Photography and photojournalism in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest

Fairy Falls on Labor Day

I woke up at dawn this morning and couldn’t sleep. So I threw my camera gear together, grabbed the tripod and headed up the Columbia River Gorge. I wasn’t quite sure where I was going to stop, but that turned out to be Wahkeena Falls and the trail above. I hiked to Fairy Falls, above, and a bit beyond, taking several hundred photos of this beauty, along with Wahkeena Creek and Little Necktie Falls.

Fairy Falls is one of the most photographed waterfalls in Oregon, despite being barely 25 feet tall. Its perfect fan shape and innumerable small cascades all combine to make it a photographic heaven, though. And the fact you can walk right up to the waterfall, touch it and experience barely any spray means you can shoot close up and get some interesting angles like the shot above. I’ve often found that including only part of a waterfall in the frame can produce very interesting photographs, and this was no exception. (20mm, f3.5 at ISO 200, 0.5 second exposure).

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4 responses

  1. Looks a nice place.
    On a technical note, do you find f3.5 gives sufficient dof when you come to print at a reasonable pixel pitch? I’ve often been caught out myself – fine for the web but on paper …..

    September 4, 2012 at 01:10

    • That’s a good question, Stephen, as I have not actually shot a waterfall at that wide open of an aperture setting before. I needed a faster shutter speed to better capture the water detail and I didn’t want to go any higher in ISO. I didn’t worry about the DOF when shooting at that aperture because of the relatively flat surface of the waterfall and the properties of that particular lens. DOF as it relates to print quality was further down the list of considerations, but it’s definitely somerhing I should consider more closely.

      September 4, 2012 at 01:41

      • I can empathise with you on the high ISO question and if you encounter low light levels….. what can a photographer do……. 😉

        September 4, 2012 at 01:49

  2. Lovely shot Josh. Wants me to get back there 🙂
    Reminds me of my trip to this amazing place few months back – http://liketheocean.com/2012/06/21/fairy-falls-oregon/

    September 9, 2012 at 11:24

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