Out of the Blue, in to the Blue?

I took a last minute trip over to Eastern Oregon last week to spend some time photographing the mountains and the high desert. I had been debating going over since I had spent the week before driving back and forth to the beach and was a little worn out. I decided to head over basically an hour before I actually left. I packed up my gear, made sure the dogs were fed before my brother got home, and jumped in my car and took off.

I am so glad I did. The weather alone was utterly spectacular, nothing but blue skies and sun. Oh, and the serious lack of tourists during a typically packed spring break time made it all the better. I stayed in Sunriver, which for those of you who don't know me, is basically my second home. I didn't want to rent something during the highest priced times of the season so I asked my dad if I could crash at his house while he was recovering from his cancer treatments in San Diego. Free bed, free food, and free booze, what more could a guy need?

On my way over the mountain I stopped in Sisters, a quaint little town starting to come back to life and really pushing to develop it's artistic community. Hood Avenue has been recently dubbed the “art district.” It's less than a mile long, I am not even sure it's half a mile to be perfectly honest, charming, and full of bronze works, chainsaw-carved statues, and paintings in soft muted earth tones. I stopped in a few galleries to get a feel of what they owners and members are looking for in potential artists and ended up spending almost three hours talking to different folks about the life and process of artists in the area. One artist of Hood Avenue Art gallery spent almost an hour talking with me detailing about how the gallery works, what the owners are looking for, and encouraging me to pursue this path of mine. Her name is Kelly Salber who is a book artist; recycling old books in to new art creations. She was super sweet and so helpful!

 ©Stephen Miller 2015

©Stephen Miller 2015

As I made my way gallery to gallery collecting business cards and trading mine just as frequently, I got to see the kind of art that works in the area, and more importantly, the kind that doesn't. Canvas prints are becoming more and more popular as they are easy to carry by buyers and create beautiful dimension on walls. Mountains are always popular, but personally, I feel like the standard shot of the three mountains in the distance for which the city is named for are a bit over done and lack new perspective. However, they pay the bills so it's something every photographer who sells in the area should have in their inventory. Besides, who doesn't enjoy mountain photography? 

Over the next few days I spent my time traveling around to Mount Bachelor, the desert, and the Cove Palisades state park. The weather was CRYSTAL CLEAR and 72 degrees with a nice breeze. I couldn't believe it was so nice out and there was absolutely no one around! At one point in the entire state park I was one of five people. The lake was full of fish and the canyon walls were painted in red, gold, and green. Simply breathtaking. I think in all my years traveling to Eastern Oregon this had to be my favorite trip. Why? I'm not 100% sure, but I believe it's because my spirit for adventure has been renewed. It was almost spiritual to sit before earth that had been carved away by millions of years of water flow and to dip my toes in the cold crisp waters now residing at the bottom of the canyon. If you ever get the chance to go, I highly suggest it. At on $5 for a day parking pass, you can't beat it.

 ©Stephen Miller 2015

©Stephen Miller 2015

All in all it was an amazing trip. Now I just have to send out a ton of follow up emails to see if anything comes of it. Wish me luck~