Brian's Photo Blog — Article 103
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Skinny-dipping In the Great Outdoors
Saturday 26 May 2012   —   Category: Outings

One of my most interesting and amusing adventures during last month’s photographic outing to Easter Oregon occurred when I was visiting the Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge.

As I was driving in to the Refuge, I encountered the ranger, and we stopped and chatted a few minutes. He mentioned that the Hot Springs Campground was totally empty, and that I would have the whole place to myself. As I continued my drive, it started to dawn on me that this could be a great opportunity to get some out-of-the-ordinary photos.

Once I arrived at the hot springs, I found that it was true — the place was completely deserted. So I quickly set about putting my plan into action. I mounted my Sigma wide-angle lens on my camera and then secured it to a tripod. By setting the lens to the minimum focal length (10mm), I was able to fit most of the walled-in hot spring area into the field of view.

Then I attached the wireless remote shutter release which I had purchased shortly before the trip. This would allow me to take pictures of myself in the water without a pesky cable. After a few test shots, I was ready to go.

The only problem was that I had left my bathing suit back at the Frenchglen Hotel. Well, seeing that there was practically nobody around for many miles, it really wasn’t too much of a problem. I found an old towel in the truck — since I always have my birthday suit with me I just striped down to it and climbed down the ladder into the 100-106°F water. Ahhhhhhh!

The fairly-deep water was really nice, but the rocks were a bit slimy. As you can see from the third photo, there were bubbles coming up out of the crack in the ground where the hot water was coming from. I could hold on with only one hand, since the other hand was holding the remote control and definitely had to stay above water. With that hand I started snapping photos of me in different parts of the pool.

After getting all the shots I wanted, I figured I might as well get out sooner than later, before someone (like the ranger) showed up. As I was climbing up the ladder, the crazy idea popped into my head to take a few more photos, so I pressed the remote control a couple of times on my way out. Luckily my back was facing the camera! With the judicious placement of a fig leaf, I’m presenting this photo for the first time!

There is no way I could have taken these photos of myself with the wireless remote control. Three cheers for this wonderfully useful camera accessory!

Although the water had been nice and warm, the wind wafting down from the snowcapped Hart Mountain wasn’t so soothing! I quickly dried off, got dressed, and then took some more photos around the inside and outside of the walled hot spring.

During the rest of my trip, every time I though about the photo of me getting out of the water, I would shake my head, with a smile on my lips and a chuckle in my heart. My wife says it was totally out of character for me, but maybe that’s why it was so fun and amusing — because it IS so totally unlike me!

You can read more details about my visit to the Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge in my next article.
For a complete list of all the blog entries and photo albums resulting from my trip to Eastern Oregon, be sure to check out the April 2012 Eastern Oregon Photo Outing Recap
Brian's Photo Blog — Article 103
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Brian's Photo Blog — Article 103
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