Wind, Rain, and the Summer Solstice

Well, the wind’s not so much a problem for me, but “Wind, Rain, and the Summer Solstice” sounds better than just “Rain and the Summer Solstice”.

I wouldn’t mind things so much if it weren’t for the rain this year. I was planning on taking off work June 21 this year to go to a certain canyon. It’s aligned very close to perfectly for photographing the rising sun on June 21, the Summer Solstice. Unfortunately, it’s also remote enough that the weather this year makes access still iffy right now. I could probably get to the canyon easily enough, but getting in and out of the canyon itself…I don’t know. It’s a steep, dirt road and the type of dirt that can turn to a very slippery mud pretty fast. We’ve had enough rain storms of late to be able to convert dirt to mud before I could get back out. Add in the fact the area is known for flash floods as well and it becomes pretty much a foolish risk given the unstable weather of late. Still, it’s very tempting.

I’ve been planning and thinking about this particular shot for two years now. I’m finally ready to go take the photos and the Spring weather decides to make like a visiting relative. By now we would normally be experiencing temps in the 80s and up, very little rain, if any. Perfect conditions to be able to go without worry. I was really looking forward to camping in the canyon, shooting the night sky both from down in the canyon and up on the edge. Dark skies, some time lapse Milky Way, time lapse Summer Solstice sunrise…what’s not to like?

The next opportunity for this will be the Winter Solstice. If the current weather is any indication, that chance is likely shot, too. Fortunately, the Summer Solstice is not my only planned night sky photographic outing.

I want to return to Leslie Gulch and get some Milky Way shots there, utilizing the fantastic rock formations to provide a foreground. You can see some examples in an older blog post here and here. I’d like to do some day time lapse, too. That may have to wait until mid-July, though. I’ll have to double-check and see if there’s a meteor shower predicted for the next two months. The last time I was out there for night photography, I was so excited when a humongous meteor flew overhead, followed by disappointment when I found out my camera angle was just under it’s path. Both of us saw it, neither one of us caught it on our DSLRs.

I also want to visit the canyon south of Burns, Oregon. I’ve heard good things about it and though I’ve been in the area before, I’ve never done a photo shoot there.

For the Fourth of July, I’ll be in Haines, Oregon, visiting my brother-in-law. I think my wife’s family is pretty much going to be there, plus all our kids and their kids (as appropriate). The last time I was there, I did some photography, but not any night shots. They have an awesome view of the mountains there and I think I might be able to get some nice night shots over those mountains. I’m not into crowds, so I’ll probably beg off going with the family when they go to the Fireworks, but I might be able to see some from their place and those will be nice shots as well if I can work them.

Lots photographic ideas for the summer to go along with my writing. I’m looking forward to getting back into that, it’s been too many months of no photography this year.

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