Okanogan River Bend at Buttercup Falls north of Riverside

Format: 4x5
Film: TRI-X
Development: N

    When I head out to photograph, I often use a strategy of heading in a general direction then look for a road I've not been down. That's what led to this image. I was heading north and spotted a road to the east just before the Janus Bridge south of Tonasket.

    I just kept going until I could not follow any of the roads I choose. Then I got out and walked a bit. This image did not occur on that first trip, though the idea sure did. I found myself on this large bluff of rock looking south towards Riverside. The first trip the clouds were awful. So I made five more trips from home, leaving each time I saw nice clouds.

    It's amazing how many times you see clouds some place and travel 20 miles to another spot, as from my home to here, and the clouds evaporate! Finally, this image came to be.

    It's difficult to print, because I had yet to perfect a good means of developing negatives. I now use Jobo tanks, hand agitated at specific intervals. The results are much, much better than from using hanging holders in a tank.

    I made a color image the same day. While retouching the print with a magnifier glass, I spotted some odd colors on the hills in the background just above the river. When I looked closer it sure seemed like there was a couple there, perhaps starring back at me as I made my photography. Holy "Blowup!"

    Hidden in the trees is a house near the island. Just at the bottom of the photograph is a turn-of-the-century trapper's cabin. In fact, on several trips to the area a couple trappers drove past. They gave me the evil eye. I survived because I certainly don't look like a game agent. I don't think they are exactly trapping legally.

    I've since learned that Indian paintings are on rock walls in the area. Darn, I must have missed those. I tried to get back to the area recently, and found the road I used has been closed. To reach the site now you would need to walk a couple miles. Uphill. So I haven't been back.

Copyright © 2000 by Al Camp. All Rights Reserved.
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