Mt. Bachelor snow photos and summer photos
As part of our launch of Pacific Crest Stock, I thought that a small photo review of Central Oregon’s favorite alpine ski mountain might make an appropriate blog entry. The images in this entry were obviously not captured on the same outing. In fact, they required many separate outings for their capture. All of you who are photo editors or image buyers have seen countless wintery images of Mt. Bachelor clad in snow but you may not know what goes into capturing those images. Start with about 40 lbs of camera equipment, a 4AM wake up call, and sub zero temperatures (coffee is a vital element in this equation!). Then proceed with 28 inches of fresh powder at Tumalo Mountain and a grueling and sweaty hour long snowshoe climb to get yourself into position. Then you cross your fingers and hope that you can find an acceptable foreground. After you stop climbing, your sweat quickly freezes on any exposed skin so an extra layer of clothing is a necessity. Once you are in position for nature’s grand light show, you hope that there are no low clouds on the eastern horizon that will block the pink alpenglow from illuminating Mt. Bachelor’s eastern flanks. You will struggle to keep your tripods legs from shifting because the powder snow is so deep that you can’t find a solid base to stabilize your camera during the long exposures required by a low light capture. If you are lucky, you get to enjoy the warm pink glow of morning’s first light bathing you and everything around you. If you’re really lucky, you skillfully expose the scene, you don’t get any snow on your film plates, you get to enjoy a beautiful Central Oregon Cascades sunrise and you get to share an image like the one below with your friends.
I shot this image with my trusty but heavy (explaining my 40 lb pack weight) 4×5 camera. The finished prints of this image are so detailed that one can actually see several snow cats grooming Mt. bachelor’s ski runs. It gives me a greater appreciation of the hard working people who do the grooming every winter morning so that we can have a better down hill experience. Cheers to the groomers and may they always have warm fresh coffee!
The next two images are taken from the Three Sisters Wilderness area. Summer photos of Mt. Bachelor have their own set of challenges. Everyone has seen summer scenes of Mt Bachelor shot from the sides of Tumalo Mountain but you rarely see any of those images with an attractive foreground. Finding those attractive foregrounds takes lots of exploration, which I love, but frankly it is physical work as it always involves a heavy pack. The following image was captured with my intrepid daughter, Emma. I’d been to this same area several times in the preceding few days and realized that sunset would provide the best light quality, so I loaded up Emma, lots of bug dope, camera gear and enough snacks to keep up with Emma’s speedy metabolism. I love the fullness of the foreground, flowing with red Indian Paintbrush. I also enjoy the lines of the small streams threading through the scene and the one large boulder in the mid-ground. Perhaps the most rare and un-repeatable part of this scene is the cloud caps over Mt. Bachelor. Plain blue skies tend to be a bit boring while a pleasant cloud formation tends to add to an image and make it a bit more unique.
The next image was also taken from the mountainous area adjacent to Mt. Bachelor. This photo required a long off-trail hike with some accurate GPS coordinates to find and capture. The hike was a little too far and rugged for Emma, so I went solo on this particular shoot. Once again, I was fortunate to have some interesting clouds that added interest to the scene.
The following image was taken at Central Oregon’s beloved Sparks Lake near the Cascade Lakes Highway. It is an exceptional location for both spectacular views and mosquitos the size of small aircraft. If you visit in the early spring, take lots of bug dope and your camera. This corner of the lake has lots of small islands covered in mountain heather, and at sunset, it can offer some stunning color on Mt. bachelor.
If you have any interest in licensing these or any of our other Cascades Mountain images, please visit the Mountain Gallery of our new stock photography website, Pacific Crest Stock. If you have any comments or questions about these images, you can contact us through the contact information at the top of this blog or through the comments area at the end of this blog entry.
Posted by Mike Putnam