Stumpled Upon

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I took a road trip last weekend to Detroit (Oregon, not Michigan) to see how all of the streams and creeks looked. Unfortunately, when I arrived I couldn’t get very far up the back-roads due to a high volume of snowfall this year. Disappointed I couldn’t reach my destination I turned around and decided to change my plans from a photography trip to a scouting mission. I viewed some places of potential for later in the year. Then I stumbled upon the place where French Creek enters Detroit Lake. The sun peaked over the mountains so as to shine across, but not directly on, the lake. Since the snow was melting ever so slowly the water level was low exposing many of the tree stumps that are usually covered by water during late spring and summer. Because I was fixated on the stumps I didn’t notice the green reflections until after I shot two or three times and viewed them on the back of my camera. Liking what I saw I continued to shoot and at several different perspectives and angles. This was the best of the bunch, I felt.

When finished I happened to see a young couple enjoying an afternoon picnic across the creek but upstream 100 yards, or so. They were situated in an area featuring wild green grass, a few tree stumps, some colorful shrubbery, and the creek. The sun was at the right spot, too. So, I began to shoot thinking between the couple and the beautiful backdrop these would make wonderful candid scenes. What I didn’t know was there were two Oregon State Policemen watching every move I was making. Upon completion of my photo-shoot I was confronted by the two nice officers at my car. I guess they didn’t understand why I was taking pictures of total strangers without their permission. I can understand their point. So, I handed them one of my trusty forms listing the rights of a photographer while explaining the meaning of candid photography. With all of the candid street photography I do in the city without ever a complaint who’d a thought the one place I’d experience confrontation would be out in the wilderness.

More of Detroit Lake ------->

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  1. seddeg ~ 25 months ago | reply

    First things first - so not only are the forests in Oregon green, and everything covered with gorgeous moss, but the water too, reflecting the magic of it all! Striking and minimal at the same time! Have often thought about the situation you found yourself in. So cool that you were prepared to "educate" them. Have often wondered if you carry a model release form too, as so many of your candids are, imho, publishable. =)

  2. Shamrockah 25 months ago | reply

    Love the green, and I'm looking forward see more of the place. Also,
    very interesting encounter, I carry a copy of Photographer Rights in my camera bag as well.
    The fuzz can be such a downer, but outsmarting them at their game is forever rewarding.

  3. Glints & Tints 25 months ago | reply

    Splendid colour tones in this capture.. the tree trunks look so mysterious.. superb work!

  4. altamons 24 months ago | reply

    Wonderful colour in the water!!!

  5. aokcreation 24 months ago | reply

    I thought it looks like a lake I have seen before on your stream ;-)) Love the colors of the water and the reflections!!

  6. . Jianwei . 24 months ago | reply

    solid composition with brilliant colors, love that green!

  7. snowleopard* 24 months ago | reply

    it's always the same story with Policemen, in the USA as well as in Europe...
    anyway, beautiful catch Kurt! love both the composition and the colors here!

  8. Kangaroobie... 24 months ago | reply

    love the light shimmer across the emerald water...fantastic Ian

  9. Mandrak99 24 months ago | reply

    This trunk with its roots gives the impression that it is always collided on the life! Maybe a scene taken out of a fantasy movie!
    The centring suits perfectly and colors are magnificent.

  10. Li-Fang, Lin 24 months ago | reply

    Beautiful colors ! nice picture .

  11. jjs08 24 months ago | reply

    Wonderful capture, I hope you have a great week my friend!!! :)

  12. Photoelectrique 24 months ago | reply

    Water like liquid attractive green!

  13. jake schirm 23 months ago | reply

    Beautiful shot of French Creek, the water look amazing. I am producing an iOS application that features this area and would like to use your image with the description. In return for the use of this image I will provide you with an amazing photo credit and a free app when it is released. Let me know if you are interested in participating.

  14. Melvin the Satyr 10 months ago | reply

    Before I read your commentary, it struck me that here we have a mother keeping a watchful eye on her young, on some alien world. That water is remarkable, and invites one to bathe in its refreshment. This is the Oregon I want to see when I get out there.

  15. jake schirm 9 months ago | reply

    The Oregon Swimming Holes application is finally finished! Contact me via Flickr or message me at and I will send you a download code for the iTunes store. Thanks again for your willingness to participate in this project.

  16. ocDeluxe 6 months ago | reply

    Those stumps are captivating. I've never seen anything like it. I'm assuming beavers chewed them down? Or rot? But what I'm really dying to know is what you did to appease the state police. Did you end up deleting the images from your card?

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