Crossing the Threshold

I spent nearly two weeks photographing Oregon this past summer. I didn’t really bother to check the typical seasonal weather, as I was already going to be in the area. That was a mistake. Probably every Oregon summer is not like this, but there were cloudless skies for 10 days straight. Nothing. A lot of tourists would say that’s amazing. But as a photographer, that’s a nightmare second only to texture-less gray skies.

So you adapt. Shoot night skies, since a clear night sky is perfect for the Milky Way. Shoot in forests, where the sky wasn’t part of the image. And get creative with the sunsets.

There was enough color in the clear sunset sky to make things work, so long as the image included only a bit of sky above the horizon. The yellow/orange/red/purple gradient colors after the sun goes down can be amazing if you wait for the right moment. Selecting a watery foreground and long exposure allowed created a smooth mirror of color around my main subject and give it just enough interest to make it work.

It’s always important to do your homework to ensure good odds for ideal conditions. But work with what you’ve got. With a little creativity, you can usually turn around a less promising situation.


Keyhole Arch and a Gold-Purple Sunset

Greg Benz Photography