On the way in

Many posts here have already addressed the loss of the Columbia Gorge falls (at least for decades).
I thought this photo really showed the trails and the forest on the way to the falls.
This is Ponytail falls above Horseshoe falls.
They were torched in the blaze, very hard hit and this forest is gone.
Not sure if this kind of photo works for most people but this is a hand held shot on the way
to the falls.
I look through the hundreds of Gorge falls photos I have, but this is really what I miss.
The hikes to the falls, and the glimpse as you approach.

Nikon D610, 20mm f1.8, 1/40 iso400 handheld


I like this shot, and I like this type of shot. It’s kind of different; not the usual grand landscape way of looking at things.
I like how the waterfall is back in the distance, and the trees are sort of a screen in front. Lovely colors and nice depth.
Yup, I have relatives who live right in that area. Incredible what it did to the area.

Hi Dan,

this image brings back memories of me visiting the area. I love the greens you captured and it looks like the light was nice and even. I also like the texture the two prominent trees add to the scene, as well as the smaller diagonal leafy branch. I think the image becomes more special when knowing that this scene doesn’t exist anymore.

At first I was going to comment that the waterfall seems a bit far to the edge of the frame and pulls a lot of attention because it’s the brightest element. However, the longer I look at the image the less it bothers me – and it’s not like you can go back and reshoot with a tweaked composition.

Processing-wise the image looks a little like the highlights were suppressed too much for my taste. When you look at the image histogram you have quite a bit of headroom on the highlights. If this were my image I’d specifically try to brighten the foreground branch. Here’s a quick and extremely dirty photoshop sketch of what I’m thinking of: https://www.dropbox.com/s/s4369d4hm4dglzz/npn1.tif?dl=0


Also, when looking that the largest size you uploaded there is some color fringing visible at the right edge of the frame as well as some weird color and a black splotch on the edge of the water fall behind the branches. If you are able to edit using Adobe Camera Raw/Lightroom removing the fringing should be a simple one click operation. I don’t know where the blackness around the waterfall came from or how to address it.

I can see why you like this image, and now I’m a bit sad about what was lost in the fire.

Beautiful photo of Upper Horsetail Falls @Dan_Kearl. :wink:

Ponytail is one of my favorite falls in the gorge to photograph. This is a unique POV. Nicely done.

I can’t wait to start documenting the gorge during its regrowth.

Hey Dan!

I love the mood and feel of this image and the processing is great. The trees look amazing with that soft light. The arrangement of them is also nice.

My problem with this is that it feels like you are trying to have too many ideas in one image without any particular subject standing out as the central focus. The waterfall, being white and the brightest area of the scene, is pulling my eyes way over there to the left edge, and not allowing me to wander through the trees. If you cropped the waterfall out completely it might work, but right now I feel there is too much competition within the scene. Maybe if the trees had been framing the waterfall or something like that then the combination could have worked, but right now it just isn’t making sense compositionally. I know you probably couldnt have shot these trees and the waterfall any other way, so it might just not be possible to execute this idea in this location.

Hope this can help and makes sense!

Your friend,

Dan, this is lovely and works for me. Even without any knowledge of the fire and destruction, this image still tells a story of the forest and the waterfall helps bring context and location.

I do like the posted suggestion in terms of highlights and luminosity. The only other suggestion I have has to do with distortion, possibly bringing the trees on the right a little more vertical. But that’s minor.

The second posting has a little more pop than the first. I do agree with Eric with respect to his difficulty finding a lack of focus. My eye is pulled to the tree immediately next to the main falls. Removing that tree or moving your camera position a tiny bit more to the left and away from that tree might give the image more balance. But that isn’t always possible. Having been there, I know the falls are not easy to photograph. There is the typical shot that everyone tries to get and I appreciate this image because it is so different the cliched image we all recognize.

I like this different perspective on the waterfall because I can relate to it. Several waterfalls in my area have a trail that approaches it through the woods and there’s always a sense of excitement when it finally appears. In that sense it’s a personal experience that you’re sharing and that’s more valuable than beauty in my opinion. The compass a bit unorthodox with the subject on the far left but I’m ok with it. Does that bright yellow log in the center bother you? I can’t decide. It’s an attention getter.