Modoc Inferno

The morning of July 30, 2017 the Fire Management team has reported that the fires of the Modoc July Complex have grown to 39,623 acres with 40% containment. I can attest that this is one intense fire, as last night [July 29, 2017], a group of adventuring photographers and filmmakers: Joe Spendolini, Jason McMurry, Ryan Niemi, and myself Brian Gailey, found our way to the front lines of the Steele Fire of the Modoc July Complex and ended up right in the heart of the blaze.

We began our adventure from Klamath Falls. OR before sunset.  With the hope shooting from an abandoned AT&T Long Distance tower on Brady Butte in southeastern Klamath County, located on the Oregon-California state line. Upon our arrival, we found that the tower and the butte had good views of the billowing smoke but was not a good vantage point for the fire.  We pressed on.

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The Brightest Meteor Shower in Recorded History Happening Now

There is going to be a meteor shower on 12th of August, 2017. According to astronomers this will be the brightest shower in the recorded human history. It will light up the night sky and some of these might even be visible during the day. This meteor shower is being considered as once in a lifetime opportunity as the next meteor shower of such kind will be after 96 years.

The Perseid meteor shower, one of the brighter meteor showers of the year, occurs every year between July 17 and August 24. The shower tends to peak around August 9-13.

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Aurora Fizzled but was not a Total Loss

Last night I traveled up to Crater Lake National Park with photography buddy's; Joe Spendolini, Joe's Grandson Russel, Jason McMurry, and my Wife Crystal. We went up to the national park with the intent of capturing the Northern Lights.

Two days earlier, a large CME burst from a sun spot on our Solar System's sun. This blast of charged solar particles was on a collision with the earth. When these particles hit the earths magnetosphere, they react and create the phenomenon knows at the Aurora Borealis (in the Northern Hemisphere) and Aurora Australis (in the Southern Hemisphere).

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3 Tips to Celebrate Dad this Weekend

Dad's are extremely special men in our lives. They guide us through our childhood enabling us to be the best adults we can be. They console us when we are down, and they teach us new life skills for our prosperity. Dad's protect us from the harm of evil and they even cry. Dad's are amazing men that are there for you when need them most. 

How are you going to show your Dad that he is special to you?  
Here are 3 ways you can do this weekend to show your Dad how much he means to you:

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Mother Nature puts on a Good Show

A large solar storm hit the earth over Memorial Day weekend. Causing a massive amount of auroral lights at the poles. This storm was so strong and happened during a night where there was no moon light, that aurora was seen throughout much of North America. Dark sky locations around Portland, Seattle, and Yellowstone NP. All reported seeing the northern lights. During the peak of this solar storm it registered a 7.67 on the Kp scale

Hoping to catch the heart of the storm before it was over, I ventured up to Discovery Point at Crater Lake National Park (map) where I have captured the northern lights several times over the past decade.

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Beyond the Limits

It has been decades since water has spilled over the dam at Gerber Reservoir in Eastern Klamath County, Oregon. Finally this water season has produced enough snow melt and rain water to fill the reservoir.  

As far as I can remember Gerber has always been a small pool if not dried creek bed of land. I have never seen the lake full.  That is until last week. 

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Night Views on the Palisades

During the summer of 2016. My family and I got to go on several adventures.  One of those excursions led us to the north side of the Crater Lake Caldera on a dark night. We found a location to stop and setup shop near an area known as the Palisades (A cliff face rock formation on the north side of the lake).

While setup at this location, we watch commercial airliners, satellites, shooting stars and more streak across the sky.  This is not uncommon for many night sky adventures.  However, one flying object did catch our attention on this night, a fire spotter plane.  

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Path of the Cross

On a cool summer night my son and I traveled to the Lava Beds National Monument. We set up our gear to photograph the Milky Way as it passed behind Canby's Cross. 

The night went well until about 3am when a pack of coyotes decided to let us know they were there.  Due to the darkness, we could not see them. However, we counted their voices and tallied approx 15 different animals, surrounding us on all sides.  

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Top 12 Images of 2016

Last year, I honed a new direction for my photography. I have always loved to get out into nature and photograph epic landscapes, waterfalls, cities, beaches, lightning, wildlife and others. However, in 2016, I rekindled love for night photography. 

In June 2012, I pointed my camera up to the night stars for the first time with the intentions of photographing the Milky Way.  That night, I fell in love with the idea of staying up all hours of the night to capture the largest thing in our Solar System that most people don’t see. Although the images sucked, most were out of focus, as I had no clue what I was doing. I still had fun.  

A month later, I traveled up to Crater Lake in hopes to...

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Night on the Bybee Fire

In late July 2017 a fire began to grow inside Crater Lake National Park. The fire originated near the junction of the Lightning Springs Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail.  Many speculate that it was a careless PCT hiker that caused the fire but the official cause has never been released.

For weeks the west side of Rim Drive was closed to prevent people from accessing the area near the fire.  A times the fire entered the caldera rim.

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Through the Trees

It was a chilly late summer evening when Crater Lake was completely clouded in and any Celestial photography from the rim was not going to happen.  An aurora was even predicted to appear, but mother nature had other plans up on the caldera.

Disappointed but not deterred, I began my decent down the mountain. In to Munson Valley where the park headquarters are located.  A half mile off the rim the skies cleared. I stopped in an automotive pullout and took a test shot.  The Milky Way was glowing like I had never seen before. I knew this location would be special.  I set my gear and waited as the camera captured over 150 images of the night sky.

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Sinnott Aurora

It was a warm afternoon in August when I received a warning about a potential aurora in Southern Oregon, that night.  With this information, I searched my map of vistas to see what location would work best to photograph the Northern Lights.

According to that map, the Sinnott Memorial Overlook inside the caldera of Crater Lake National Park would be a great choice.

Arriving at the location before sunset, I set up my gear. On this night I used two cameras, one that I was manually controlling with each shot.  The other was setup capturing a night sky timelapse.  

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Perseids Cascadium, Limited Edition

This was my favorite adventure and image of 2016. Last August my daughter, wife and myself traveled to Fourmile Lake at the foot of Mount McLaughlin in western Klamath County. Right in the heart of the Southern Oregon Cascade Mountain Range. 

It was not just a regular trip, it was an overnight excursion to specifically watch the Perseid Meteor Shower.   Fourmile Lake has some dark skies with just a hint of a glow of the Rogue Valley right behind Mt McLaughlin. 

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Mount Shasta Adventure

Mid December, near the time of the winter solstice, is one of my favorite times of the year for landscape photography. Here in the Pacific Northwest the sun holds a low trajectory on the horizon. Creating an opportunity of long shadows, deep contrast and pleasing sky's. 

This December, I went on a photography adventure to Mount Shasta, California. Residing an hour north of the area, Mt Shasta is a common location to visit.  However this time was different, it was the first time I have visited the mountain in December with the intention of capturing theses images. 

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Avenue of the Boulders

The fall colors in Oregon is just simply amazing.  From the Willamette Valley to the Klamath Basin, Owyhee to the Coast the colors of October and November are breathtaking.  I recently had a chance to visit Northeastern Jackson County in Oregon and hike through Prospect State Scenic Viewpoint. One of the two hundred or so, Oregon State Parks. The park is located 45 miles’ northeast of Medford in the northeastern section of Jackson County at the foot of the Cascade Mountain Range.  It is not too far off the beaten path but just far enough that it is not overridden by tourists. Think of it as more of a local’s day hike destination.

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