The Persona Behind The Lens, With A Glimpse Into Our World.
Photographer: Anita Cross
Photographer Anita Cross & husband "Llama"
Amusing stories of travels throughout Oregon's beautiful–and sometimes not-so-accessible–scenic areas, from the perspective of a not-so-athletic photographer.
"This benefit of seeing... can come only if you pause a while, extricate yourself from the maddening mob of quick impressions ceaselessly battering our lives, and look thoughtfully at a quiet image... the viewer must be willing to pause, to look again, to meditate"

~W. Eugene Smith

Monday, July 10, 2006

Last summer, I tried really hard to add a post to the blog about once a week. It worked for a while. But I soon found myself mired down by a backlog of looming deadlines, necessary web site updates and new clients. One thing led to another, and the next thing I knew it was the end of the year, with no respite in sight.

I did manage to fit in a Photography Seminar in March. A one day event up in Portland. More on that later.

A few days after the seminar, my annual check-up with the eye doctor revealed an urgent need for surgery. Turns out I had a very aggressive form of cataracts. With surgery scheduled only three weeks later, (both eyes, two weeks apart,) my focus (no pun intended) turned to wrangling up the money to pay for it all. Thank God for home equity!

The two weeks between surgeries were incredibly long and frustrating. There’s a story in it but, for now, let it suffice that I got virtually no work done during that time. That put me right back in catch-up mode. Not particularly good timing, as Llama and I were scheduled to take our first vacation in nearly six years, (if you count our honeymoon as a vacation.)

As it turned out, of the 10 days we had “scheduled”, we spent two nights on the coast and made an overnight trip to Prineville (combining familial obligations with photographic opportunities–we spent the night at Llama’s mom’s and took photos along the way, both there and back, with a three hour detour to Smith Rock State Park on the way home!)

With a couple hundred new photos to play with, all digital, you should see some activity on the blog as I share some of the more interesting images.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Sumpter Oregon has been around since the 1860s, when it was first settled by gold miners on their way to California. Finding gold in the area, they decided to seek their fortunes in the shadow of the Blue Mountains.

The entire town retains the flavor of it’s history. Old and new structures stand side by side, yet the new buildings reflect the colorful heritage of the past.

As we were driving out of town, we saw the beautifully restored old caboose, cars and steam engine of the Sumpter Valley Railway. This narrow gauge railroad has been rebuilt and continues to grow. You can learn all about it at the Sumpter Valley Railway website.

A few miles later we were on Highway 7. We turned East, heading for Phillips Lake. Only a few miles out of our way, we hoped for a look at the Elkhorn Ridge from across the lake. We stopped in at the South Shore campground and found a nice unobstructed view. Unobstructed except for the clouds, that is.

It was readily apparent why we were rained and snowed on while we were up in the mountains.

We still don’t know, first hand, what the Elkhorns look like. Here and there the snow on the mountains shows through thin clouds, but for the most part, they were hidden from view.

We got back on Highway 7 and headed Southwest to Highway 26. It was after noon and we decided we’d stop in Prairie City for a late lunch. There are several places as you come down out of the Blue Mountains where you can clearly see another mountain range across the valley and the John Day River.

The Strawberry Mountains were also capped by clouds. We stopped twice to take pictures, and the clouds seemed to be lifting, just not soon enough for me.

In Prairie City, we ate at Chuck’s Diner. LLama had heard they had “the best” hamburgers. Being a junk food addict, he just had to give it a try. I must admit, it was pretty darn good. In fact, I highly recommend Chuck’s, should you be in the area.

It was pushing 2:00 when we left Prairie City. We hadn’t gone but a few miles when we found the first convenient place we could to pull over. While we were inside enjoying our food, the clouds had lifted from Strawberry Mountain, and I was able to get the first really good shots of mountains since we started.

Friday, July 1, 2005

With the 4th of July holiday just around the corner, it looks like I’ll be out of town for the weekend. I have more to tell about our day-long drive across Oregon, but it will have to wait a few more days.

In the meantime, I want to mention I just put up some new Rose wallpapers. I especially like the way the dark red “Cesar E Chavez” rose turned out. It was early evening and the sun was getting low in the sky, casting long shadows and caressing the flowers with a touch of gold.

There are a dozen new images to choose from. The wallpaper pages display thumbnails of the available images. To save a wallpaper to your computer, click on the thumbnail and the full size jpeg will open in your browser. Right click on the image and select “set as background”, (“set as wallpaper” in Netscape/Firefox.)

If your screen is larger than the 800×600 images, Windows will stretch it to fit. Or you can save the image and resize it in your favorite image program, then set the resized image as your new wallpaper.

See you after the holiday.