Friday, November 28, 2008

Starvation Creek State Park

Today's hike took me to Starvation Falls (top-right) and Warren Falls (bottom-right). Sorry, I neglected to adjust the white balance on one of the photos, that's why the greens are off. You can decide which you like the best ;-)

Lancaster Falls is a bit further but I decided to hike the Mt. Defiance cut-off trail to Starvation ridge and didn't make it to that waterfall.


The hiking here is steep, very steep and I wouldn't recommend the cut-off trail if it were raining or icy, you'd just be getting back up all the time and there's just enough rock that falling on one might cause some serious damage. I'll check out the main trail when I visit Lancaster falls but my guess is it's a better grade.
I only made it up to the first good overlook (see photos right) The views from the ridge are impressive to say the least and I'm looking forward to hiking this area more.

Sometimes I wonder if anyone actually reads my blog but I suppose at least one person does, well I'm hoping that's the case. If not, well... at least I'm amused!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Hiking Wahkeena & Fairy falls trail

I had the day off Monday so after a lazy morning around the house I headed out to the Columbia River Gorge for some much needed hiking. Photography wasn't my focus so I just packed my day pack with the ol Nikon D200, some filters and of course an extra battery. I knew waterfalls were in the mix so my trusty tripod was a must.

I ended up at Wahkeena Falls parking lot where I had photographed a few times but had never hiked the trail. That was good enough reason for me and off I went. There were a dozen cars or so in the parking lot but only a few people. This really is a great time in the gorge, few tourists and very light traffic.

Stopping at the bottom of the waterfall I took a few photos and continued up the trail. A bit further up is where it gets really interesting, lots of switchbacks and nearly 1100ft of elevation gain in about a mile! Felt more like climbing up the face of the gorge than hiking but it really is a nicely graded trail that most anyone can hike.


Upon coming around the point just above Wahkeena Falls there's a nice viewpoint but unfortunately you really can't see the waterfall. The trail and creek climb steeply from this point and make for a spectacular view all along the trail. Up the trail a few more switchbacks you come to Fairy Falls (shown right). This is a really nice little waterfall and other than the difficult hike, it's one of the best I've found for model shoots. Further up the trail there's a turnoff to a view point which is on my list for the next time I'm up there. The main trail continues up about as far as you'd like to go, essentially to Larch mountain and beyond. Nearing the top I was running short on daylight so that's about all there was to this day.

It's a great hike but one best shared with your favorite hiking partner, unfortunately mine wasn't there but then she wasn't there to harass me either! ;-)

I plan to make this hike many more times and once the snow is at least a foot deep I'll pack up all my photo gear for what should be some fantastic photos in the canyon above the waterfall.

Ok, I'm done rambling for another day...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Why start a blog?

Well I don't really have anything on my web page (bledsoephotography.com) that talks about me or what I'm doing so I thought why not maintain a blog. It not only allows me to have a fairly static profile but also a means to keep folks current with events and activities.

The last couple months have brought some changes to my life and yes, there's more to come. Some have been wonderful and some truely heart breaking. Some are a done deal and others will take some time. That's all personal stuff and yep, fairly vague at that.

Over the last year I've been doing model shoots and I actually like it but admit there's much to learn and like most things that takes time to get it right. I basically put nature photography on the back burner, not really intentionally, but none the less I did. This fall I decided to focus on Nature photography again, at least through winter and spring. I still plan to do some model shoots here and there but for specific projects. In fact I removed my accounts from both Flickr and Model Mayhem (MM) because they were just too distracting.

I'm currently focusing on shoots in the Columbia River Gorge to get a few entries for a December photo contest with that area as the subject. Nearing year-end I'll be looking for opportunities to shoot at Crater Lake as well as other areas of the cascades. Yellowstone in the winter has been on my mind so maybe a week there. I've been toying with the idea of some time in Hawaii too, but mostly to get away to somewhere warm and just reflect on all the changes I'll be experiencing through the spring. I have long time friends there so...

Well for what it's worth, there's my latest ramblings...
Jeff