Photography and photojournalism in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest

Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls 6

Wahclella Falls in Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge is located in a natural rock amphitheater carved out of a series of overlapping basaltic lava flows dating back millions of years. For photographers, this forever damp, green landscape now makes an ideal setting for making beautiful images. The closest active volcano is Mt. St. Helens on the other side of the Columbia River, and the biggest geologic hazard is not lava, but landslides.

The shot above was taken from  a rock outcrop well above the water using a Tokina 11-16mm wide angle zoom lens at f/14 with a 1.6 second exposure at ISO 100. That’s about as long of an exposure as I like to make for water unless I’m really going after a smooth, silky look. Here, I’m just trying to give a sense of motion, rather than a new rendering of Fantasia, and I think the water exploding into streaks at the bottom of the falls does just that.


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