A Central Oregon trip to Cove Palisades and Smith Rock, 23-26 August 2021

Peter Skene Ogden State Scenic Viewpoint (Crooked River Canyon), 25 August 2021. Pentax IQZoom 928/Cinestill BWXX

Last month Emee, her two kids, and I drove to Central Oregon for a bit of end-of-summer relaxation. We rented a cabin at Cove Palisades State Park on the shore of Lake Billy Chinook. This reservoir is where the Deschutes, Crooked, and Metolius Rivers meet. The park sits in a canyon with walls several hundred feet high. This harsh-looking landscape is far removed from the wet side, which is why we like getting out here.

We drove out on Monday August 23. The point of this trip was to chill, so all Tuesday was spent by the lake. Wednesday was the adventure day, so we hopped back in the van and drove about forty-five minutes south to Bend, the big city of Central Oregon. Bend is a city we like a bit and we’ve entertained the notion of “retiring” here, but the housing market is quite hot. We’ll settle for visiting every once in awhile. Smoke had rolled in from nearby fires, making the sky hazy and giving a distinct “campfire” odor to things. We then took a side trip to Cline Falls on the Deschutes River just west of Redmond, and then a stop at the awesome rock formation known as Smith Rock. We returned on Thursday.

Of course I had to bring some cameras with me! I took the Minolta SR-T 101 loaded with Fuji Velvia 50. For black and white I used my Pentax IQZoom 928 with Cinestill BWXX. This was the first time I used both films. The results? Eh.

The Velvia 50 was expired, but supposedly cold-stored. I got the Fuji Velvia 100 and Sensia 100 that I used on the Coast Tour from the same seller, and the results then weren’t good. Unfortunately I didn’t get back those results until after the Cove Palisades trip, if I got it before, I definitely wouldn’t have used the Velvia 50. Some shots were good, but anything that was in bright sun was washed out and overexposed, especially if I had lots of water and sky in the shot.

And shooting at Smith Rock was more difficult than hoped: the sky was sort of hazy/cloudy, but the sun was in the same direction I was shooting. It made for dramatic images, sure, but not what I wanted. Plus, I decided to use my Vivitar 28mm f/2.8 lens to get in the landscapes of Smith Rock. I can’t use the in-camera meter with this lens, so I used a phone app. The pics seemed way underexposed, the opposite of the blown-out lake shots. Plus there was severe vignetting in the corners, which I don’t remember this lens doing before. Oh well.

In any case, buying a bunch of expired film was chancing it. I had good luck with the expired Kodak slide film I got, but then again, the seller made sure to test the film and shared the sample images. Not so for all the expired Fuji I got, all I had was an assurance they were “stored properly”. Maybe expired Fuji slide stock doesn’t keep as well as Kodak? At least shooting the bunk rolls on two different cameras confirmed that it was the film (or maybe the processing) rather than the cameras.

As for the black and white, most shots were OK but I don’t think I care much for the Cinestill Double X.

Anyways, please enjoy the photos from the trip below, or click here.

Smith Rock, 25 Aug 2021

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