Monday, July 31, 2017

Bruneau Dunes State Park, Idaho

Bruneau Dunes State Park has become one of my favorite stopping places when traveling across Idaho. This year I used their excellent campground as a place to spend the night on my way to the John Day, Oregon area on my annual camping trip.
The spectacular dunes are a great place to take pictures when the sun gets low just before sunset.  People on top of this dune were sliding down the steep shadowed side as if it were snow.

One of the attractions is the 470 foot high largest single structured sand dune in North America.  There are a couple of ponds in the park that allow the rare opportunity to photograph dunes reflected in water, but this actually isn’t as good as it was several years ago because the beaches have become overgrown with trees and reeds.  Swimmers have kept a few passages open through the reeds.

The wind does amazing things with the sand.  What can cause such abrupt changes in the ripples?  The color of the sand changes from gray to rust as the sun gets low.

There are a few flowers on the dunes that cast long shadows in the afternoon light, like this nakedstem sunray.

The day ended with warm sunlight reflected in the lake from the big dune.  If you decide to photograph these dunes, I suggest putting your camera away until about an hour before sunset when the color gets richer and the shadows and ripples in the sand create wonderful patterns.

Please respect my copyright and do not use these photos without permission.  I often donate usage for charitable purposes, but will charge a small fee for personal or commercial use.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Painted Hills, Oregon

John Day Fossil Beds National Monument has three separate units.  One of these, the Painted Hills, near Mitchell, Oregon, is famous for its amazing hills striped with color.  It was the highlight of my 47 th camping trip in 36 years with Bruce Gregory and Stephen Johnson.
During the day the colors can appear fairly muted, but as the sun gets low the stripes become brighter, as in this photo from the overlook trail.

The wonderful stripes and contours are perfect for landscape abstracts with a long lens.  These two photos from the overlook trail show how the colors can change with the time of day.  The colors often become golden just before sunset.

Another beautiful location is the perfectly formed Red Hill, where we also found prairie clover.

The soil here is very delicate and would be damaged by walking on it, so most areas are fenced off.  In the Painted Cove area a boardwalk allows visitors to see the textures and shapes close up.

And finally, here is a five shot panorama taken from the overlook trail just as afternoon shadows start to touch the hills.

I hope you enjoy these photos, but please remember that they are copyrighted and must not be used without permission, and usually payment of a small fee.