The Gorge is Gorgeous!

Spring showers, Rowena Plateau, ORHello Hikers!

The Columbia River Gorge is looking really good this year with all of our spring rain. The recent May monsoon provided quite the show for myself and a friend as we hiked on the Rowena Plateau, at the Tom McCall Preserve.

Hiker with approaching storm.

Hiker with approaching storm.

This was a day of 87 degrees mid-day, overcast during the early afternoon and thunderstorms, lightening and hail as we hiked down from McCall Point. After all of that amazing weather, the sun popped back out and we could dry off before heading home.

The trail up to McCall Point was freshly cut and made for stable footing. Many thanks to The Nature Conservancy and Friends of the Columbia Gorge for all of their diligent efforts to keep the Gorge... gorgeous!

chinookIn fact, did you know that there is a plan to make a 300 mile loop trail through the Gorge to connect Portland to The Dalles and back on the Washington side to Vancouver. This is part of a plan spawned by the Chinook Trail Association to honor the legacy of Native Americans.

Getting back to our hike, the cloud formations over us and Mt. Hood were quite spectacular and in some cases, surreal. All in all, it was yet another magical day of hiking in the Columbia River Gorge.

Hope to see you at my studio/gallery for the Mt. Tabor Art Walk, May 20-21.

Thunderstorm clouds make and ominous face.

Thunderstorm clouds make an ominous face.


Holiday Show: 510 Museum & Artspace


3 of 8 Larry Olson images hanging at the 510 Museum.

Come see this gorgeous group exhibit of 29 artists at the Holiday Show: 510 Museum & Artspace in Lake Oswego through December 23rd. View images of all 29 artists work here.

_dsc8488_dsc8448There are many demonstrations and special events planned during the show. See more at our Facebook page. Please Like and Share. Thanks!

510 First Street
Lake Oswego, OR 97034

11a-6p Monday-Saturday. Google directions Here

My hours at the Museum:

Nov. 29, 2:30 - 6 PM
Dec.1, 2:30 - 5:30 PM
Dec. 2, 5 - 7:30 PM
Dec. 5, 11 AM - 2:30 PM
Dec.8, 2:30 - 6 PM
Dec. 9, 5 - 7:30 PM
Dec. 10, 2 - 5 PM
Dec. 11, 1 - 4 PM
Dec. 16, 6:30 - 7:30 PM
Dec.21, 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

See you there! Larry

Photographer helped save Opal Creek

poster rebuildThe Statesman Journal today published an article on how my 1989 photograph of Opal Creek was instrumental in designating the area as the Opal Creek Wilderness and Opal Creek Scenic Recreation Area (over 34,000 acres combined).

Zack Urness writes..."Olson bushwhacked up Opal Creek for five days, making pictures as he went…. the picture he captured was, by every measure, stunning.”

The article recounts how my image was used by political figures and environmental groups – everything from magazine articles shown at legislative hearings, to a poster published by Oregon Natural Resources Council and Friends of Opal Creek – to preserve this gem-like watershed and surrounding old growth forest. Michael Donnelly, environmental activist stated – the photograph "was so stunning that people really realized what was at stake. It got many people to join in.”

“...I basically had to wet foot it the entire trip."" Olson said.

"It has always been my goal to defend wild places through my photography, and I’ve been fortunate that other organizations have used my photos to protect wilderness.” The article goes on to describe my commitment and passion for preserving and photographing wilderness and wild areas through my book “Oregon Rivers”.

Larry poses with the image and the Pentax 6x7 camera.

Larry poses with the image and the Pentax 6x7 camera.

The article continues, "All the work came to fruition on Sept. 30, 1996 — two decades ago this year — when Oregon Sen. Mark Hatfield successfully passed legislation protecting the landscape as the Opal Creek Wilderness and Opal Creek Scenic Recreation Area."

Urness writes,"In the summer of 1989, the environmental activists fighting to protect Opal Creek were looking for the perfect picture”. I was thrilled to have my photograph make a difference in preserving Opal Creek.

The Statesman article, written by Zach Urness, was also picked up by the national newswire and has appeared on OPB news.


Super Bloom, Columbia River Gorge


Update 5/26/16


Your responses to this blog post was off the charts! Thank you for your overwhelming support through your recent visits to my site… 564 visitors at last count! I believe this interest reflects the need and desire for preserving our open spaces.

In honor of your tremendous support and interest, I am going to donate 10% of all profits from my current 20%-off sale to the Friends of the Columbia Gorge, they are instrumental in thoughtful Gorge preservation. The sale has been continued through June 6th. Help me to extend the reach of this worthy cause by visiting my Facebook post and share it with your network and further the preservation of open spaces.

You would be supporting a worthy cause, the arts, in addition to purchasing a beautiful landscape photograph for your home or office. View my New and Recent gallery.

See you on the trail...


Hi Folks-

It’s been an interesting spring out there. After hearing about the “super bloom” in Death Valley I decided to dedicate several spring days to photographing our own super bloom on the east end of the gorge. The fun began in late March with visits to old favorites - Catherine Creek and Lyle Cherry Orchard - as they began their bloom cycle. Celine and I had a great discovery the last weekend in March when we stumbled upon a hike we’d been hearing about near the Dalles. Seven Mile Mountain is a small section of forest service land which boasts a south facing slope with big views of Mount Hood and Mount Adams. It’s not a trailed destination but if one is willing to wander around the slope for a few hours you will be treated to one of the most prolific and diverse wildflower displays I’ve encountered in the gorge. After discovering this little gem, I was determined to come back to the spot and document the landscape with better lighting conditions. It's all about the light.

Super bloom, spring, 2016

There’s still plenty of flowers out there.I hope you get a chance to enjoy them!

_DSC2481   _DSC2472
















Light After the Storm

Sunset illuminates the Tatoosh Range during a clearing storm.

Sunset illuminates the Tatoosh Range during a clearing storm.

Celine, my wife, wrote the story below for one of my clients, whose son is recovering from cancer. The clearing storm with its splashes of sunlight resonated with her and she thought it would be an appropriate gift for him in his recovery...

"In Mt. Rainier National Park on September 2013, this image was taken at sunset as the Tatoosh Range began to reveal itself among layers of shifting fog and light. The views that evening were reminiscent of the Hudson School artists’ rendering of great western landscapes. It was a welcome sight after the events of the preceding weekend.


Storm approaches during hike in Mount Rainier National Park

On the day we had arrived, the rangers at the Longmire Permit Station warned us that a big storm was heading our way and that many people were leaving the park. We headed to the location after Labor Day with hopes of seeing the landscape minus the crowds.

For three days it rained constantly and quite hard. Our little tent managed to keep us marginally dry but our day hikes were soggy to say the least. On the third night, we headed to the lodge at Paradise to get a hot drink and sit in front of the big fireplace. As we approached the lodge, the weather began to clear and Larry grabbed his camera to capture the changing landscape.

May you enjoy this image."

Larry Olson & Celine

Another image shot on the same trip... high peaks of the Tatoosh Range and ridges are silhouetted in layers of clouds and fog.

Another image from the same trip... high peaks of the Tatoosh Range and ridges are silhouetted in layers of clouds and fog.

Visit my Studio

Please visit me at my Portland studio-gallery



106412-DI welcome you by appointment, day or night to visit my 700 square foot studio. You'll love seeing my photographs  in person. I generally have 35 or more framed photographs up and beautifully illuminated. I also have several portfolios I can show you.




You are free to browse on your own. There are always 50 to 100 unframed prints available in varying sizes.

Please contact me in advance to schedule a visit. I look forward to seeing you soon.

Larry N. Olson 503.234.5288

Protect Cedar Mesa, Utah

Cliff dwellings occupied by ancestral pueblans around 1000 years ago.

Cliff dwellings occupied by Ancestral Puebloans around 1000 years ago.

Utah Legislators may drill and mine at these Ancestral Ruins

The Cedar Mesa cliff dwellings are currently unprotected, anyone can approach these Ancestral Puebloan ruins. Some are there to embrace them, but some have chosen to deface them.

Friend Doug made this image of me inside one of the cave dwellings.

Having just returned from 10 days in Cedar Mesa, I am convinced that this area should be designated as a National Wilderness, Monument, or Conservation Area. 

I was impressed that these dwellings were so integrated with the inhabitants' natural surroundings - they must have had a deep connection with nature. As a landscape photographer and naturalist, I felt a keen connection to this site and its former inhabitants.

I’ve been invited to Cedar Mesa many times and in May 2015, I decided to go after reading this New York Times Article...

What’s still there may soon be lost. Cedar Mesa embraces tens of thousands of archaeological sites that chronicle a 13,000-year history, from Paleo-Indian times until the late 19th century. Administered by the woefully understaffed federal Bureau of Land Management, the mesa is hammered every year by rampant looting that a small number of rangers are powerless to stop. The plateau and canyons remain, in the words of Josh Ewing, executive director of the group Friends of Cedar Mesa, “undoubtedly the most significant unprotected archaeological area in the United States.”Intricate stonework atop domed rock formation.

“...Three environmental and cultural lobbying groups — Friends of Cedar Mesa, the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance and the Navajo Diné Bikéyah — have put forth proposals to protect Cedar Mesa. But this is not just about preserving wilderness.”

“...There’s a showdown looming. Congress should designate Cedar Mesa a National Conservation Area, which would provide enhanced protections to the area’s natural and cultural treasures, but without the fanfare and throngs of visitors that often accompany the creation of new monuments or parks.”

Cedar Mesa plateau drains into the San Juan River Canyon.

“...President Obama remains the best hope. He should use his authority to set aside Cedar Mesa as a national monument. Doing so would mean more visitors and new regulations, as happened at Grand Staircase-Escalante. But it would also protect the wonders of the ancients and the environment itself for future generations to explore.”

 The Utah State lawmakers have stated that  "...grazing and mineral extraction is the "highest and best use" for Cedar Mesa and the San Rafael Swell." It's unfathomable that special interests can trump this national treasure.

The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance is the strongest advocate for Cedar Mesa. In keeping with my orientation as a photographer attempting to protect wild areas, I have made a donation to SUWA and I encourage all my friends and followers to do the same. Additionally, I urge you to tell President Obama and Congress that you support The American Redrock Wilderness Bill.

Thanks for helping to bring awareness to these endangered lands and antiquities. Together we might well make a difference!

Click on the image below to view more of my work from Cedar Mesa and my website. Thanks! Larry N. Olson Photographer



GREAT NEWS from Frank,

Hi everyone, 113975-D I received this news on our paradox(white/black) walnut tree after attending and representing the voices of the neighborhood at Saturdays city urban forestry councils last minute meeting.We seem to have received the perfect amount of positive attention by the City in regards to our tree . We had enough of the council present to form a quorum and be able to vote.  Our tree was voted on and accepted  and also on the fast track into the heritage tree program.  secondly and of equal importance the funding for the cities measure or referendum 11 has been secured . in the future, when plans are submitted, there will be an on sight survey by an official thereby , making this sort of ,"almost a travesty", from ever occurring to an historically significant tree in the future. hey but don't quote me.. Good job everyone.

Thanks to everyone. All should be commended.
Frank P,

How may arborists does it take to save a tree?

113939-DMy neighbor called the other day to ask my help in saving a huge walnut tree planted in the late 1800's. The tree stands on private property and a developer wants to cut it down to build an apartment complex. The canopy stretches over 6 households and the tree is thought to have been propagated by Luther Burbank, a famous botanist. Upwards of 30 local arborists climbed the tree today in an effort to save it.  This walnut is well-known in their ranks and they wanted to defend it in a public way. I felt privileged to document their advocacy for this beautiful tree on Earth Day 2014.

Please share this post and see the following article to learn more:




Larry Olson at the Portland Art Museum Rental Sales Gallery Tonight (4/18)

Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Mounument #2, WA  I am displaying two photographs at the Spring Show 2014 this evening.  This is a juried show featuring the work of some of Portland's most notable artists.  Please join us!

Lower Lewis River Falls #2, WA



Rental Sales Galley

Friday, April 18th 5-8pm

Refreshments will be served

1237 SW 10th Ave.

(Behind the Portland Art Museum)

   Older Posts