Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Leslie Gulch

I spent 4 amazing days exploring and photographing Leslie Gulch during my southeast Oregon trip. This area was carved out after the eruptions of the Mahogany Mountain and the Three Fingers calderas over 15 million years ago. The rhyolite ash was deposited up to 1000 ft thick and is now seen as colorfully sculpted formations. 

My first night there I decided to do a quick overnight trip to a ridge a few thousand feet above the gulch. With this being my first time to the area I wanted to gain some perspective on the landscape. I almost always climb high when I'm new to a place.

While I typically put my camera away during the afternoon hours, I was particularly impressed with the way the midday light made the formations glow a vibrant orange.

A distant honeycombed tower of Leslie Gulch Tuff (consolidated volcanic ash) glows under late afternoon light. I liked the way this particular crag resembled a temple. Olympus E-PM, Olympus 14-42 lens 

In the image below, I was drawn to the different layers of contrasting color and geology. I liked the reflected blue light in the shaded folds of the distant hills and the way it complemented the orange hues in the honeycomb formations. 

The honeycomb formations of Leslie Gulch photographed from a prominence high above the valley floor. Olympus E-PM1, Olympus 14-42 lens
Lone Juniper - one of my favorite images from Leslie Gulch - photographed on my way back down to the bottom of the gulch. Olympus E-PM1, Olympus 14-42 lens

The next 3 days were spent exploring the various side canyons that lead into Leslie Gulch. 

An abstract rendition showing the northern face of probably the largest crag in the area as seen through a natural window in the tuff, Timber Gulch, Olympus E-PM1, Olympus 14-42 lens

I was able to climb through the natural window shown in the above image and gain this up close view of the cliff face.
Leslie Gulch Tuff abstract, Olympus E-PM1, Olympus 14-42 lens
In the coming months I will also be sharing two additional images made with my 8 x 10 film camera.

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