This waterfall photo was taken last week at Bridal Veil Falls in the Columbia River Gorge as part of am ongoing waterfall series that I’m doing while on vacation from my regular photojournalism duties. Taken at sunset, I was able in this image to capture some interesting lens flare coming from the right side of the frame. This is one of the more accessible waterfalls in the Gorge and you’re likely to encounter at least one or more photographers while visiting. And looking at this waterfall, it’s easy to see both how it earned its name, as well as why it’s a popular destination for hikers, nature enthusiasts and photographers.
Interestingly, it’s a simple matter to overlook the fact the old scenic highway passes right over the top of the falls. The way the road is situated, you can’t see the waterfall even if you’re looking for it. After spending several evenings last week in the Gorge I seriously wish I was on vacation all the time. (Nikon D300s, Tokina 11-16mm lens with circular polarizing filter, ISO 100, f/11, 0.8 second exposure.)
Wahkeena Falls in Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge has provided me with a wealth of photographs this week. One result of this is that I cannot decide which I like better; the more distant images showing waterfalls or the many shots I’ve taken from the middle of the streams carrying water away from those waterfalls. I shot the creek above from numerous angles and perspectives, and in many of the photos I felt like the rocks resembled the heads of animals. This helped guide me in framing certain images, including this one, a 1.3 second exposure taken with a Tokina 11-16mm lens and circular polarizing filter at ISO 200 and f.11.
It’s been nice having a little bit of extra time to explore the Columbia River Gorge and its dozens of waterfalls this week. The photo here was taken at one of the upper levels of Shepperd’s Dell Falls just west of the more well-known Multnomah Falls. I used a polarizing filter with my Tokina 11-16mm wide-angle lens and shot this at 4/10 of a second at f.8 and 200 ISO, not that it’s all that important. The scenery here, as it is throughout the Gorge, is incredibly lush and probably familiar only to natives of somewhere like New Zealand. Which is probably why Peter Jackson chose that location to film Lord of the Rings. But that’s another conversation…
The Columbia River Gorge is known around the world for its scenery, and there’s really no excuse not to pay a visit regularly when you already live in the Portland metro area.
The photo above was taken in the Gorge on a cloudy afternoon near Wahkeena Falls, which is less than a mile from the much better known Multnomah Falls. The area has dozens of waterfalls, rivers, streams and other water features to photograph. And that’s before you consider the nearby Columbia River.
Slow exposure photographs like the one above are a favorite of mine. A strong variable neutral density filter allows me to lengthen the exposure by one, two, three or more stops. Some people like the choppy look that water typically gives with exposures of roughly a half second or faster. I, however, prefer the smoother look that comes when you expose water for a second or more. The shot above is a one-second exposure at f.11 using an 11-16mm Tokina wide angle lens.
It’s fun to get outside and splash around like this, as my photojournalism work normally keeps me indoors under fair to downright awful lighting. This is a nice change, for sure.