[/caption] If there ever was a place that you would think you would catch a glimpse of Bigfoot it would be anywhere along the Pacific Northwest. This is especially true on the western flanks of the Cascade mountain range that stretches from Canada to the northern parts of California. The Douglas Fir trees that line the western slopes are some of the biggest trees on the planet and are draped with flora that allows it to take on a jungle look. However, taking a panoramic photo of the forest can be very tricky and always frustrating. The camera sensor seems to struggle when trying to focus on the scene which is primarily due to the fact the the trees are so dense and close together that it can cause the photo to look blurry. I normally try to take as many photos as I can and ensure that I set my camera on a tripod and use my bubble level and remote switch. This photo was taken on 9/5 and it was about 1:00pm. The clouds were starting to roll in and the sun was barely above the foothills. I wanted to include some of the low clouds but also get as many trees in the photo without too much glare. It looks like the photo is blurry but there wasn’t any wind and I steadied my camera on my tripod. The exposure time was only 1/25 second and the ISO was kept at 100 in order to avoid any overexposure. Since the sky was completely overcast I wanted to ensure that I kept only the forest in the scene so I set the focal length at 250mm. There were several hawks flying nearby so I had to make sure none of them ended up in the photo. You can also plan on coming across a flurry of rivers or streams whenever you hike in the Cascades.
[/caption] Ramona Falls is a great 7.1 mile hike within the Mt. Hood National Forest. I have meant to hike this trail for several years but I always chose to hike in an area that gave me a grand view of Mt. Hood. I finally chose to hike to Ramona Falls on one of the busiest days of the year…Labor Day! However, it was a great time to hike to the falls since it was overcast and rather chilly. You couldn’t see the mountain so the hike made perfect sense. However, the water level was rather low and all of the summer flowers were long gone at this point. The Ramona Falls loop is about 7.1 miles and the elevation gain is about 1,000 feet. The trail starts out through a mossy forest of small alders and hemlocks and parallels the Sandy river and Ramona Creek. The most scenic of the trail loop follows the mossy bank of Ramona Creek which also passes the huge granite cliffs just east of the trail. You can jump across the creek and look up at the immense granite facade and walk along the many fallen granite rocks resting on the floor of the cliffs. Most of them are covered by moss but many seem to have just broken from the cliffs and tumbled near your feet. This is a great spot to take some photos of the granite rock wall and the trees hanging along the cliff edge. There are many spots to take of the creek’s many small water falls that parallel the trail. The forest floor is teaming with mossy areas that create a very scenic and tranquil setting. Though my main goal was to photograph the falls, most of my photos that I took were mostly from the forest, the cliff’s, the creek and the forest high above the Sandy River. However, I was able to take several photos of the falls since it’s a very photogenic waterfall. However, I could only imagine how much water passes down the waterfall in early Spring. To get this shot, I was using my 18-55mm canon lens and had the focal length at 24mm. I was using my tripod along with my bubble level and remote switch. I was using the shutter mode and had the shutter at 3.22 seconds. The glare was too intense to increase the shutter time. The ISO was at 100 and the White Balance was at -2 due to the glare from the waterfall. The lens aperture was at F-22 since I was using my CIR-PL and my warming filter. I would highly recommend this trail since it’s a great area to get several different types of photos as well as offering a very scenic and calming environment.