beautiful setting of the ancient forest.
[/caption] Fall Creek is located just off the Cascades lakes highway and offers one of the most scenic hiking trails in Central Oregon. The trail starts just feet from where I took this photo and I was actually standing just a few yards from the picnic area. I was pretty lucky to get this shot since I had the shutter speed at 3.2 seconds in order to get the effect of the moving water and without having too much glare and overexposure. I had to make sure to eliminate the sky since it was the middle of July and several hours before sunset. I made sure to attach my ND4 along with my CIR-PL and warming filter. I was fortunate to have the aperture at F-25 in order to avoid complete overexposure.
[/caption] Crater Lake National Park is one of the best wilderness areas to visit if you are interested in finding clean air and lots of views. With the park sitting just above 6000 feet, you are high enough to see several of the Cascade peaks as well as two states. The snow is usually so deep that it lasts well into July. In fact, when I took this photo it was 6/30/10 and only half of the road was open due to the high snow pack. The air is so clean that it’s like breathing pure oxygen for the first time. The views are absolutely breathtaking and there is no shortage of photo opportunities. Many visitors may find themselves spending only a few hours at the Park but a true landscape photographer could spend several days here. Due to the nature of the lake, the blue color of the lake seems to change its appearance depending on where you are standing along its rim or depending on the time of the day or season. There are miles of hiking and biking trails as well as other wilderness areas just outside the Park. This photo was taken at 3:25 pm and was taken from the south eastern side of the lake. You can see Mt. Scott in the distance. The color of the lake changed as the day progressed. However, I’m not sure if this is due to the time of day or because I had been moving to different parts of the lake throughout the day. I was using my Canon Rebel T1i along with my Tokina 12-24 mm wide angle lens with the camera in Program mode. I was using my UV, warming and CIR-PL filter which put the F stop at F-8 due to having the camera in Program mode. I would never have gotten this photo without using my filters. This is a perfect example of why you should always have plenty of filters when shooting landscape photos. I believe I was using my tripod, bubble level and remote switch when I took this photo. I had the focal length at 17mm and the ISO was at 100. I also set the white balance to -1 due to the intense glare and the reflection of the sun coming off the lake. I would highly recommend visiting Crater Lake National Park to anyone that wants to enjoy a truly spectacular place that is sparsely populated and teaming with outdoor activities.