Photo Essay: Wild Oregon

A California photographer's work chronicles Oregon's staggering vistas

By Greg Young May 15, 2014

Photographer Chris Burkard had never been to Oregon before. Surprising, given that not only does he live and work in central California, but he’s traversed the world—from Russia to Iceland to Patagonia. His bread and butter: documenting remote vistas with the eye of a poet, often with his surfboard in tow.

“One of my favorite comments that people tell me when they look at my photos,” Burkard said, “is ‘I’ve never seen a waterfall look that way.’”

So last year, Burkard headed north to explore Oregon with a plan to just "wing it." His expectations, based on the little he knew of the state, were of claustrophopic streams, waterfalls, and forests. That is not what he found.  What he found over his 10-day drive all over Oregon was something else entirely. 

“There’s that original idea, but then you go and you realize, ‘Wow!” he says. “Now when I think of Oregon, I don’t think of tight and compressed spaces. I think of beautiful vistas and beautiful scenery. That’s the way it spoke to me.”

His stops included:

  • Crater Lake
  • Rogue River
  • Smith Rock
  • Cave Junction (Out'n'about Treehouse resort)
  • Columbia River Gorge (Eagle Creek hike)
  • Ziplining in Astoria (About High Life Adventures ziplines)
  • Oregon Coast (Ecola State Park)
  • Sandboarding in Florence

See the full photo essay at Gear Patrol.

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