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I took this photo in the Cascade mountains of Central Oregon, on October 8, 2020. The summer of 2020 had been a tough one. In addition to Covid, it was a bad summer for wildfires in the state, with the Beachie Creek Fire consuming a huge amount of beautiful wilderness. In early September, smoke from this fire (and others) engulfed much of Western Oregon, where I live. We were all staying indoors with windows closed, not even going outdoors to exercise, let alone go camping and hiking. By the end of September, the smoke had lifted enough that my partner, Rick and I decided to take a short camping trip to Central Oregon. We needed to get out!
Much to our dismay, the smoke was still quite bad in that part of the state. The air would be relatively clear in the morning, but would gradually worsen during the day. I took this photo in the early morning on the last day of our trip, at a lake that we frequently visit. We were rewarded that morning with beautiful light, mist on the lake, and air quality that was better than the previous days. I was so happy to see that the mountain was visible. The haze over the mountain, a mix of mist and smoke, created a softness to the scene that I especially liked I spent an hour or so wandering along the shoreline, looking for compositions that appealed to me while the morning light lasted. This one was my favorite.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor