Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Columbia Gorge Waterfalls and Vistas Workshop

Although many visits and workshops have taken place over the years in the Gorge, every visit has unique and interesting aspects. This June workshop was focused on visiting familiar areas as well as some beautiful and less well known areas to photograph.

We started the workshop at one of finest vistas in the Columbia Gorge, Women's Forum Overlook. This gives everyone a chance to meet, discuss gear and other make adjustments while taking in the view and scouting different compositions along the Overlook. This is a place worth visiting time and again, as the light and clouds are always changing. The view of Vista House is an added bonus.

Here are two versions of the same scene from different angles, with different light and processing.

Kira Bartlett, ©2016
Larry Holmes, ©2016

The first waterfall visit was to the unusual and varied Panther Creek Falls north of Carson. After a very short walk, one can shoot from the well placed platform, or venture along the creek for a wide variety of compositions.

Many falls and streams to photograph at Panther Creek

Steve Synder, ©2016
After lunch at Skamania Lodge Cafe, we headed back to Oregon and visited Starvation Creek with it's falls and variations in compositions in the creek. It seemed the creek had been scoured a bit, with a very humble amount of vegetation this visit. Participants found their own unique and intimate views of this lovely creek, as well as the falls.

Back in Washington via the Hood River Bridge, we stopped at one of my favorite small falls in the Gorge, Dog Creek Falls. With some very nice late afternoon light, the falls was quite charming. Chinook Salmon spawn here in the fall.

Suzanne Michalik, ©2016
Our last area was Hamilton Island, overlooking the Gorge to the west. Although sunset was a bit demure, we still had some pleasant light on the clouds, promenades and features around St. Peter's Dome. Pearson Island, Beacon Rock and the surrounding bird sanctuary are a most pleasant place at sunset.

Photographing along the Columbia River

Steve Synder, ©2016

Photographs from this workshop can be seen here>>

Friday, July 1, 2016

A Short Addendum to the Olympic Workshop, May, 2016

After returning to the cabin at 11pm after a very long but fine day of instructing, driving and dinner making, it seemed like a good idea to get in some photography before ending the day. There is little or no personal shooting while teaching, but the night sky was interesting and it can be very peaceful and relaxing shooting at night....

Retrieving my camera and tripod and heading to the shoreline, there was an amazing glow of lights over Pyramid Peak. It was very bright and beautiful, but my first thought was the military was doing some kind of odd testing. Part of the display was a giant beam of white light that one normally does not see in these latitudes.

Aurora Borealis, Lake Crescent, Olympic National Park. Byron Will, ©2016
 Rushing to the shore, the light was changing subtly every moment. It was quite spectacular. One detail that was missed was not fully tightening one section of the tripod leg sufficiently. While taking an exposure with the waves pounding right next to me, I heard the dreaded sound of my camera landing in the water. It was so dark, it fell over without me even seeing it fall. The cable release was just long enough to give a tug on my hand.

Aurora Borealis, Lake Crescent, Olympic National Park. Byron Will, ©2016
Completely upset and tired, the camera and lens were promptly tested (comatose), so were placed in a warm oven to (hopefully) revive. By the next morning (with not very much sleep for me), they came slowly back to working order. A big sigh of relief!

Aurora Borealis, Lake Crescent, Olympic National Park. Byron Will, ©2016