[/caption] The best time to visit Silver Falls State Park is either in late Spring, when the water level is at is maximum or during Fall when the leaves are peaking. I always try to visit during the middle of the week since the crowds can be unbearable. It’s also impossible to get a photo of the waterfalls without ending up with several hikers in the photo. This is especially frustrating when you are trying to set your shutter priority at 15 seconds. You will also find crowds of photographers on weekends. I normally get here as early as possible and leave just before dark. I also plan my trips when the weather is overcast and is calling for rain showers. This ensures the best photos and keeps many of the hikers at bay. You will need to plan on doing some serious hiking since you may end up wanting to hike to the waterfalls during the morning and then again in the early evening since the sunlight is dramatically different. I usually end up hiking up to 12 miles so I usually take a power nap in the afternoon since the lighting isn’t as good and I’m exhausted during the ride home. This photo of 93 foot Lower South Falls is one of the most photogenic since it’s fairly wide and has lots of foliage surrounding it but without hiding the waterfall. There are several areas to set up your tripod but you just need to be aware of hikers since the trail cuts directly behind the falls. I was using my Sigma 17-70mm lens and attached my ND4, CIR-PL and warming filter in order to get the movement of the water. The camera was in shutter priority and I set the shutter at 4 seconds. The aperture was set at F-16 since I had the ISO at 100 and the white balance at -0.3. I wanted to get the most panoramic photo so I had the focal length at 19mm. I also made sure to use my tripod, bubble level and remote switch. The lighting was pretty low since it was well overcast and it was about 4:20pm. I actually took this photo on 6/10/11 and the vegetation was absolutely brilliant. The foliage was incredibly neon green due to the insane amount of rain the Willamette Vally had received during Spring. I also made for an above average amount of fast moving water cascading down from the Cascade Mountains. This is a must place to visit for all photographers.
[/caption] The waterfalls are spectacular at Silver Falls State Park, OR. I was surprised to get a photo of the south waterfall since it’s normally littered with hikers all along the trail between the falls. I ended up with a good window and decided to take as many photos as I could. I was lucky enough to choose a day to visit the park on a very overcast but fairly warm day. I was even surprised that I didnt’ see any other photographers the entire day. Normally you will see dozens of photographers on any late spring/early summer overcast day. The vegetation is absolutely blinding with its neon green colors which goes very well with the dark black basalt rock all along the waterfalls. I was using my Canon T1i along with my Sigma 17-70mm lens. This is pretty much my only lens that I use when photographing waterfalls since it takes unbelievable shots and I normally stand no more than a few yards from the base of the waterfalls or 100 yards when taking a panoramic shot. I made sure to attach my ND8, CIR-PL and warming filter as well as use my tripod, bubble level and remote switch. I had the camera mode in shutter priority and set the shutter at 4 seconds and the aperture was at F-16. I set the ISO at 100 and the white balance at -1.3 due to the glare from the sun which was just overhead. I had the focal length at 19mm and stood just above the falls in order to frame the vegetation around the waterfall as well as create the most dynamic panoramic photo as I could.