[/caption] When the storm clouds rumble through the Columbia River Gorge you can get some great photos when standing along one of the many cliffs that surround the gorge. This photo was taken on a very overcast and rainy early summer late morning last week. The clouds were so thick and abundant that I could have spent all day photographing them. Unfortunately I was wanting to beat some of the rain and try to photograph as many waterfalls as possible before I got soaked. However, I ended up getting soaked anyways but was fortunate to get some great shots of the gorge and the waterfalls. This is exactly why the Columbia River Gorge is one of the most spectacular places on earth… it offers some of the most amazing and abundant waterfalls as well as the most amazing cliff views in America. This photo was taken near the Horsetail falls trailhead and is only about a 1 mile hike from the old highway. You pass two awesome waterfalls on your way to the viewing area and there is plenty of room to set up your tripod and wait for the clouds to open up. However, on this particular day I was moving pretty quickly so I didn’t bother setting up with my tripod. In order to ensure that I wouldn’t end up with any camera shake or blur I removed my CIR-PL and made sure to turn on the IS. I was still able to keep the ISO at 100 and set the white balance at -1. The light was still pretty bright since it was about 11:30am and the clouds were somewhat thin above me. I did make sure to attach my warming filter and positioned the camera at about a 30 degree angle in order to avoid too much glare in the background. The camera mode was in Normal/Program so the aperture was set at F-7 and the shutter speed at 1/197 second. This helped prevent any camera shake or blur. I was using my Sigma 17-70mm lens and set the focal length at 38mm in order to keep the foliage from entering in the foreground. You just want to make sure and keep a steady hand and lightly press down on the shutter or you will end up with blurry photo.
[/caption] This photo was taken from Washington State off of a narrow part of highway 14 that is called Cape Horn. It’s a great place to take in the views of the Columbia River as well as the gorge and many forested areas in Washington and Oregon. If you’re here at the right time you can witness the sun and clouds shifting around the sky which can really create some spectacular shadows and sun spots down below and in the distance. I took this photo on 5/16/11 and the time was 5:25pm. I made sure to visit before 6:00pm in order to avoid too much shadow from the low sun behind me and in the west. You can see how the sun creates some great personality in the river and gorge below. I took this with my Canon T1i along with my Sigma 17-70mm. I had the focal length at 17mm so I could get the most out of this panoramic view. I made sure to use my tripod, bubble level and remote switch to avoid any camera shake. I also attached my CIR-PL and warming filter to saturate the sky and enhance the lush colors below. I had the camera in program/normal mode so the aperture was set at F-7.1 and the shutter speed was at 1/100 second. I had the ISO at 100 and the white balance at 0. There is about 300 feet of area that you can move around to take pictures from this area but I posted this photo since I liked how the two giant trees are in the foreground that create a great scene as well as hide the farm house below. Oregon is on the right and Washington is on the left. There are several waterfalls that you can see on the Oregon side if you have a descent telephoto lens. The river was also about 15 feet above normal and I noticed that several trees that grow along the rivers edge were either drowning or had already drowned. Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams are just off in the distance and if you stay here long enough you can see bald eagles, osprey and hawks gliding along the cliffs.