Hiking in eastern Oregon

Discussion in 'Scenic, Architecture, and Travel' started by Tilman Paulin, Jun 23, 2015.

  1. Spent a 3-day weekend in eastern Oregon two weeks ago - dayhiking in the Hells Canyon area.
    We love the area and were hoping to catch the wildflowers - but spring has been so dry this year that there weren't that many this time around. Or our timing was just wrong. :)

    I'm still using the E-M1 with the 12-60mm as my main camera and my old E-M5 with the 75-300 as my secondary. Sometimes I'm pondering whether I should get one of those exciting new full-frame/APS-C systems... but then again, the versatility of the Olympus 12-60mm lens is pretty amazing. And I already have all that gear... :)

    perfect lunch spot - cropped
    by tilman paulin, on Flickr

    Monday evening - Hat Point
    by tilman paulin, on Flickr

    by tilman paulin, on Flickr

    Untitled by tilman paulin, on Flickr

    Eureka Wagon Trail
    by tilman paulin, on Flickr

    processed food :)
    by tilman paulin, on Flickr

    by tilman paulin, on Flickr

    onwards and upwards :)
    by tilman paulin, on Flickr

    nosey ground squirrel
    by tilman paulin, on Flickr

    Sunday - Eureka Viewpoint
    by tilman paulin, on Flickr

    prickly pear
    by tilman paulin, on Flickr

    Sunday - a rest in the shade
    by tilman paulin, on Flickr

    back on Cemetery Ridge
    by tilman paulin, on Flickr

    by tilman paulin, on Flickr

    End of Sunday
    by tilman paulin, on Flickr

    Snake River
    by tilman paulin, on Flickr

    Marsh forget-me-not
    by tilman paulin, on Flickr

    Monday evening - 5 mile viewpoint
    by tilman paulin, on Flickr

    Tuesday Morning - Buckhorn Lookout
    by tilman paulin, on Flickr

    seven devils
    by tilman paulin, on Flickr
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 27, 2015
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  2. Last edited by a moderator: Aug 5, 2015
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  3. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    I just went and viewed the first in your second post on flickr at full size. You have no need for new gear. Great sets.
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  4. Thanks Luke! My gear is just beginning to be a setup for me that "simply works". It's not exciting in itself anymore, but I'm comfortable with it... :)

    And I haven't even started to explore all the features of it yet. For example the third to last shot (in the first post) is my first HDR bracketed shot.
    Still so much to learn and explore...:)
  5. Richard

    Richard Top Veteran

    Feb 1, 2013
    Marlow, UK
    The very last picture is the one for me. Something about the colours.

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  6. bartjeej

    bartjeej Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Nov 12, 2010
    That's a fine set of photos, Tilman! I really like your use of the panoramic aspect ratios, but also in the other aspect ratios, you make the compositions really work. As Luke said, you don't need new gear!

    [edit] For some reason I can't comment on many of your photos on flickr, but the Zumwalt Prairie is beautiful - too bad about the fences. Are there any big grazers out there (wild ones)? Or is it a cattle area?

    [edit 2] that ground squirrel wouldn't dare being that nosey in Southern Morocco - they're a local delicacy there! I saw a couple from a distance but they ran away as soon as we came closer than 30 or so meters.

    [edit 3] cool, that you saw the mountain lion!
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2015
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  7. Thank you Bart! Strange that the commenting on flickr doesn't work... I don't think I have set any specific permissions... hmm, maybe just a flickr hiccup? They had a big outage on monday... Thanks for taking the time to comment here - much appreciated! :)

    Zumwalt Prairie is mostly used for cattle grazing (as is Hells Canyon in some parts of the year). But we've seen Elk herds there too (they jump over the fences), lots of birds and a porcupine...

    :-D some of the ground squirrels over here in the more touristy places would be quite a meal. They are pretty well fed... ;) But out in the wilderness we usually only see them zipping away once they hear us...

    yes, it was only for a few seconds but still pretty cool. We were driving around a bend and there it was at the side of the road - immediately taking off into the trees...
  8. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey Super Moderator

    Jun 20, 2012
    Cambridge, MA
    These are all so strong. New gear would cost you so much money, and take you so long to master this well. The longer you can hold out, the better the gear will be for the same $. You're seeing through this setup incredibly well. It all comes across immediately - I know what about each scene made you want to take it in the first place. It's clear, and well portrayed. Great stuff.
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  9. Thanks Kyle for the kind comments and good advice!
    It's always tempting to only look at the areas in which other systems shine (the great dynamic range of the Sony's, the great colour&contrast of the Fuji's, the pixel-level integrity of the Sigma's, ...) - and to dismiss what you already have as unexciting.
    But what I might win in some areas I would lose in other areas. (Not even thinking about the money I'd have to spend...!)

    Maybe I should simply spend less time looking at the latest camera-news. A better use of that time would be to learn even more about the gear I have (those Olympus menus still hold lots of secrets :) )
    Playing around with HDR seems to be fun too (currently using a trial of Oloneo Photoengine which I quite like). Keeping it "fresh" in other ways than through new gear...
  10. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Great set, yet again, Tilman. For the kind of long hikes you like to do and your obvious preference for zoom lenses, I'd definitely stay with what you've got, or possibly even switch from the 12-60 to the 12-40 for size and weight savings. Particularly if you've got the longer focal lengths covered with the 75-300. I guess only you know how much you use that 40-60mm range... APS or full frame would be considerably larger and heavier for a similar setup. APS wouldn't improved your IQ in any notable way. Full frame probably would if you shot in low light more or if you processed your photos more heavily. But for the way you shoot, I wouldn't change anything - your setup is working really well for you...

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  11. Thank you, Ray!
    There is actually some processing going on with all my shots. Enough that I wish I wouldn't "need" to spend that time at the computer. But truth is, I'll probably always spend that time to get things "just the way I want", no matter what gear.
    Another "pill" the perfectionist in me probably simply has to swallow is that there's always some compromise.
    I can see that primes get me better results. But on my hikes I'm constantly seeing subjects of different size or distance. Switching primes all the time would tax my dear wife's patience even more and probably limit the distance we can cover in a day - limiting our experience of the place...
    Looks like I need to stop trying to "optimize" and just be happy that I have something that works for me at this point :)

    Thanks everyone for your comments! Helpful and much appreciated! :)
  12. Just lovely.

    It is great to get lost in the wild on occasion. :)
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  13. Absoulutely! Keeps me sane (more or less :) )
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  14. Thanks for the feature! :)

    I actually re-graded some of these last night a bit. Thinking about what I thought was 'missing' in some of my photos I realized that it was probably the darks/shadows lacking a bit of color, so I added a bit of vibrance with a luminance mask on most. It's subtle, but I'm quite happy with it for now :)

    Here's a last few ones, the last three taken with my phone when driving back through the Columbia River Gorge. First wildfires of the year...

    Sunday - Eureka Wagon trail
    by tilman paulin, on Flickr

    Sunday hike - view from Cemetery Ridge
    by tilman paulin, on Flickr

    by tilman paulin, on Flickr

    Snake River
    by tilman paulin, on Flickr

    Zumwalt Prairie - tuesday evening
    by tilman paulin, on Flickr

    Wednesday - Columbia River Gorge
    by tilman paulin, on Flickr

    Columbia River Gorge wildfire
    by tilman paulin, on Flickr

    Columbia River Gorge wildfire
    by tilman paulin, on Flickr
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  15. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Jul 3, 2010
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  16. Thanks Amin! Yes, those two photos (and two places) are my favourites too :)
  17. bosmaj

    bosmaj New Member

    Mar 21, 2014
    As always: jealous of your photographic capabilitys! It all seems so easy, but I know it isn't. Great work and a real joy to look at. To me, far more interesting than the endless stream of streetphotography! Thanks Tilman.
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  18. Thank you Jan-Marten for your kind words :)
    You're right, it is a lot of work (and was a lot of trial and error over the time), but I'm glad that it doesn't look like it. That's a great compliment!
  19. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Spectacular scenery. There is a great sense of depth is some of these.
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  20. Tillman Bennett

    Tillman Bennett Rookie

    Jul 15, 2015
    Tillman Bennett

    It's refreshing as others noted to see something other than street photography with black and white film filters applied. I'm a fellow Oregonian, it's great to see our state represented so masterfully. I was in Eastern Oregon in May and will be returning there for a few days beginning of August to visit family in LaGrande and take the kids around to see some of their history. I hope I can take some photos that come close to the quality you've shared with us!

    - Tillman
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