[/caption] Another iconic but little known waterfall high above Multnomah Falls! It’s official! July temperatures in Oregon have reached the 80 degree mark just like clockwork. Every summer the temperatures reach into the 80’s and unfortunately if you were hoping to get great photos of the lush and green Columbia River gorge time may just have run out. Once the hot temperatures reach into the gorge, the foliage begins to stress and wilt and the spring run off becomes much less predominant. In many of the creeks it becomes nothing more than a trickle and even some of the waterfalls dry up. However, there are hundreds of swimming holes that are ideal to cool off from the heat.
[/caption] Another picture perfect setting in the Columbia River Gorge! This is just another waterfall in the Oregon gorge that you see when you hike near the same creek that thunders over Multnomah Falls. I set up my tripod on the trail and just made sure to leave enough room for other hikers to pass by without having to move. I made sure to use my bubble level and remote switch and turned off the OS on my Sigma 17-70mm lens. I wanted to get the most extreme ghosting effect since the water was traveling through slick basalt and the white water was pretty long. I set the shutter speed at 6 seconds and just made sure to attach my ND4 and CIR-PL.
[/caption] You can visit an awesome waterfall just above the ultra busy Multnomah Falls area and enjoy some peace and quiet as you enjoy an incredible waterfall. The same creek that feeds Multnomah Falls offers a hikers and photographers paradise. Thousands of tourists invade the Multnomah Falls area and usually stop at the the bridge or the viewing platform above the falls. However, the best part of the trek starts as you wind yourself up into the gorge and immerse yourself in the smaller and more quaint waterfalls. You could continue the trail all the way up to Larch mountain if your brave enough to include an additional 6 miles and 3500 foot of elevation gain to your day. However, the most scenic part of the hiking trail is just 3/4 of a mile above Multnomah Falls. You will still find yourself hiking alongside many of the tourists but there numbers are only a fraction of the tourists at the lodge. This particular waterfall doesn’t have a name but is one of the many very photogenic waterfalls in the Columbia River Gorge. You can get alongside the creek if you hike just a few yards below the main trail and wait for the best possible opportunity. There isn’t a lot of room to move around so most of the hikers continue along the trail while some do hike down to the creeks edge. However, there is ample room to set up your tripod. The waterfall is about 150 feet tall and splashes into a massive basalt cavern that eventually opens up to form the lower canyon that the creek flows through. I was standing about 100 yards from the waterfall and the massive object to the left of the photo is an old tree trunk that has been sitting there for so long that many trees and plants have taken root. The stump is only about 5 feet from where I was standing and since I wanted to maintain a good field of view I made sure to keep the focal length at the right distance. This way I was able to make sure the entire photo was in focus even though the tree stump was five feet away, the waterfall was 100 yards and the trees behind the waterfall were several hundred yards away. I found that having a focal length of 21mm still allowed me to have the correct focal length to frame as much of the scenery as I could. I was using my Sigma 17-70mm lens and made sure to attach my warming, ND4 and CIR-PL filter in order to use the shutter priority. I set the shutter speed at 4 seconds and the aperture was at F-13. I set the ISO at 100 and the white balance at -1. I took the photo at about 12:40pm and the sun was directly behind the waterfall. Fortunately, the sky was overcast with only fragments of the sun able to shine through the clouds. I made sure to use my tripod and bubble level in order to avoid any camera shake. I also made sure to turn off the OS on the lens. Now is the time to visit the gorge since there are only a few more days until the warmer temperatures and sunny skies take over and the gorge loses it’s high water levels and the vegetation starts to lose their neon colors.
[/caption] The water is a thundering in the Columbia River Gorge and the waterfalls won’t disappoint. The wildflowers are out as well as all of the vegetation that had been mostly absent. If you have been putting off your hiking trip to the gorge now is the time to lace up those hiking shoes and pack your snacks because the gorge has awaken. If your ears are sensitive to the piercing sounds of huge waterfalls plunging towards earth I would also pack some earplugs. I took another one of my road trips while visiting as many waterfalls as I could in one day and this was the first day that everything was perfect since there are plenty of wildflowers, green neon vegetation, overcast skies and plenty of water. This photo is of Multnomah Falls and I decided to post it since I was amazed with the amount of water as well as the color. I normally don’t even stop here due to all of the traffic but I decided to stop this time since I knew that the falls would be spectacular. I took this shot on Monday 6/6/11 at about 11:50am. Because the sky was overcast I was able to keep the shutter open for 4 seconds without having any overexposure. I had the camera in Shutter Priority with the aperture at F-14. I set the ISO at 100 and the white balance at -0.3. I had to tilt my camera at about 75 degrees so I was concerned about sun glare since the sun was directly behind the falls. However, since I attached my ND8, CIR-PL and warming filter I was able to increase the shutter speed to 4 seconds. Unfortunately, there was one person standing on the bridge which kind of ruins the photo but at least they were wearing brown clothes so its less distracting. The waterfall was creating a pretty strong wind as you can see in the movement of the trees in the right and left corners of the photo. The water spray from Multnomah Falls causes a lot of water spray so I normally choose to stand as far back as I can. However, I was able to get somewhat close to the falls and open the lens to 17mm in order to photograph the entire waterfall as well as the splash below. I was using my Canon T1i along with my Sigma 17-70mm lens. I made sure to use my tripod, bubble level and remote switch to avoid any camera shake or blur.
[/caption] Fall foliage is abundant along the Columbia River Gorge which makes for some spectacular photographs when you can include any of the numerous waterfalls. The Fall season arrives early in the Gorge but the Fall colors usually don’t arrive until just before Winter. This can create a great scene since the area is inundated with moister which allows the waterfalls to swell. You can then take advantage of the Autumn colors along with the movement of the creeks and waterfalls. I took this shot early in the morning and the skies were well overcast and there was a light rain coming down. Due to the glare being created by the overcast and overexposed sky as well as from the glare from the waterfall I resorted to attaching my ND8 filter to my Canon 18-55mm lens. I also attached my warming filter in order to capture the warm colors of the foliage. Because I set the Shutter Priority to 10 seconds the aperture was at F-25. I also set the ISO to 200 but the white balance to -1.3. The 100 ISO setting was too low so I ended up having to increase it to 200. However, I was able to reduce the white balance in order to combat the higher ISO. I wanted to get as much of the waterfall in the photo so I stood near the lodge and set the focal length at 24mm. I used my tripod, bubble level and remote switch to ensure there was no camera shake. You can see how much the trees were moving due to the wind being created by the waterfall. You can really get soaked when trying to cross the bridge and this day was no exception. I really wanted to create a long exposure in order to show just how awesome the waterfall is.
[/caption] It’s been raining a lot this Spring so I decided to take advantage of the one dry day which was of course last Monday. It seemed that the best weather in the Pacific Northwest was along the gorge, so I again headed east of Portland. I have to admit that I’m getting somewhat tired of waterfalls about now. I have been itching to get some panoramic views of the Cascades. Who am I kidding, I love waterfalls. I could photograph them 365 days a year. Gotta love the Northwest. Since the rain clouds were kind of settling just east of the Bonneville dam I stopped at the Multnomah Falls parking area and again hiked above the falls towards Larch Mountain. I was able to ditch the crowds once I got to the top of the falls as I made my way towards the higher elevations. Monday’s are always a great time to avoid the masses. I set out to take advantage of the overcast sky’s so I could test my luck on setting my shutter between 10 and 12 seconds and I wasn’t disappointed. I was able to get this shot while setting my shutter speed to 10.37 seconds. You can really see the complete path of the water as it heads downstream. Every nook and cranny can bee seen, along with the neon greens of the vegetation. To avoid too much unwanted light, due to the long shutter exposure, I attached my ND4 along with my warming filter and my CIR-PL. Using my ND8 would have been overkill since the sun was perfectly blocked by the overcast sky’s most of the time. I was like a kid in a candy store on this day. You couldn’t have taken a bad picture. Most of the vegetation is out, along with the many spring flowers. I set my camera to shutter priority and had the ISO at 200 since it was a little dark on the trail. The F stop was at 25.8 and I was using my 18-55mm lens which was at 34mm focal length. I used my tripod on this shot as well as the entire day. Now is the time to hit the trails if you want to take advantage of the spring light around the Western slopes of the Cascades and the gorge. The rivers and creeks are cranking out their best right now and pretty soon the heat will be upon us and many of the smaller creeks will be mostly dried up.