[/caption] The Tom McCall Nature Preserve is well worth the 85 mile drive from Portland. I’ve driven through the gorge many times but I had never stopped to visit this part of Oregon. I normally just gaze out my window and stare at the amazing cliff’s high above or along the Columbia river so I was hoping to finally spend a day exploring some of the basalt cliffs. It’s hard to describe just how magnificent this place really is. I had to choose between 10 photos before settling on this one but it hardly shows just how many photographic opportunities exist. You can see Mt. Adams along the entire trail that winds up to 1722′ Tom McCall point as well as view Mt. Hood once you’ve reached the summit. You can see more of Mt. Adams as you wind up the 1.6 mile trail towards the top Tom McCall summit. The views are stunningly beautiful and you better plan on bringing several memory cards because you will need them. You can also plan on experiencing some very high winds almost anytime of the year. You will notice that many of the trees are growing in the east direction with many of their branches leaning towards the east. Since parts of the trail hug near the steep cliffs it’s best to pay attention while hiking along parts of the trail since a strong wind gust could easily catch you off guard and blow you right off the cliff. Even the winding road that takes you to the Rowena Crest Viewpoint is worth stopping to take several pictures. The road that takes you here is part of the Old Columbia River Highway and it was probably one of the toughest parts of the highway to build. I took this photo at about 5:00pm and because the wind was so strong I wasn’t able to use a tripod all day. The wind was just too strong and each time my photos would turn out too blurry. Having a good steady hand and utilizing the sharp program in Photoshop helped. I was using my Canon EOS T1i along with my Sigma 17-70mm lens. I attached my warming filter and CIR-PL filter to ensure that the sky was well saturated and the foreground and landscape showed off their brilliant colors. Without these two filters, your entire day would have been ruined and none of your photos would probably be useable due to the harshness of the blinding hard sun. I set the focal length at 17mm in order to create as much of the landscape as possible as well as create a large field of view. I had the camera in Program/Normal mode so the aperture was at F-6 and the shutter speed at 1/125 second. I wanted to limit the amount of light to enter the cameras sensor so I set the ISO to 100 and then reduced the white balance to -1. As you can see in this photo the sun was at about 90 degrees in the far left corner of the photo and I was facing southwest.