Wanders & Wonders is a blog about travel and photography – great places to visit and information on getting the best photos while there. It is about sharing travel experiences and the means to producing photos that honor the spirit of the places that we visit and the people we meet.
I hope you’re all planning to #OptOutside this weekend, but the holiday sale season is upon us and some of my friends are asking about discounts on apps and gear. So here are some good deals that I know about for Black Friday, Small Business/Shop Local Saturday, Cyber Monday and beyond. Be sure to check the links to see if the sale is limited to a certain day or range of days. Just so’s you know: some of these are affiliate links, meaning I’ll get a small reward if you purchase from the click.
Many of my workshop participants have expressed an interest in my MindShiftGear Backlight photo backpack, and several have purchased their own after seeing mine. I purchased the Backlight 26L, and MindShift has loaned me the newer, smaller 18L to demo at workshops; they also now have a larger 36L for those that like to bring the kitchen sink. MindShift is part of ThinkTank, and they have several products on sale from Black Friday to December 2nd. This link gets you free shipping and a free accessory with your purchase.
Not long ago I got an email from a client asking for a 30×50″ print from one of my photos. That was certainly a welcome email, but the image they wanted was taken years ago with a 6 megapixel Nikon D100. I didn’t think the file would work at the requested size, but I decided to give A.I. Gigapixel from Topaz Labs a try. This app is awesome at uprezzing digital files. The client looked at a test strip and then went for the full-size print. It’s an amazing app. A.I. Gigapixel is among the specials available on the Topaz sale that runs from Thanksgiving through Monday, November 26.
Another photo editing app I’ve been using regularly is On1 RAW. The latest version, with even more features, was just announced. On1 Photo RAW 2019 is going to give Adobe’s Lightroom and Photoshop some much-needed competition. It’s a full-featured browser and processor, and the Effects module includes some really excellent filters and presets. Check out all the features of On1 Photo RAW and download the free trial.
Hard copy print books from my local indie bookstore are my first choice at home, but when I travel it’s really nice to have multiple titles available on a small, lightweight electronic reader. My well-used Kindle is one of the very first versions and I’m seriously considering upgrading during Amazon’s Kindle Trade-In + 25% Off sale.
And speaking of books, I’ll reimburse you for the cost of shipping on my photography travel guidebooks Photographing Oregon and Photographing Washington from now until December 15. That’s about equal to a 20% discount and you get an autographed copy. Same deal if you order Oregon, A Photographic Journey, which makes a great gift for anyone who knows, loves, or wants to visit this wonderful state. If you’re an Amazon Prime member you can get free shipping and save even a few more bucks by purchasing through the Amazon links at www.GregVaughn.com/books.html.
My smartphone photography guide to the Oregon Coast is included in the buy-one-get-one-free sale this weekend at Snapp Guides. Download the basic app and some samples for free, then choose from a wide variety of destinations all over the world. These great guides are full of details on the what, where, why & how, enabling you to maximize your time on location.
Like many of my photographer friends, I’m having an annual holiday print sale. Head on over to my Fine Art America page and take 20% off any print or product order with coupon code NHGSMY. Treat yourself, or give someone a beautiful and lasting gift.
And finally, don’t forget about Giving Tuesday. I encourage you to give generously to the causes and charities of your choice. You can make a real difference even if you just give $5-10. A good portion of the profits from my photography business always go to environmental organizations and social service groups; this year some will be earmarked for those whose lives were upended by the recent devastating storms and fires. Please join me in doing whatever you can to help.
The West Cascades Scenic Byway between the McKenzie River and Westfir is one of my favorite locations for fall color in Oregon. Passing through two major river drainages, Forest Road 19 in the Willamette National Forest is also known as Aufderheide Memorial Drive, The road was named to honor of Robert Aufderheide, a long-time USFS forester in the region.
My guidebook Photographing Oregon has a detailed description of the route on pages 201-204, but due to a massive landslide and a major wildfire last summer, the northern half of this route is closed. It will likely be many months before the Forest Service is able to re-open the road from Cougar Reservoir on the McKenzie River heading south.
It is still possible to enjoy much of the beauty of this forested route. Starting at Highway 58 and the community of Westfir, the road follows the North Fork Middle Fork of the Willamette River for about 30 miles to the closure at Box Canyon.
While there are numerous photo ops right along the road, you’ll find even more if you hike the North Fork Trail. This easy trail follows the North Fork Middle Fork Willamette River for several miles, with several trailheads along West Cascades Scenic Byway providing access. The trail is an ongoing project with the USFS, and some sections are missing or in bad shape. I hiked north from the trailhead at Forest Road 1912 and had to turn around after a couple of miles due to a collapsed bridge.
Peak fall color in this part of the Cascade Mountains is generally around mid-October. The area is also great for mushroom hunting and photography soon after the first fall rains.
Tech notes: The photos above were made with a Nikon Z7, 24-120 and 70-200mm Nikon lenses, and Breakthrough Filters X4 Polarizers.
Enjoy this beautiful forest and let me know what you find!