2014 Wild Desert Calendar - Franklin Crossing Show - November 2013
10 years of work to publish the best images Oregon's desert has to offer. An incredible learning experience for me to say the least. This show put together by the great staff at the Oregon Natural Desert Association who have really gone all out to give back to the generous efforts of all the contributing photographers over the past 10 years. Here are my image contributions to the show. Truly honored to be displayed alongside some of Oregon's best landscape photographers.
My third opportunity to have the calendar cover shot. July 2012 Hart Mtn National Antelope Refuge. I have been trying for many years now to find a essential image that in my mind displays some of the essence of Hart Mtn. A glimpse of the "Great Basin's Serengeti"
Sheepshead Mtns view to Mickey Basin.
I have been getting a great response to this image from Spring of 2011. I never tire of this incredible basin, it has it all - playas, springs, dunes, rugged alkaline-scrub community and surrounded by an amazing graphic landscape.
Cover shot from 2011. Big space and a classic desert sunrise, Trout Creek Mtns, July 2010.
This entire view pictured here burned in the Holloway Fire of 2012. Looking forward to seeing the recovery in process.
Wagner Mtn and locoweed bloom, a favorite from the John Day River area. Perfect spring morning, May 2010. This view will hopefully become part of the Cathedral Rock-Horse Heaven Wilderness someday soon.
Sutton Mtn near the Painted Hills. February 2011.
This rugged landscape is full of surprises and lurks just in the background of hundreds if not thousands of the classic Painted Hills view.
Oregon's Owyhee Canyonlands - awesome landscape, the canyons are a "lost world". June 2011.
Scout Camp Springs. Halloween weekend with a micro-climate bloom of columbine. Oct 2010.
More Middle Deschutes wonders.
Middle Deschutes Canyon, right under our nose, amazing beauty. May 2013
This show marks the first time I have put together a larger group of images for printing. A big step for me in my journey as a photographer. The finish print is really the test of translating my photographic vision to the world of sharing. Many of these prints are available for purchase in a variety of mediums and sizes either at the Franklin Crossing show or by contacting me directly. Thanks for taking a look. Cheers- Jim
The "back story" to my 2012 is a hard one to put words to, hence this is about a month late. In January of last year my companion, lover and muse Abbey Rosso was told by the neurologist that the ongoing battle that she attributed to Lyme disease was now ALS. The balance of the year, until Abbey passed away on September 30, was a non-stop struggle as her body wasted away before our eyes. Abbey's steadfast belief that she could fight this battle with both her beautiful stubbornness and her amazing knowledge/belief in naturopathic healing would fall short.
The series of pictures below, book-ended by two of our treasured desert summits do not show the struggle to maintain normalcy as life is slipping away. We continued to have our regular camping trips as her strength and balance waned. I strived to show her my vision of the Oregon desert at its very best. Abbey's willingness to accompany me was both her gift and my inspiration.
From the beginning of our time together I was indeed blessed by her willingness to be taken (usually without any prior knowledge) to seemingly some of the most desolate terrain in the SE country. She would patiently wait out the day alongside me, to be rewarded as the changing light revealed the desert's beauty. It seems like every picture I have taken in the past couple of years has Abbey's spirit imprinted.
With Abbey for her final summit, early March at Painted Hills/Sand Mountain.
Hart Mtn National Antelope Refuge - 20 mins of exposure time on a perfectly still evening.
Mickey Basin - pre-sunrise light reflecting off of a small spring feeding into the playa.
Lone Mountain/Hawks Valley - amazing spacious landscape in the area between the Sheldon and Hart Mtn Wildlife Refuges.
Sparks Lake/Aurora Borealis - Abbey had long since lost the ability to speak but this image is a testament to her persistence as she kept grabbing my arm and pointing to the Cascades as I wasted the early evening away trying to capture this rarity out in the desert east of Bend.
Stone Bridge petroglyph site - The light gathering capabilities of the newest generation of DSLR cameras opens up a myriad of creative possibilities.
Hart Mtn/mountain mahogany - Still trying to find a image that conveys the essence of the Hart Mtn landscape. I hope I'm on the right track here.
North Fork of the John Day River - My first visit to this semi-obscure corner of Oregon, these lovely pools were a real treat on a hot summer weekend.
Hart Mtn/aspens - Just past dawn, lingering color, warms a very cold morning.
Badlands Wilderness/Geminid meteor shower - New camera and a predicted heavy meteor shower, hard to resist.
Warner Valley/Rabbit Hills - Been trying to find a image of these lovely hills on the westside of Warner Valley for years. Rendered in B/W on a snowy, fog shrouded winter day seemed to finally work.
Alvord Desert - I return over and over to one of my favorite landscapes, the east side of the Alvord playa/desert always provides a surprise.
One of my favorites from this summer in progress. Headed out from camp to try for some fly fishing "action shots" of my friends as they hit the Beaver dammed pools of Willow Creek. Got distracted by mosquito's and the subtle light hanging around the edges of these small pools.
Simplicity, Mystery and Beauty
are the structure for my personal vision of Oregon’s seldom-seen desert
landscapes. From a landscape photographer’s perspective Oregon’s high desert is a blank
slate. With no preconceived views for comparison, I am
free to interpret these unique and isolated settings. Whether using the abstract light of the full
moon or focusing on intimate details possessing a rough and delicate beauty, my images reflect
my passion for protecting Oregon’s fragile desert. Having spent over thirty years climbing,
exploring and photographing this region I’ve gained a unique perspective, one that enables me
to seek out and reveal the desert’s simplicity and mystery. I hope that by capturing
this vision my photographs will foster a curiosity and desire to visit and induce a motivation for
As a volunteer working with the Bend based
Oregon Natural Desert Association I provided the motivation to establish their annual Wild
Desert Calendar. This all volunteer effort has, for the last 12 years, provided the only
showcase of Oregon desert images by regional photographers.