Tag Archives: hiking the Columbia River Gorge

Metlako Falls in the Columbia River Gorge, OR

[/caption] Metlako Falls is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the Gorge but unfortunately it’s also one of the most difficult to photograph without having any blur or camera shake in the picture. This is largely due to the fact that you have to climb over the guard rail and set up your tripod and hold on to the only tree while you hover just inches from the 200 foot canyon wall. The tree is literally hanging from the edge of the canyon and the creek is 200 feet below. As you can see in this photo you’re also in a very precarious spot since the waterfall is behind the vegetation but the forested trees blanket the entire photo. It’s very hard to get the camera to focus on the waterfall and the vegetation without causing the camera sensor to blur. It also doesn’t help that Metlako Falls is positioned deep in the canyon with trees elbowing for the camera. The viewpoint is about 200 yards from the 100 foot waterfall and you have to position the camera at a slight 30 degree angle since you’re standing above the falls. I was using my Sigma 17-70mm lens and attached my warming, CIR-PL and ND4 filters in order to reduce the glare and increase the shutter speed. I had the shutter speed at 4 seconds and the aperture was at F-16 since I had the ISO at 100 and the white balance at -1.7. The weather was rather cool and the skies were raining so I lucked out on the exposure. I had the focal length at 50mm in order to take advantage of the lighting and the neon green forest. The water level was especially incredible since it was early Summer and the winter had some of the highest snow pack in decades. I made sure to use my tripod, bubble level and remote switch since you can’t get this waterfall to be in focus without a tripod.