Treasure at Home

I don’t have a big bucket list. If I have to make choices among many things I want to do, travel is probably my priority.  I have seen a lot and still have lots more to see. As I grow older, I feel my purpose for traveling has changed. It is no longer a mindset of ‘I have been here. It is more about my desire to see what I have missed and feel what I have seen.  It is the same as my photography journey and findings that make my heart leap.We seem to have a tendency to look up, look further and look beyond in our life. While there are places and resources available right at our fingertips, we are reaching out somewhere else to find them.  At least, I am that person.

Some time ago, I blogged about ‘Humble Avenue’ in Silicon Valley, California where I found my favorite classy quality homes that I did not think them available in Eugene. On a solo photo walk one day, I discovered similar homes on University Avenue here in Eugene.
In the last two years, I have been going to the gardens in Salem and Portland area thinking there is nothing worthy in Eugene, then, I changed my perspective immediately one day when I decided to stop by Owen’s Rose Garden. There are surely many kinds of roses, so as other flowers, quite a variety. I am embarrassed to say that I have lived here for almost 20 years.
Oregon has a gorgeous coastline and nice beaches. I have never really hung out on the beaches in Washington State till last weekend. I was very surprised to discover that Washington has only rock beaches. The beaches are mostly narrow and rough.  I was expecting to take some pictures with my grandchildren running on the beaches in front of white waves and bluish green water under sunrise and sunset, but the rock beaches there have completely thrown out my pre-visualized ideas.

Treasure is right at home, but I kept looking afar. Friends just toured Lake Louise in Canadian Rockies. The backdrop of Lake Louise is the glacier and that makes it a dramatic setting and stunning view. 
But, I wonder if there are other lakes as unique and sacred as Crater Lake. I have been to Crater Lake at least 8 times and I am still going.  I have taken pictures from different angles of the rim, at different times of the day, and at different seasons of the year, but the results have not been the same.My favorite thing to do is to stand on the highest viewpoint and look down at the calm and serene water. The ripples stirred up by the boat created patterns but there was no sound of the engine. The reflection on the water is almost like tonal etched glass.

This picture was taken as is, with no cropping or post-processing. It was an utterly beautiful day. The sky was blue; The cloud was pure white; the Water is looking like glass. The reflection of the rim and cloud is absolutely stunning. I found it interesting to have the cloud reflected the second time on the sunroof of our car.
Isn’t the coloration breathtaking? I even left the rock on the right because I want the addition of its color. It is so pure and yet so dramatic. Does it need more?
I only drive when I travel alone. Whenever I am a passenger, I usually have a camera on my laptop and look for a dramatic sky.  I snapped some sky shots while the car is moving, but have not come up with anything that would give me a wow.
We had our alarm clock set at 3:00am, headed out of the door at about 3:40am, and we were at Crater Lake half hour before sunrise (should be 5:45am).

These two pictures were taken about one hour after sunrise. I first noticed the large patch of the cloud. Sun was behind. Backlighting makes the white cloud dark. Just because the cloud is dark, I was immediately drawn to the sunray behind. And, God’s Glory came to my mind.

I have used this 18-200 zoom lens for at least 5 years. It is my utility lens. Convenient is the main reason that I carry it around, but it does not take tack-sharp pictures.  I don’t have a problem getting up at 3:00am, but I am not willing to carry a camera bag with multi-lens. I want to use one lens for all and that is not a good photography practice. I told myself not to use this lens for these shoots, but I did it again.
Phantom Ship is one of the attractions at Crater Lake. Whoever named it phantom must be inspired by the spiritual and surreal outlook of the scene. Someone thought that it looks like a ship. I personally may name it a Lost Castle.
The reflection of the rim and blue sky have created a false landscape. Does the ship sit on water or land? Is the light blue sky or the darker blue, or, vis versa?
In an environment like this, the illusion may take over reality. It is a solid island standing on water, but our imagination and surroundings have led us to a more spiritual realm.
I have said earlier that this lake gives me a spiritual and sacred feeling and it is being proved here as well. If not for the orientation of the island (ship), I may not be able to distinguish the sky from the lake.

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