Each year, from the end of April, through the middle of May, an amazing springtime bloom occurs alongside Oregon and Washington’s Columbia River. Brilliant yellow Balsam root and blue-purple lupine blossom for miles across the meadows, hillsides, and oak-dotted ravines of the Columbia Hills. Being a somewhat recent transplant to the Pacific Northwest, I was very eager to try my hand at capturing these vast, beautiful scenes that did not occur during last year’s very odd spring season.
This month, I was fortunate enough to spend a week or so photographing these areas by myself, with friends, and with a few private workshop clients as well. The wildflowers were amazing this year – with balsam root blooming in slightly higher numbers than the lupine – in the areas I managed to visit, at least. Unfortunately, favorable conditions seemed hard to come by. For all but a handful of shooting sessions, the wind was very intense, with sustained speeds of 15-25 MPH. To my dismay, these windy days happened to coincide with much of the better light, which made for some very challenging focus bracketing and depth of field blending.
Out of all the areas I scouted, I found the most profuse blooms within Dalles Mountain Ranch State Park, and Columbia Hills State Park, both near Dallesport, Washington. Due to this, as well as the oak-decorated ravines I came across, I chose to focus the majority of my efforts on these two locales.