July 25, 2009

Popular Photography Magazine, August 2009, Featuring Stephen Oachs

This image entitled "The Furrows" is featured in the August 2009 issue of Popular Photography Magazine.

The image was awarded 1st place in their Your Best Shot photography contest. Be sure to pick up an issue at your local newsstand!

"The Furrows"

In a mysterious location, somewhere in the general area of Redding, California, a lazy portion of the Sacramento River flows elegantly through a seldom-seen maze of moss-covered river tiles. Legend has it that these rocks are only visible from time to time, when the water level is "just right." Affectionately nicknamed, The Furrows, this mystical, serene riverscape looks as though it could be set in mythical Brigadoon.

Taken during a foggy sunrise, this enchanting photograph derives its color and atmosphere from the filtered light, low water level, light drizzly rain... and magical conditions.

To learn more, visit www.StephenOachs.com

July 19, 2009

Stephen Oachs Photography Slideshow

This is a new video slideshow, accompanied by music from Celtic Woman. Believe it or not, this was the first video I ever uploaded to YouTube. Yes, I know, I'm on the cutting edge...an early adopter :)

I hope you enjoy it!

July 5, 2009

Stephen Oachs Summer Photography Tour

I recently returned from a two week road trip that took me from home in San Jose, California, up to Grand Teton National Park, through Yellowstone and to one of my favorite destinations -- Glacier National Park. I had been to Glacier National Park a couple times in the past but always in through the west entrance. This time my goal was to photograph the east side of this amazing National Park -- a park created by the repeated creation and retreat of glaciers over thousands of years that left rugged, towering peaks behind. Nestled at the bottom of this amazing mountain formation is St. Mary Lake, nothing but a mere puddle in the midst of this oversized photographer's playground. St. Mary Lake is rich in mineral sediment stripped from the surrounding mountains by rain and snow. These minerals create an amazing teal color that is really enhanced when struck by direct sunlight. Truly one of natures most beautiful spectacles.

After three days of hiking, exploring and photographing in and around St. Mary Lake, I made my way east to the small town of Usk, Washington. Usk is nothing more than a gas station, a small diner and a string of abandoned buildings that echo memories of more prosperous days in the past.

Usk also happens to be home to a very large concentration of Osprey, most often building their nests on the tops of old piers that dot the shore of the Pend Oreille River. I was lucky enough to find a great vantage point that not only put me close enough for good, detailed, wildlife photography, but also allowed me to be hidden enough as to not disturb the Osprey and thus capture images of natural behavior. Over the course of three days, I spent many hours sitting, waiting... and waiting.

In this image, I observed this nest for five hours, and finally the male Osprey returned to the nest with a fish he had just plucked from the river. He landed, turned the fish over to the female, waited a few moments and then returned up the river, presumably for more fishing. The mother Osprey began tearing the fish into small, bite-sized pieces and carefully fed her chicks that were tucked safely down inside the nest.

With my fill of Osprey photography and the number of days remaining in my trip winding down, I decided it was time to start heading back south, toward home. After a brief look at a map, I headed toward Oregon's Columbia River Gorge. I had been there just two months prior, but the water level at the time was pretty high and there were a few waterfalls I was unable to access. So, this was my chance to revisit the Gorge and capture some additional images.

I spent two days hiking the trails above Oneonta Gorge, and even the gorge itself, where I waded through chest deep snow melt run-off water, to access the back of the canyon. I wasn't disappointed! These places may be challenging to get to, but the reward is both visually, and photographically, rewarding.

From the Columbia Gorge, I made my way down through the Willamette Valley, the Three Sister Wilderness and then back into California. I then turned around just a few days later and made my way back north to the Mt. Shasta area, where I conducted the 2009 Mt. Shasta Photography Workshop. We had 13 students on this trip and it was a really good group. We photographed many areas with the highlight being a 1.5 mile hike up above Castle Lake, which provided a perfect sunset vista of Castle Lake with Mt. Shasta in the distance.

Upcoming Photography Workshops Include:

- Aug 23rd, Sep 19th, Oct 10th: San Francisco/Marin Headlands Photography Workshop

- Oct 24th-25th 2009: Yosemite Fall Color Photography Workshop

- Feb 6th-7th 2009: Death Valley Photography Workshop

- Mar 6th-7th 2010: Yosemite Winter Photography Workshop

- May 15th-16th: Oregon Columbia Gorge Photography Workshop

- Aug 28th-29th: Bodie Ghost Town & Eastern Sierra Photography Workshop

- Sept 25th-27th: Desert Southwest (Arches & Canyonlands NP) Photography Workshop

- Oct 1st-3rd: Grand Teton Landscape & Wildlife Photography Workshop

That's it for now...stay tuned and happy shooting!