Spring storm along the Gorge

The Vista House on the Columbia River Gorge, OR

[/caption] The Columbia River Gorge can offer some pretty spectacular scenery but there is nothing better than catching a scene like this. After spending a sunny morning and afternoon along the Gorge a monster of a storm was moving in from the northwest, so I decided to drive up near the Vista House to see what kind of shots I might be able to get. The sun continued to peak out from the fast moving storm clouds so I was able to take some shots as the sun moved down and along the river below. I started taking several photos just as the sun had shined directly over the Vista House and the surrounding trees. You don’t get many opportunities like this so I felt pretty blessed even as I had just taken some of my best photos of the waterfalls earlier in the day. Spring is the best time to take pictures in the Gorge and May is the best month. This shot was taken last year on 5/18/10 and it was about 5:25pm. The sun was actually directly behind me but I was able to take advantage of my position as you can see from this photo. Though very few good photo opportunities arise when the sun is behind you, this was surely an exception to the rule. The sun was low enough to create some awesome cloud shapes as they quickly engulfed the mountains and river below. I was using my Canon EOS T1i along with my Canon 18-55mm kit lens. I attached my warming filter and CIR-PL and made sure that I was using my tripod, bubble level and remote switch. I maxed out the focal length to 55mm but you can see that the field of view was high so I wasn’t worried about any blur. In fact, I had to max out the focal length in order to avoid any of the tall trees near me to show up in the photo. This would have ruined the photo for sure. The camera was in Program/Normal mode and the aperture was at F-7.1 and the shutter speed at 1/125 second. I had the ISO at 200 and the white balance at -0.3. Each time I set the ISO to 100 it was too dark and increasing the white balance wasn’t enough to offset the need to increase the ISO. It’s finally April and now there is only one month until May and I hope to spend as much time as possible trying to get more photo opportunities like this.

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