[/caption] Fast moving Tanner Creek carves its way through the moss covered basalt boulders that line the Gorge! Tanner Creek offers one of the most scenic and easiest 2 mile round trip hiking trails in the Gorge. The entire trail parallels the creek with several opportunities to photograph the fast moving creek as well as stop to admire some of the waterfalls. The trail ends at the foot of Wahclella Falls and then makes a short little loop before catching up to the same trail that you came in on. If you like to scramble up basalt rocks that are fairly steep, you can hike up about 500 feet to get a more panoramic view of the steep and intimate gorge that engulfs the area. There literally is no way out of this part of the gorge without turning back and returning the same way you came. I took this shot by making a short hike from the trail and set up my tripod just above the creek. I set the shutter priority at 4 seconds and made sure to attach my warming and ND4 filter.
[/caption] Tanner creek cuts through the deep chasms of the gorge until it reaches the Columbia River. An easy but very photogenic trail takes you to one of the most spectacular waterfalls and creeks in the gorge region. Tanner creek is only about a 1 mile hike but takes you on a journey that you will never forget. There is an amazing waterfall that spills through an incredible canyon-end grotto. This photo was taken at about the 1/4 mile mark and just a few feet from the trail. There are hundreds of places to photograph along the creek so be sure to have plenty of time and patients. Don’t forget your tripod and bring as many ND filters that you have. I was using my Sigma 17-70mm lens when I took this shot and I set the focal length at 28mm. I was using my tripod and made sure to attach my ND4, CIR-PL and warming filter as well as utilize my remote switch and bubble level. I set the shutter priority at 4 seconds and the aperture was set at F-22 and I reduced the white balance to -2 due to the strong reflection. I also made sure to keep the ISO at 100 in order to eliminate too much glare and over exposure.
[/caption] A neon green fern standing over Tanner creek as the water travels towards the Columbia River. The early parts of the trail towards Wahclella Falls follows closely near the creek before it quickly climb’s high above the water. The first 1/4 mile offers some excellent opportunities to stand along the rocky beaches and snag some great photos like this one. There are several areas where the huge mossy rocks create a slow moving pool so you can easily walk out along the creek and snap some photos of the forest lining the waters edge. I was using my Sigma 17-70mm lens and set the focal length at 31mm in order to frame the fern and use it as the main subject but keeping a large field of view so the entire photo is in focus. I set the shutter priority at 20 seconds so I could blur the water as much as possible and having no wind helped keep the foliage from showing any movement. I attached my ND8, CIR-PL and warming filter in order to set the shutter to 20 seconds. I was standing on the trail and used my tripod, bubble level and remote switch. The aperture was at F-14 and I set the ISO to 100 and the white balance to -0.7. This was my last photo of the day and it was about 6:20pm and there was very little light, which made it a great opportunity to open the shutter for a longer period and really take advantage of the low light. Now I just need to go back next week to see if the wildflowers are taking hold.
Tanner Creek offers so many photographic opportunities all year long and Spring is no exception. During the Spring you are able to capture the neon greens and fast moving water that floods through the waterfalls and creeks that make up the Columbia River Gorge. You always want to remember to bring your ND filters as well as your tripod whenever visiting the Gorge. This is especially true if you expect to leave your shutter open in order to create a blur effect from the fast moving water. I took this shot on 5/18/10 at about 2:10pm. It was a sunny afternoon so I decided that it would be more effective if I stood along the bank of the river so I could hide beneath the trees in order to block most of the harsh sunlight. I wanted to get a blur effect but I didn’t want it to be overexposed. I attached my ND8 filter along with my warming filter to my Canon 18-55mm lens. I placed my tripod along the creek and made sure that it was steady in order to avoid any movement caused by the swift moving creek. I also attached my bubble level and remote switch. I wanted to frame the creek with as much vegetation in order to create personality. I added as much field of view so most of the vegetation was in focus without losing focus on the creek it self. The warming filter also helped bring out the colors from the vegetation in the water. This shot really shows just how intimate and scenic the Gorge really is. I set the focal length at 35mm and had the camera mode in Shutter priority. The aperture was at F-29 since I was using my ND8. I set the shutter speed to 3.29 seconds, the ISO to 100 and the white balance to -1.7. Spring also brings out dozens of different species of wildflowers and really allows the lush vegetation to flourish.
[/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.