Thursday, January 12, 2012

Photo of the Day: Tulum Beach

Oh baby! It's cold outside. Snow is in the forecast, the east wind is blowing, and everyone has been pulling out the hat and gloves to bundle up now that winter has finally arrived in the Pacific Northwest!

In an attempt to warm everyone up, here's a image captured on my honeymoon to Mexico. The beach in Tulum was warm, the palm trees were swaying, and as I recall I was clamoring for shade as I took this picture.

Feeling warm yet?

Photo of the Day: Ladybug in the Hand

A ladybug in the hand is worth how many in the bush?
My oldest daughter captured this one in the gardens behind the Gorge White House near Hood River, Oregon. She wanted to bring it home as a pet, but I told her she had to fly away and take care of her children, who were surely missing her!!

Photo of the Day: Strutting Pelicans

These pelicans were certainly strutting their stuff. Captured on the beach near Pacific City, Oregon. What song do you think they were hearing in their heads? I am thinking something from the Bee Gees...

Why I...

...take pictures.

I suppose you could say "Why I am a photographer." Regardless of what people tell me, sometimes I am a little insecure about my abilities. "Photographer" seems like a term to be only used by professionals -- people that do it as their job and depend on the income they receive from practicing their craft. While I sell a print here and there, I don't consider myself a "professional" by any means. As someone that is completely self taught, there are so many things I still have to learn. Every once and a while, however, I get lucky and capture something that amazes even me.

So why do I take pictures?

I take pictures to share the beautiful things I see when hiking the trails of the Columbia River Gorge and Mount Hood National Forest because there are people that will never be lucky enough to see the part of the world I am lucky enough to live in and photograph, but I can show it to them through my camera lens:

To make a record of the adventures experienced with my family on one of our crazy road trips around my beautiful state of Oregon and beyond, so we can remember them together at a later date:

So when my two sweet little girls become surly teenagers, I can remember their smiles when they thought mommy was the coolest person in the world:

Last, but not least, simply because I like it. It brings me joy and peace as I literally bring the world before me into focus:

My favorite capture!

That is why I take pictures!!

This post is part of my friend Sarah Bee's blog carnival today. To check out the posts of others participating, head over to her blog

P.S. She also makes pretty awesome soap and candles. Check out her wares at

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Photo of the Day: Frozen Horsetail Falls

When the east winds blow (also known as Hurricane Columbia Gorge) blow, they freeze everything in their path. Waterfalls are not immune to this.

Horsetail Falls is both easily viewed and accessed from the Historic Columbia River Gorge Highway. In fact, is sits so close to the highway, the winds blow the freezing mist on to the roadway. This image was captured last winter on an excursion to view the frozen waterfalls during an especially prolonged cold snap.

Photo of the Day: Wahkeena Falls

The new year is bringing a new feature to the Wahkeena Exposures blog: Photo of the Day. Yes - all the cool kids are doing it and now so am I.

It may not be a true "Photo of the Day" feature, as many of you that follow me know that I am often out and about, adventuring around Oregon. Time and internet access may not always make it possible. However, several times a week I hope to feature photos here - whether captured with my DSLR out on a hiking trail or with my iPhone while battling the urban jungle on my way to the office. Expect landscapes, still lifes, and anything else that may happen to catch my eye. WARNING: This may include photos of pork products.

To kick it all off, the waterfall that inspired the name for this blog and all things related to my photography: Wahkeena Falls.

I hope you enjoy viewing my images as much as I loved capturing them!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Ringing in 2012: Tubing at Hoodoo

"We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Years Day." - Edith Lovejoy Pierce

New Year's Day is my reward for surviving Christmas. After spending most of the past month stressed out with THAT holiday and everything that comes with it, I spend the first day of the new year outside, getting back to nature, and just taking a moment to say "Ahhhhh!!"

This year my family traveled to Central Oregon to ring in 2012, and luckily the rain turned to snow just in time for our arrival. Of course, we took full advantage.

Hoodoo Ski Area is located at the summit of Santiam Pass, along Highway 20, just a short drive west of Sisters, Oregon. The tubing park there, called the Autobahn, was our destination for the afternoon.

We procured our passes at the yurt in the tubing area, and went to select our tubes and stand in line for our turn to ride up the hill on the tow rope.

Ready to hit the hill!

I have to admit, this was my favorite part of the day. Kicked back in a cushy tube and leisurely drug up the hill I enjoyed both the scenery and the ride.

The view from the top of the tubing hill was spectacular. Unfortunately, due to a lack of snow we were unable to slide from the top and ended up having to walk back down the hill a bit.

At the top of the tubing hill, Three Fingered Jack in the distance.

The ride down, all dozen or so times, was an absolute thrill.

What were first screams of fear as we zoomed down the hill, turned to shrills of absolute excitement.

Her first time tubing? You think she liked it?

My family rang in 2012 outdoors with a thrill and a "YEAH!!! WOO HOO!!" rather than our traditional "Ahhhh!"

That is, unless you count hot chocolate in the lodge after a hard day on the slopes!

Enjoying a hot chocolate with my cousin.

Plan your own trip:

Hoodoo Ski Area

Autobahn Tubing Park