Photography and photojournalism in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest

Posts tagged “nikon d300s


The Rush of the Gorge

Multnomah Creek-2

Does anyone else run out of interesting, yet descriptive names for landscape photos? This image shows Multnomah Creek just below Dutchman Falls. It can be found less than a half-mile from where Multnomah Falls pours 600 feet over a rock ledge to the Columbia River below, and  it’s one of the most beautiful spots on the entire creek.

The three mini-cascades team up to form a powerful current that is actually pretty brisk when you’re standing in its midst. Friend and fellow photographer Gary Meyers and I enjoyed a recent morning on this creek and came away with a portable hard drive’s worth of nice images, thanks to the perfect shooting conditions. This past week has been prime waterfall shooting weather in Oregon, and I’d like to think we took full advantage of it.

Thanks for viewing!


Lower Lewis River Autumn


Lower Lewis River Falls in Skamania County, Washington, is one of the most picturesque waterfalls in the Northwest, especially in the fall. I recently visited this spot with a fellow photographer (Gary Meyers, shown above) just before a particularly severe rainstorm raised the water level several feet and made impossible some of the images we made. When the water level is low, however, you can walk out into the middle of the Lewis River and shoot from perspectives like the one shown above. It’s an amazing sight, and the sound of the rushing water is even better.

Shooting the Milky Way

This is my first try at shooting the Milky Way, which fortunately presents itself nicely to us here in Oregon if you’re willing to travel away from urban areas. In this case, Mt. Hood provides a perfect backdrop and setting for long exposure night shots, despite a bit of light pollution from Timberline Lodge further up the mountain. This was taken last week during one of the last dry days we’ve had since then. I borrowed some settings from some more experienced astrophotographers and set off to see what I could capture with my aging D300S.

I was surprised by the results, actually. I didn’t expect to really come away with recognizable photos of the Milky Way, but 30 second exposures with my Nikkor 10.5mm f/2.8 fisheye lens did the trick here, albeit not fantastically. This lens worked slightly better than my Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 wide-angle in capturing starlight, but I still am not sure why it was so noticeable. This image was shot on the road up to Timberline using my D300s at ISO 3200,  and the 10.5mm fisheye at f/2.8 and 30 seconds’ exposure.

The photo at right was taken with the 11-16mm lens, also set at f/2.8 and using a 30 second exposure at ISO 3200. For the age of the camera, I think it turned out fairly well for a first try, although the way these photos display on Word Press doesn’t seem to be the best. What do you think?

Passing By the Hawthorne Bridge



I waited over an hour for any sort of large-ish boat to cross my path last night. And when it finally did, it was so slow it only left streaks across half the frame over the course of a 30-second exposure. Ah well, that’s why I enjoy Portland so much. The downtown skyline is modest, but attractive, and the array of bridges we have here mostly photograph very well. Throw in the remains of the east side’s old waterfront and I think it adds up to a pretty compelling image. This is the Hawthorne Bridge across the Willamette River facing west. Thanks for viewing!

The Old and the New


This is Portland’s Hawthorne Bridge just after sunset last night. We’ve got a fantastic skyline for photography for a relatively small city here in Portland, and the bridges are a big reason why. Many of them date back a century or more, and the construction of that period always has been a photographer’s delight. More so in Portland, when you add in features like these ancient, rotting pilings. These are a great foreground element and they also highlight the remains of the city when it once contained buildings spilling out into the Willamette River. This is a 30-second exposure at f/11 and 400 ISO with a polarizing filter thrown in for good measure.

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).

Friday nights in September

Football is upon us for another year, and it’s a time I enjoy each fall as a photographer. The intensity of the competition really shows up in the images, and the rapidly evolving storyline of each game is different every time. This means unpredictable results in the best possible way.

I’m at a handicap with football on most occasions because of equipment. The longest focal length lens I own is a 70-200mm/f/2.8 and it suffices at football games for action that takes place between the hash marks and the sideline one is shooting from. With this lens, anything happening between the hash marks or on the far side of the field away from where you’re shooting usually is too far away to photograph effectively. So unless I rent a 400mm-f/2.8 Nikkor, which I’ll do on occasion, I have to be picky at football games.

The photo above, however, is an exception to the rule. It came at my first prep football game last Friday in Salem. I shot it at 200mm and barely cropped it at the bottom, yet it still tells an intense story of battle on the gridiron. The running back, Tanner Shipley, is being recruited by colleges including Oregon State, Brigham Young and other top regional programs. He stares intently at the defender, who has little idea he’s about to be blasted from his left by the charging blocker. You can see the play unfold in your mind while watching a still image. I love the way you can look at this scene and others like it and know you can’t see this with the naked eye.