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#TravelTuesday with Guest Photographer Bob Wick to Northwest Oregon’s BLM Wilds!

Numerous rivers form along western Oregon’s Cascade Range and flow through steep conifer lined valleys. They offer endless photo subjects and a broad array of recreation activities.  One of my favorite river corridors is the Molalla – less than 60 miles from Portland it makes for an easy urban escape and has a lot of diversity in a compact location.  You can explore more than 20 miles of trails on foot, horseback or mountain bike.   The river itself offers great fishing opportunities and numerous swimming holes for warm summer afternoons. For those wishing to spend the night, several dispersed campsites and one developed campground are located along the corridor.  

The Molalla corridor offers year-round photography interest, although the bright greens during spring leaf-out  in April and the fall colors of early October are my favorite times.  The river corridor has many big leaf and vine maples which turn yellow and orange in the fall.  

Photo tip: Include foreground interest in your landscape images – river rocks, flowers, fallen autumn leaves or other objects of interest will give the photo depth.  

At the Molalla River headwaters, the Table Rock Wilderness offers an entirely different suite of opportunities. A 3.3 mile trail winds past majestic basalt cliffs and old-growth fir forest to the top of Table Rock itself. Here are unmatched vistas of Cascade Volcanoes stretching across three states – from Mt. Rainer Washington in the north, to Mt. Shasta, California in the south.  The trails here are snowed in during winter and spring.

Photo tip:  Rivers like the Mollala with riffles and small falls that make for interesting subjects. You must use very slow shutter speeds to make water take on a misty flowing look – I use ½ second or longer.  A tripod is a must.  Shoot on cloudy days or other low lighting conditions so that you can slow down your shutter to the correct exposure.

Check out our @esri Northwest Oregon’s BLM Wilds multimedia storymap for more stunning photos, videos, helpful links and maps of the area: mypubliclands.tumblr.com/traveltuesdaynorthwestoregon.

Kawase HasuiTwilight at Itako, 1930.  

Printmaking: Ink and color on paper, 27 x 37.8 cm. Freer Sackler, Smithsonian Institute, Washington D.C.. Via Art of Darkness: Daily Art Blog