Feb 102018
Trail through Lady Bird Johnson Grove, Redwoods State and National Parks, Calfornia.

Trail through Lady Bird Johnson Grove, Redwoods State and National Parks, Calfornia.

Why does man find beauty in a landscape? Is it not because he is a part of nature, inwardly subject to nature’s laws, because he has an unconscious insight into the internal order of the earth, into the rhythm of its repetitions, the harmony of its lines and surfaces and the balanced interplay of its parts? And does not our delight in the contemplation of nature grow out of the harmony between the music of our own soul and the music of the earth?   Hans Cloos, in Conversations with the Earth.

I found this wonderful quote on Maria Popova’s thought-provoking website, BrainPickings.org. If you’re looking for some intellectual stimulation, subscribe to her newsletter or add the site to your Feedly content.

And if you’d like to photograph the beauty of this landscape yourself, join me this coming May for my Redwoods photo workshop. We’ll be contemplating nature and celebrating the music of the earth while capturing images of majestic redwood trees, lovely rhododendron blooms, and the rugged coastline of Redwoods National and State Parks in northern California. Go here for more info and to register:  www.muenchworkshops.com.

Nov 242017

While I don’t want to encourage anyone to just go out and buy more “stuff” on Black Friday, there are some really good deals happening this weekend from some of my favorite gear and service providers. If you’ve been wanting to buy one of these products anyway, now’s the time.

Each of these deals is available from November 24 through November 27, 2017.

Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links. If you buy, I’ll get a reward, but your price does not increase (and thanks if you do!). These are all products that I use myself or I wouldn’t be promoting them here.

Photographer Greg Vaughn and MindshiftGear Backlight 26L photo backpack

MindShiftGear: I’ve been using a Backlight 26L photo backpack as my go-to gear hauler for over a year now. It’s extremely well designed and built. Check out their whole line of backpacks and accessories. Gear from the MindShift Outlet Center is on sale for 20% off right now. If you buy something that isn’t on sale using my link you’ll get free shipping and an extra accessory.






Snapp Guide to Photographing the Oregon Coast

Snapp Guides: Yes, I’m the author of the Oregon Coast guide, and I’ve also personally used the Olympic National Park and Yellowstone guides on my own trips. Full of detailed information on where to go and what to shoot in locations all over the world. This weekend you can buy one guide and get another free.





Skyfire for TPE screenshot

Skyfire: This new addition to The Photographer’s Ephemeris is amazing – it forecasts best conditions for sunrises and sunsets and integrates with TPE. Right now subscriptions to Skyfire are 30% off. You can download a free 30-day trial to check it out. And if you don’t already have TPE, get it!




Topaz Studio graphic

Topaz: If you want to take your images a step beyond, check out all the options that Topaz Labs has to offer. Topaz Studio is a complete processing app with loads of capability. Topaz also offers a bunch of cool presets and filters to enhance your images. Save up to 75% during this sale.

On1 Photo RAW: I use several of the presets and filters in On1’s Effects plugin quite a bit in my image processing. On1 RAW is a complete photo browsing and editing app that works really well and is a great alternative for anyone not wanting to be tied to Adobe’s subscription model for photo editing software. On1 RAW can be used as either a stand-alone app or as a plugin with Lightroom and Photoshop.


Lonely Planet travel guides graphic

Lonely Planet: Travel guidebooks from LP are my first choice when I’m going to a new destination, and they have one for just about every place in the world. This sale is only on through Sunday, so if you’re planning a trip don’t delay: you’ll get a free guide with each one you purchase when you use the coupon code ONE4FREE.



Photographing Oregon and Photographing Washington travel guide book coversPhotographing Oregon and Photographing Washington: Both of my guidebooks are available on Amazon for about 20% off the regular cover price. Or if you’d like an autographed copy, I’ll refund the shipping charge on your PayPal purchase.






Have a great weekend, and don’t forget to #OPTOUTSIDE!

Photographer in meadow along river

Jun 092017
Sea stacks and sunset at Whaleshead Beach, Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor, southern Oregon coast.

Whaleshead Beach, Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor, Southern Oregon coast.

June 7, 2017 marked the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Oregon Beach Bill, which forever guarantees the public’s right to access and passage on all beaches along the Oregon Coast. Earlier law had set the extent of the public land at the high tide line, but the Beach Bill made it so that public land extended to the vegetation line.

Two young men walking on Bandon Beach on a stormy dawn; Oregon Coast.

Bandon Beach on a stormy dawn; Oregon Coast.

After a childhood in California and many years as a resident of Hawaii, both states which also have public beach laws, I pretty much took beach access for granted. Therefore it was a bit of a shock, and frustration, when I was working on my book Photographing Washington that I couldn’t just walk down a beach, even from a public right of way to the beach.

View of Crescent Beach, Cannon Beach, Haystack Rock and coast to Hug Point from Ecola State Park at sunrise; Oregon.

Crescent Beach, Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock from Ecola State Park on the Oregon coast.

Big thanks to Oregonians for continuing to support public lands and access to those lands.

Jun 022017
Rhododendron bush with pink flowers in a foggy forest

Rhododendron blooming in the fog, Del Norte Redwoods State Park, California.

I’m just back from my “Redwoods in the Fog” photo workshop for Muench Workshops. We had great shooting conditions including a nice mix of sunshine, overcast, and fog. The timing for the workshop was also excellent as the rhododendrons were just really starting to bloom. As usual, the area around Damnation Creek Trail in Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park had the most profuse bloom.

Trail through redwood trees in Simpson-Reed Grove, Jedediah Smith State Park, California.

Trail through the redwood forest in Simpson-Reed Grove, Jedediah Smith State Park, California.

Late spring/early summer is also a great time of year for photography in the Redwoods because the understory foliage is lush and green, with lots of new growth. Trails through the memorial groves on either side of Walker Road in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park yield great views of giant old-growth trees and a forest floor covered in ferns.

Looking up through a forest of tall redwood trees

Redwood trees in Simpson-Reed Memorial Grove, Jedediah Smith State Park, California.

This year was great for the lupines in the prairies along Bald Hills Road above Lady Bird Johnson Grove, and we hit the bloom at its peak.

field of blooming lupine with sun setting behind trees

Lupine at Dolason Prairie, Redwoods State and National Parks, Calfornia.

During my workshops, I rarely photograph for myself. These photos were all taken prior to the workshop while scouting locations and after the workshop was over.

Tech details: Nikon D750 with 16-35mm (lupines), 24-85mm (trail), and 70-200mm (rhody in fog) Nikkor lenses, plus a Rokinon 14mm (looking up). Sirui W-2204 tripod, Really Right Stuff BH40 ballhead. Processed with Adobe Lightroom CC and On1 Effects 10.

Click this link to see more Redwoods photos at GregVaughn.com and this one to check my upcoming photo workshops.


Apr 132017

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department has closed the road to Ecola State Park near Cannon Beach on the northern Oregon coast due to slipping and sinking pavement. Fortunately, it looks like repairs will be made quickly and the park should re-open on April 20. Check for status updates at Ecola and other parks on the Oregon State Parks Website.

View of Crescent Beach, Cannon Beach, Haystack Rock and coast to Hug Point from Ecola State Park at sunrise; Oregon. (Greg Vaughn/© Greg Vaughn)

Crescent Beach, Cannon Beach, Haystack Rock and coast to Hug Point from Ecola State Park. © Greg Vaughn

Apr 072017
close-up of Pink Fawn Lily blossom

Pink Fawn Lily (Erythronium revolutum)

Spring has definitely (and finally!) arrived in western Oregon, with wildflowers and gardens bursting into bloom. Mount Pisgah Arboretum and surrounding Howard Buford Recreation Area is an excellent place to see and photograph a good variety of native plants.

As usual, Osoberry and Spring Beauty were among the very first to bloom, soon to be followed by the Trilliums, always a northwest favorite.

Close-up of Trillum flower.

Trillium or Giant White Wakerobin (Trillium albidum).

Two species of Trillium are found at Mt. Pisgah: Western Trillium (Trillium ovatum) is common throughout the Pacific Northwest, while Trillium albidum, also known as Giant White Wakerobin, is only locally common.

The delicate white blossoms of the lovely Oregon Fawn Lily are popping up all over the forest right now, and in the Arboretum’s Patricia Baker Wildflower Garden there is a small patch of striking Pink Fawn Lily (photo at the top of this post).

Tall Camas blossom

Tall Camas, AKA Great Camas (Camassia leichtlinii).

The Oak Savanna of Mount Pisgah is prime habitat for Camas. In most areas of the Willamette Valley, the Common Camas is more prevalent and camas bulbs were a staple of the Native American diet at the time of Lewis & Clark’s expedition. Along the Arboretum’s South Boundary Trail, the many multi-flowered tall stalks of Great Camas are just beginning to open.

Young leaves of Poison Oak with reddish edges.

Spring growth leaves of Poison Oak.

Spring is also the time when Poison Oak resurges, with reddish-tinged young leaves emerging from the winter’s bare branches. So stay on trail, watch your step, and remember “Leaves of three, let them be”.

This is just the start of wildflower season in Oregon, with many more species soon to bloom throughout the state. Mount Pisgah is a fantastic place to view and photograph native wildflowers, with miles of trails, no tripod restrictions, and only a small daily parking fee. The Arboretum’s annual Wildflower & Music Festival happens this year on May 21, 1917. Click the link for more info on the Arboretum and the festival.

Photographer Gary Randall has a great post about wildflowers in the Columbia River Gorge on his blog here. Dedicated wildflower enthusiasts will want to check out Greg Lief’s Oregon Wildflowers website. For help in identifying wildflowers, go to www.pnwflowers.com (and get the book!)

For other areas in the Pacific Northwest to photograph wildflowers check my Photographing Oregon and Photographing Washington guidebooks.

Where have you been recently, and what did you find?

Mar 012017
Bandon Beach Oregon sea stacks

Sea stacks at dawn from Face Rock State Wayside, Bandon, southern Oregon Coast.

Looking for some inspiration and education this year?  Striving to visit very special locations with someone who can show you both the iconic views and little-known lookouts?  Want to take your photographic skills to a new level? I’m very pleased to offer several photography workshops to fantastic locales in 2017.

Already on tap are the Redwoods in California, the fantastic southern Oregon coast, Red Rock country in southern Utah (Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Escalante National Monument), and a repeat of previously sold-out workshops in Yellowstone National Park.

Check out the details and registration information at www.gregvaughn.photoshelter.com/p/workshops

UPDATE: The Redwoods workshop in May is sold out.

Feb 282017

cover of book "Oregon, A Photographic Journey"

NATJA, the North American Travel Journalists Association, just announced the results of their 2016 travel media awards competition. I’m very happy to share that my newest book, Oregon, A Photographic Journey, won Gold in the Travel Book/Guide category.

In addition to the Gold award, I earned a Silver in the Landscape Photography category for a photo of Smith Rock State Park in Oregon that was published in VIA Magazine, and was cited as a Finalist in the Travel Guide category for my Oregon Coast Photo Guide app for smartphone users.

I’m especially happy with these awards because this means that each of the books and photo guides that I have authored, photographed for, and helped in the design & layout has won an award from a major trade group.

More info and details on purchasing my books and photo guides can be found on my website at www.GregVaughn.com/books.html.

Additional information from the publishers:




I invite you to view all the NATJA Awards at http://www.natja.org/2016-natja-awards-competition-winners





Jan 102017

cover photo of ONDA 2017 calendar

I am pleased and honored that one of my photos was chosen as the cover image for the 2017 Wild Desert Calendar. This calendar is produced each year by the Oregon Natural Desert Association, and always features outstanding photography of the deserts and wildlands of eastern Oregon.

The photo above was taken from the summit of Steens Mountain in southeast Oregon. Wildhorse Lake is at the bottom right of the photo, and the view extends along the ridge of the Steens to Borax Lake in the Alvord Desert, with the Pueblo Mountains on the Oregon-Nevada border in the distance.

If you’re a desert fan, or if you just want to support the conservation efforts of ONDA, click this link to order a copy of the Wild Desert Calendar.

Jan 052017
Metlako Falls, Eagle Creek Trail, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Oregon.

Metlako Falls, Eagle Creek Trail, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Oregon.

An update to Photographing Oregon, pages 153-155:

In December 2016, a series of slides along the Eagle Creek Trail in the Columbia River Gorge have caused major changes on this popular hike. A bridge washout has closed the trail above Punchbowl Falls, meaning Tunnel Falls is currently inaccessible. It will likely be late summer 2017 at the earliest before repairs are made. More significantly to most photographers, the entire viewpoint for Metlako Falls now rests at the bottom of the canyon, and there is now no place to get a decent photo of this iconic waterfall. Let’s hope that Mount Hood National Forest prioritizes repairs for this location. 

Have you hiked Eagle Creek Trail recently?  Let us know what you find in a Comment below.