About MeI live in Jackson Hole, Wyoming where I explore the deeper reaches of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem while also trying to raise awareness about light pollution and the importance of dark skies through photography and video.
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Many people think that just because they learn how to operate in Manual mode (M), that they need to keep it there to get the best shots. I can’t even begin to tell you how many great photos I would have missed if there were any truth to that.
The simple fact is, the other modes are there to help you get important shots when time is a factor, such as with wildlife. I’ll certainly use M if I have the time to set up something like a landscape. If I’m out shooting wildlife, however, I keep my camera set to Time Value (Tv), also known as Shutter Priority. This way, if I happen upon an animal, my camera is already set to a shutter speed that I know I can hold steady for crisp shots.
Ancient volcanic and geologic activity leave an alien landscape in John Day Fossil Beds National Monument.
One place in Oregon that had always stuck out to me as a place of interest was John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. It’s quite a fascinating place and there are actually three different units of it spread throughout central Oregon. This shot is from just south of the Visitor Center where exhibits explain an extremely violent past in Oregon’s history: at one time an entire third (if I remember right) of the state was completely submerged in lava and/or volcanic eruptions. Many of the most impressive features of John Day Fossil Beds National Monument show off a bit of this history in some impressive displays.
Going back a bit for another shot taken along the Sweet Creek Trail just outside of Mapleton, Oregon. It almost felt like the trip actually started here since there wasn’t a whole lot that I wanted to see in Idaho. Eastern Oregon was interesting and scenic, but everything I was really looking forward to started once I left Eugene, Oregon, and of course began this short and easy hike.
The first week or so of the whole trip prevented me from getting any shots of my favorite time of day: night time. The first night was entirely too cold so I wound up getting to sleep early and then every night thereafter was too cloudy. That is until I made it to Big Lagoon County Park in Northern California. This just happened to turn into something that I really liked just from pointing the camera in different directions and trying out different compositions. But it definitely turned into something that I really enjoy.
Not even realizing it, mid-October turned out to be the perfect time of year to be driving through Oregon. Fall leaves were at their peak all along Highway 26 and made for an amazing display for practically the entire drive. Highway 26 itself is an extremely scenic drive that crosses virtually the entire state and in addition to all the fall colors, also passes by John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, among other things.
Sweet Creek Trail in Western Oregon’ alt=’Sweet Creek flows through a lush forest in Western Oregon.
The Sweet Creek Trail begins just outside of a small community called Mapleton, Oregon. I hiked it with my aunt on the way out of Eugene heading toward the Oregon coast. It’s a great representation of the Pacific Northwest and lush, old growth forests that are found all over Oregon. The hike goes up for one mile before reaching a small waterfall that naturally varies with the seasons. Given that it was fall there wasn’t too much force behind it, however it can change dramatically in the spring.