[/caption] If you find yourself hiking along any of the hiking trails throughout the Columbia river gorge, you will find yourself in a scene just like this the photo portrayed here. Almost every hiking trail follows a creek with several small or large waterfalls emerging from the canyons and rocky creek beds. Just make sure that you bring your tripod, bubble level and remote switch or you won’t be able to take any photos that aren’t blurry. The tripod will enable you to get a pristine photo of the fast moving water barreling through the narrow, steep and rocky creek beds. If you are also wanting to include the wispy movement of the water, be sure to attach an ND filter so you can leave your shutter open for a minimum of 4 seconds so you can eliminate the glare from the water and light but end up with the blurred effect with the water cascading over the bedrocks. I actually had the shutter open for 10 seconds on this photo and attached my ND4 and CIR-PL to eliminate any glare. You will also want to open your lens to a wide angle view so the field of view is large. This will help ensure that the entire scene is in focus. I set the focal length at 17mm and was standing about 2 feet from the creek. It’s also important to take photos of moving water on only overcast or rainy days in order to reduce the strong overexposure elements the sun creates as well as the high glare emitted from the water.
[/caption] Wizard Island looks as though it’s floating above the teal blue lake known as Crater Lake National Park. I’ve added several photos of Crater Lake to my blog but I what I really liked about this photo is that 80% of this shot has the lake in it and it really shows just how magical and beautiful the lake truly is. I wanted to keep any vegetation out of the foreground so I could keep the field of view limited to lake in the foreground. It’s hard to believe that the sky is actually less blue than the lake. I visited Crater Lake on 6/30/10 and wrote an extensive article about the National Park on 7/6/10. In this photo you can see Wizard Island, Llao Rock which stands at 8,049 feet and 9,182 foot Mt. Thielsen. I took this photo while visiting the south eastern part of the Park and was hiking towards 8,054 foot Garfield Peak. It was about 4:15pm and the sun was just to my left. The sun was still pretty high since it was late June. I was using my Canon EOS T1i along with my Tokina 12-24mm wide angle lens. I wasn’t using a tripod or remote switch since I was hiking at such a fast pace. I attached my warming filter and my CIR-PL since the lake and sky were so blue and the warming filter helped bring out the contrasts in the cliffs along the volcano. I had the camera setting at Program/Normal mode so the aperture was set at F-5.6 and the exposure speed at 1/60 second. I also set the ISO to 100 and the white balance at -0.7 since the glare from the sun as well as from the lake was pretty intense. In order to maximize the field of view I made sure to focus on Llao Rock in order to avoid any blur due to the huge field of view in this photo.
[/caption] After two days of champagne like snow that fell in the Oregon Cascades near Mt. Hood, the clouds gave way and there was an abundant of sun to go around on Wednesday. After several weeks of dismal weather that brought very little snow, we had experienced a truly epic day in the Cascades. There is a great snow-shoe/x-country ski trail that is just 65 miles east of Portland. It’s a quick and easy drive from the city. The Enid lake loop is a very pleasant and easy 2.7 mile loop. You can also continue on the Crosstown trail if your eager to go further since there are miles of trails that zigzag throughout the wilderness. Unfortunately, you will have little luck finding a vantage point to get a clear view of Mt. Hood. Enid lake is one of the only places that opens to a view of the mountain. You can also blaze your own trail if your looking for some fresh powder void of any markings. The morning started out sunny and crisp but unfortunately the afternoon gave way to much warmer temperatures. I guess all things must come to an end. As the day went on the temperatures started to melt the snow from the trees which made it seem as though the forest was being inundated with rain drops the size of pennies. I took this particular shot around 11:00am, just as the sun was peeking through the tallest trees. Frozen Enid lake is in the foreground with Mt. Hood looming in the background. I spent most of my trip photographing the trees that had been blanketed by the snow. This particular photo was taken without a tripod since I decided that I wouldn’t need it. I was using my Canon EOS T1i along with my Tokina 12-24mm wide angle lens. I set the focal length at 18mm and since the camera was set in Program/Normal mode the aperture was at F-7.1 and the shutter at 1/125 second. Due to the sun gaining in intensity I set the ISO to 100 and the white balance at -0.3. I was also using my warming filter and my CIR-PL due to the blue skies blanketing the backdrop. I saw several rabbit tracks in the snow as well as a small creek that followed many parts of the trail. I’ve hiked and mt. biked some of these trails during summer and they are simply awesome. You can’t beat a short drive from Portland to revel in some of the most spectacular scenery in the Cascades.
[/caption] I am now starting to look forward to an early spring this year. I have all but lost hope in a snowy and amazing winter in the Northwest as they had predicted. Therefore, I am starting to give my attention to one of the most amazing places to visit during spring and that is the Columbia River Gorge. Both Washington and Oregon share in its beauty but the Oregon side has a lot more waterfalls and creeks to hike along. I snapped this photo last spring on 4/30/10 and it was later in the day around 4:15pm. The sun was out for most of the day and there weren’t many clouds to shade the gorge. However, since I waited until later in the day I was able to get this great shot of Tanner Creek with the unbelievable greenery surrounding the creek. However, I was only able to set the shutter speed to 1/2 second due to the light and glare still being created by the fast movement of the water. I was using my Canon EOS T1i along with my 18-55m lens. I set the focal length to 24mm in order to allow the vegetation and rocks to frame the photo. Since I was using shutter mode while in Program the aperture was at F-11. I set the ISO to 100 and the white balance at -0.7 in order to prevent too much glare but still get some of the blur from the movement of the water. I was using my tripod, bubble level and my remote switch as well as attaching my ND4, warming and CIR-PL filter. This allowed even a smaller amount of light to enter the lens. I can’t express how amazing the gorge is during spring. Especially since the snow is melting in the Cascades which creates a thunderous amount of water spilling through the waterfalls and engulfing its creeks. The vegetation explodes with neon greens and the flowers turn to all colors imaginable. Clearly a most epic scene that one must enjoy every year.