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).
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.
Here’s one more photo from Monday’s trip to the Columbia River Gorge and Wahkeena Falls. This is a slightly longer exposure than the previous two images at around 2.5 seconds at f.16 using the same Tokina 11-16mm lens and a variable neutral density filter. I also find it interesting that an extra one to 1.6 seconds of exposure gives a distinctly different look than the other images, with the water appearing much smoother and with less of a sense of motion. So the next time anyone tells you an extra second doesn’t make a difference, tell them water photography begs to differ.