Opal Creek Wilderness, Oregon, USA by Chris Baker

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Picture Story

I had heard about the beauty of this place from a colleague at work several times over the years, so I finally made the 2-hour drive to check it out. I loaded up my backpack with way too much stuff and hiked in on a Friday for a (2) night adventure. What he told me was no joke. The hike in was on a wide, dirt road, which was nothing exciting, but the forest views all around were stunning. The main jewel was Opal Creek, but the ancient forest I was walking through was certainly on par.

I arrived at my campsite late afternoon, which didn’t give me much time to explore. However, the next day I took a long morning hike. Later that afternoon I began scouting for places near camp to get some shots. One thing I like about being out for a few days alone in the woods is that it gives you a chance to slow down. For photography, this means an opportunity to spend time to get a sense of place before pressing the shutter button. I’m certainly guilty of hurryingly setting up my tripod to get a shot. This usually happens when I’m out with my non-photographer friends. Sometimes I come away with a winner, but 90% of the time I’m left unsatisfied. This shot I put some time into and came away with an image that I really like. It also reminds me that I need to go back and visit this magical forest in the future.

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