Upper North Falls

Trail of Ten Falls, OR

[/caption] The Trail of Ten Falls is found within Silver Creek Falls Sate Park and is the primary draw to the park. The Park offers 10 spectacular waterfalls as well as a journey to some of the most awesome geological wonders. This is Oregon’s largest State Park and offers over 9,000 acres of wilderness as well as over 8 miles of hiking trails that takes you near each of the falls. Upper North Falls is one of the most spectacular but it is also one of the least known since it’s on a hiking trail that is split from the main trail. The waterfall is also the end of the trail head since the massive basalt cliff meets you head on as the waterfall spills over its edge. Getting to the head of the waterfall can also be very difficult since the constant spray of the waterfall creates a very slippery and slimy descent towards the creeks edge. In order to get a good photo without ending up with a soaked lens you must hike down the creek a bit and take your chances on the slippery basalt rocks. Only then can you set up your tripod and try to take a photo before your lens becomes soaked. Upper North Falls may only be 65 feet tall but if the water level is high the waterfall can grow in lateral size while it spans the length of the basalt cliff just before it spills over the edge. In order to take advantage of the stark green vegetation and high water levels you are best advised to visit in either late May or early June. If Spring is getting a late start you may find your best time to visit the park during the last weeks of June. It is a very sensitive timing issue since you want to be there when the vegetation is at its peak but also when the water level is at its highest. Visit too early and the vegetation will still be brown and lack most color and if you wait too long the water level will be low and the waterfalls will be reduced to a small trickle as well as the creek itself. You also want to make sure you visit on a very cloudy and possibly rainy day in order to avoid too much overexposure. I took this photo on June 10th and it was a very overcast and rainy day. It was about 10:10am and the sun was almost directly behind the waterfall. Luckily the overcast sky’s hid the sun but still created somewhat of a hue. I set the shutter speed at 6 seconds in order to get the stop look from the waterfall and creek. To do this I made sure to attach my ND4, CIR-PL and warming filter. I also set up my tripod, bubble level and remote switch. I had to carefully place the tripod along the edge of the rocks and since the rocks were slippery than snot I pretty much held my breath that I wasn’t going to lose my footing and fall in the water. I was using my Sigma 17-70mm lens and set the focal length at 17mm in order to maximize the field of view and create a panoramic view. The aperture was at F-10 and I set the ISO at 100 and kept the white balance at 0. Due to the constant spray from the waterfall and the rain coming down I had a hard time increasing the shutter speed to over 6 seconds.

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