Crater Lake

USA2014_J039150503This was one of the great surprises for me from my 2014 road trip along the USA West Coast. I hadn’t heard of Crater Lake National Park until I began planning my trip and was looking for somewhere to head after visiting Portland; however, on reading about this perfectly blue, perfectly still lake nestled in the caldera of a volcano, it sounded well worth a visit, and I certainly wasn’t disappointed.

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The national park itself was a wonderful escape, staying in a cabin in the heart of the park, surrounded by wild deer and pine forest. The hike up to the lake was through some beautiful scenery, looking out across Klamath County and the Oregon countryside.

As Crater Lake is revealed at the end of the climb, the view is truly breathtaking as you first take in the scale of the lake, the intense colours in the water, and the perfect mirror reflection.

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For a photographer, the landscape was a dream, but trying to capture the deep colours and the scale of the scene was a real challenge, particularly with my modest kit. I spent several hours around the lake swapping wide-angle lens to catch the panorama of the lake with my telephoto to zoom in on Wizard Island and the Phantom Ship island, floating out in the lake. I certainly learned a lot about framing shots and colour that day. A beautiful part of the USA West Coast, and an ideal spot for any photographer. You can see my photographs in the Crater Lake Photo Gallery.

Yosemite

USA2014_J016150314Travelling along the USA West Coast during Summer 2014, one of my highlights was our stop at Yosemite National Park. Keen to explore this area of stunning natural beauty, this was a dream location for a landscape photographer. Hiking around the Half Dome, it was impossible not to recall the wonderful photography of Ansel Adams, and to understand how he became so captivated with this immense and beautiful landscape.

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It was far more challenging than I had expected, in the blinding light of the August sun, to capture the scale and magnificence of the landscape, and the detail of the forest against the rock formations. But a great photography challenge nonetheless, and it was a wonderful few days photographing. The results are in the Yosemite Photo Gallery.