Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Multnomah Falls

The most famous waterfall in the Columbia River Gorge is Multnomah Falls.  Traveling east to west down the gorge makes this one of the last falls to see.

I expected it to be busy and I was right.  There is a large parking area and a small visitor center with snack bar.  It is also literally right next to the railroad tracks.

You can see the falls from the parking lot and a very short 50 yard walk gets you to the famous view looking up to the bridge.

I along with a few dozen others were taking in the view.  I set up the camera to make a few images and noticed a gentleman with a 4x5 working the scene.  Makes me wish I was toting mine, but I sadly do not travel for business with that camera anymore.

The hardest part about getting this image is getting it without people on the bridge.  My plan was to take a few and then blend a few images where I could pick sections of the bridge without people.  However, I got lucky and had a window of just a few seconds where I was able to make the shot.

With that in the bag, I knew it was time to get back on the road and finish the drive into Portland.  Getting an early start, as usual, had paid off and allowed me the chance to see a few things along the way. It was not more than a few minutes here or there, but it sure was a great place to see.

Friday, April 25, 2014

A Sneak Peak

One of the places I drove past between the two waterfalls in my last post was a small parking area for Elowah Falls.  I had seen a few images and had read one had to walk up the creekbed to see the falls.  I started following the creekbed but found that soon the water was deep and you would have to cross a logjam.  

Neither of those would normally stop me but this trip they did.  I was traveling light and did not have boots with me.  I also did not have my Keen sandals either.  Either would have been great for the walk.

The next step would have been to go barefoot.  I gave that a passing thought but at the time I was nursing a broken toe and the thought of going barefoot in a rocky streambed was not too enticing.

I suppose I could have worn my hiking shoes in the water but having wet shoes for the rest of the trip did not sound that much fun either......

So discretion won out and I stopped, made this image to give myself a sneak peak and knew I would have to make the rest of this trek another day.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Waterfalls of the Columbia River Gorge

As you enter the western half of the Columbia River Gorge, the area gets greener and you begin to see signs for waterfalls.  Most are very close to the road.  I saw the signs for one fall and took the exit.  It looped around to the south frontage road where there was a small parking area right up against the trees.  There a trail started that had a waterfall just .3 miles away.  I walked a few switchbacks as the trail traversed the steep hill and quickly dropped into a side stream.

The unmistakable sound of a waterfall soon followed and the sound of the interstate faded.

You walk a short way and suddenly you see the falls.  They were loud.  A mist hung in the air.  Even in the drier fall season it was a sight to see.

I made a few images, but found the spray was so much I could not get an image up close.  I had to back away and even then, I had to wipe the lens after every shot.

I drove farther down the road and saw a sign for more falls.  I again followed the side road and found another little fall, right on the roadside.  No hike required.

I made a couple more images there and was soon driving west.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Columbia River Gorge

I was in Washington and Oregon for a week.  I landed in Seattle and was going to drive a loop from Seattle, to Yakima, to Portland and back to Seattle.  I always bring my camera on these trips hoping I might get a chance to make a few photographs along the way.

I was looking forward to the drive from Yakima to Portland as the highway follows the Columbia River Gorge.  This was an area I had read about in the Journals of Lewis and Clark, seen in National Geographic and always wanted to visit.

As luck would have it, I was able to get an early start from Yakima leaving at 5AM to have plenty of time to make the drive along with a few stops for images.

When you meet the eastern edge of the gorge, it is very dry and the surrounding land is a high somewhat arid area on the dry side of the state.

I marveled at the rocks and the river of the area.  I drove on the Washington side for a while, it is the quieter side of the river as the Interstate is on the Oregon side.  

As I drove west the gorge began to get greener and at that point I crossed over to the Oregon side of the river.  I knew there were a great many waterfalls, and I planned on seeing a few of them as time permitted on the drive.

I noticed on the map that the old highway had a few sections left that were more winding than the Interstate and decided to take one of those.   Here the road drove more along the bluff, up and down.  It was here I found a great view upstream taking in the entire valley.

One thing I noticed as I drove was that this was both a very scenic and very well "used" area.  Much like the Mississippi River, the highway runs on one side and railroad tracks run on both sides of the river.  Both are major arteries of commerce.  It makes taking purely landscape images difficult but the sheer beauty of the place made it a great drive,

Farther west, the gorge kept getting greener and here I found another section of road I was able to get an image looking west into the heart of the gorge where the waterfalls would be.

By the look of the map, they were all very close to the road and I knew I would get a few opportunities to stop and see a couple on my way.

I drove west looking forward to what it would bring.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Autumn Colors of Fort Worth

I keep looking through the images I made last fall and finding more things I had not posted here in the blog.  For those of you who ever actually read this blog, you probably wonder if I get tired of taking images around town all fall and posting them in bluebonnet season. :-)

I know, my posting does seem to run at least a season behind.

Anyway, here are a few more images from fall.  These were photographed around Fort Worth in November.  I frequent several parks in the area chasing the best of the local color.  I find the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving to all be great for photography and try to make the most of them.

All of these locations are within about a ten minute drive and all are city parks.

I like having that color and that access to photograph it.  Although, as I keep saying, most local photographers do not recognize that we get good local color and just do not go look for it.  Then they act amazed I can find it.

There is an old saying-you make your own luck.  It really applies to finding fall color.

Here are some mornings I made that luck.  I photographed both our Japanese Garden where the namesake maples always seem to peak at Thanksgiving and the red oaks in a hilly local park.