Photography and photojournalism in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest

Posts tagged “water

Don’t forget your boots!

Spanish Head-8

This image was taken last weekend at the Oregon coast while visiting the family in Lincoln City. That visit coincided with some unusually nice weather that provided two straight outstanding sunrises and sunsets. To take advantage of that, I headed on several occasions to Spanish Head at the south end of the town and walked out to the remains of an ancient lava flow that extends from the beach out into the water. It’s a gorgeous spot with a ton of rocks, both individual and in clusters, that provide foreground interest, while the main lava flow can be used as a background or as the main focal point of the shot. In this image, though, I found a nice rock on my way back home and stopped to take a few extra frames. The water flow of this wave, which was less than a foot high, proved to be perfect for the shutter speed I was using. It also overflowed my boots, but since that already had taken place earlier in the morning it wasn’t too much hassle.

Thanks for viewing!



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!

Blue Hour on the Willamette

Morrison Bridge-4

I really enjoy shooting cityscape images during the blue hour. Portland is one of the best places around for this, because the fantastic – and numerous – bridges spanning the Willamette River lend themselves to endless compositions. And because of the many old docks, pilings and other remnants of Portland’s past littering the east bank of the river, the place has history to spare. At least by the relatively limited standards of the western United States. But I digress.

In this shot, I found a solitary piling sticking its head above the water in between the concrete chunks that once formed the ferry landing. It made a nice compositional anchor for my foreground, while I used my iPhone to paint the concrete and rocks with light to give it a little extra glow and bring out detail. I’m enjoying this kind of subtle light painting recently, as it gives a nice touch to foreground elements at night that otherwise might be lost or missed.

Thanks for viewing, and please feel free to leave, commentary, critique or suggestions on where to shoot in the future. I love finding new – to me – spots and scenery, so don’t hesitate. Thanks!

Columbia River Gorge waterfalls 7


Here’s a horizontal view of Ponytail Falls in the Columbia River Gorge. I shot probably 1,100 or more photos in the gorge during the two weeks I was on vacation, and I am really enjoying being able to post a steady stream of interesting material here. This waterfall actually presents a nice photographic challenge, as it is easily accessible by day hikers, hence heavily photographed from the surrounding trails and other obvious vantage points. Admittedly, even wading into the stream as I did here is not difficult for anyone so inclined. But at least it gives a somewhat different perspective than someone who is only paying attention to walking behind the waterfall, beautiful as that can be. I guess I’m going to be getting up pretty early some mornings this summer, otherwise I won’t be able to find time to realistically continue with my Gorge series of landscapes, which is rapidly turning into my seasonal photo project. Does anyone else find that a single shoot ever turns into an ongoing obsession when you’re behind the camera? Don’t worry, it’s probably a good thing as a photographer, so I’ll go with it.

Columbia River Gorge 6

The waterfalls of the Columbia River Gorge are revered  by photographers around the world, and for good reason. But the streams that feed them and flow on to the Columbia River can be just as interesting to photograph once you get down and close to the water and examine the detail. The stream pictured here flows away from Wahkeena Falls and on to the mighty Columbia, passing under bridges, around rock formations and under the vegetation along the way. The flowers provide detail in this frame, while the bridge in the upper left corner gives context and scale to the overall scene. If I could, I’d probably spend 10 hours a day shooting photos in the Gorge. But that would mean missing out on a lot of other fascinating photography, as well as rock ‘n roll music, so it’s not a long-term option, unfortunately. (Nikkor 20-35mm wide angle zoom, ISO 200, f/16, 1.3 second exposure with a circular polarizing filter.)

Columbia River Gorge waterfalls 3


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.)

Columbia River Gorge afternoon revisited

Here’s a another shot from the Columbia River Gorge near Wahkeena Falls taken yesterday when the weather still was cooperating. The waterfall itself was tough to shoot for various reasons, which meant images taken downstream from the waterfall turned out much nicer. I’ll be heading back this week for another go at the various waterfalls in the Gorge, which contains dozens of them between Portland and Hood River.

This shot was taken by stepping into the stream with my tripod and making a simple 1.6-second exposure with a Tokina 11-16mm lens at f.11. I used to think I liked the Oregon Coast more for its gorgeous landscapes. But the Gorge, for me, has supplanted the coast in that regard and I can’t seem to get enough of it. Great stuff.