Access Special Backpacker.com Features, Register Now!

Rip & Go: Rock and Serene Lakes Loop – Mt. Hood National Forest, OR

Discover real wilderness just two hours from Portland.
Serene Lake (Eli Boschetto)

Key Skill: Photograph Lakes
Capturing lake surfaces requires the right combination of light, skill, and luck. But a few simple techniques and some beginner gear can help turn ho-hum photos into head-turners.

Equipment Pack a polarizer and a tripod. Polarizers remove the glare from liquid surfaces. They can also reduce the brilliance of reflections, but they more than compensate by adding rich color, and making water look crystal clear and skies deep blue. A tripod (like the Gorillapod, joby.com) helps reduce blurriness from long exposures on low-light shots.

Timing Find the best conditions within two hours of sunrise or sunset. You’ll avoid harsh midday sunlight, and have the best chance for calm, windless weather.

Composition Follow the rule of thirds. Shoot low and put your horizon in the lower third of the frame to capture a particularly pretty sky; if the water is more compelling, put the reflection horizon in the upper third of the frame to emphasize a big, wide view of the reflection itself.

See This: Jeffrey’s Shootingstar
Summertime brings an abundance of wildflowers to Cache Meadow, particularly clusters of shootingstars. Usually white or various shades of pink and reaching their peak showiness in June and July, shootingstars are recognizable by their unique appearance—a tapered, downward-pointing yellow and brown cone, with five petals facing upward, resembling the trailing flames of a falling star. The flowers are about an inch long and flutter in the slightest breeze. Ethnobotanists report that the Cascade-dwelling Nlaka’pamux people used them as love charms, and “to obtain wealth and to make people give presents.”

Page 2 of 3123

Leave a Reply