Buck Lake: Catching the Sun

Buck Lake is easily one of my favorite natural wonders in the state of Oregon. Nestled in the forests surrounding Mount Hood it is a calm and crystal clear body of water that remains relatively shallow, even at its center. The result is a lake that warms up nicely in the summer, making for a rare pleasant swimming experience in the Pacific Northwest. Even better, somehow the existence of Buck Lake has stayed a well kept secret to those who live here. Despite making these photographs during the height of camping season, the model and I had this entire lake to ourselves early on a Saturday morning.

Part of the reason behind that is the journey to Buck Lake can be a bit of a hassle. The roads around Mount Hood are often not labeled and in many cases poorly maintained. This is part of the area’s charm, and though it may be difficult at times to find your way, the destination is usually worth it. Imagine a lot of one-lane roads, pavement uprooted and cracked, steep cliff sides, and road signs long ago faded by sun and rain.

I brought along my Kiev 88, which at the time I had only owned for about a week, and intended to only use a digital camera as a back up. Whenever I bring a brand new camera on a photo shoot I always take a back up. It is just simply not a good idea to rely on a piece of equipment you aren’t yet familiar with when out on location. In the end however, the bright colors of the rising sun were just too lovely to ignore and I ended up focusing most of my attention toward the digital camera. I cursed at myself under my breath more than once on this particular day for not bringing a few rolls of color film with me.