Despite the title, this blog post is NOT about Kanye and Kim West’s daughter North. I apologize for the confusion I’m sure all of you experienced.

No, this blog post is about some of the natural beauty I came across while traveling to the great Northwest.

A week or so ago, we went on a trip to spend Independence Day with my wife’s family at a lake house in Oregon (a blog post about that will be coming soon). In addition to the time spent at Ten Mile Lake (near North Bend, Oregon), we also took the opportunity to visit places like Crater Lake National Park, Haceda Head, Yaquina Bay, Cascade Head, and Salt Creek Falls.

I haven’t had the opportunity to do a lot of landscape photography lately, so it was a welcome change of pace. I was especially excited about trying out my newest piece of equipment, a 10-stop Hoya neutral density filter. For those unfamiliar, it’s essentially a really dark piece of glass that reduces the amount of light entering the lens by 10 stops (which translated to about 1,000x less light). This allows me to do exposures that are several seconds long in the middle of the day. For example, for the black and white photo entitled “Pylon Jug,” I used a 41-second exposure to create a smooth glassy effect on the surface of the water even though it was taken in broad daylight. I’m planning to do some similar shots with waterfalls in the coming weeks.

I also experimented with some HDR on the Crater Lake photos using luminosity masks. That one’s a little more complex to talk about, so I’ll probably save that for another day. If you’re interested, I suggest checking out this beginner’s tutorial from Jimmy McIntyre.

Some of my favorite shots from the trip were actually taken in the middle of the night. For the photos “Moonlight Lane” and “Sinking Dock at Moonrise,” I used only moonlight to illuminate the photos with really long exposures. I thought the results were pretty cool. The photos have an ethereal quality to them.

Many thanks to the family members who drove me all over tarnation to get these photos!