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A Landscape Photography Trip to Oregon

A Landscape Photography Trip to Oregon

Old Sep 10, 2018, 4:24 am
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A Landscape Photography Trip to Oregon

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Old Sep 10, 2018, 4:25 am
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Day 1


This trip wasn't really planned well in advance, or in advance at all. Flights out of Tampa weren't looking good on this Friday. Since nothing looked like a guarantee, I decided to take the only open flight out of Tampa, which was to Cincinnati. Once I got to Cincinnati, I had to decide whether I wanted to continue on to JFK to head over to Europe, or head up to Minneapolis and onward to Portland. I decided on the latter since it was a better use of time. Onward to Portland!

Today's route to Portland.



Finally in Portland after a long day of domestic flying.



My room for the night at the Hyatt Place near PDX. I used some Chase points to cover the cost as hotels were pretty expensive this weekend in Portland.




Day 2



Originally I planned to be awake for sunrise. A combination of poor weather and having gone to bed late, meant that I altered my plans a bit. I woke up around 7AM instead and headed out.

The first stop was the Vista House / Crown Point Viewpoint. The clouds were pretty dramatic. Also, the Altima had only 700 miles on it.



Crown Point Viewpoint.



Oh so many waterfalls. On the flight over to Portland I put together a list of maybe 20+ waterfalls I wanted to go photograph throughout the day. Luckily, I noticed mid-research that most of those were no longer accessible/closed due to last September's wildfire. This meant I'd have more time at the select waterfalls still accessible.

The first waterfalls on this were the Multnomah Falls, probably the most famous in the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon.



Vertical orientation of Multnomah Falls.



The historic highway that you would normally use in the Columbia River Gorge was still closed, so I was left with the normal interstate to get between waterfalls. The historic highway looks really nice in pictures, so I look forward to going back and driving that one day.



The next waterfalls were actually across the Columbia River in Washington state.



As a Floridian, I really really enjoy these sort of drives.



After about 45 minutes of driving, I arrived at the Panther Creek Falls in Washington. Most pictures of these falls you see are taken from ground level, but the trail down there was all taped off with warning signs everywhere about it being dangerous. Being by myself, I decided it wasn't worth slipping and hurting myself/breaking camera equipment, though the picture from down there would've been much better.



Panther Creek Falls, Washington.



Just driving along on the way back to Oregon.



The next stop was the Bridal Veil Falls, which was a short and scenic walk from the parking lot.



Bridal Veil Falls.



After Bridal Veil Falls, it was a short drive up the road to the Latourell Falls. I tried getting some pictures of the lower falls, but not only was the area extremely busy but it was also backlit. I decided to put the lower falls on the list for the next morning instead. The hike up to the upper falls is about one mile each way, but with decent elevation gain.



Latourell Upper Falls. Yes, I was in the water #dedication



Moss.



I got back to Portland around 3PM. I headed out to some food trucks for lunch. There were probably 30 food trucks present with plenty of cuisine options.



I decided on Indian.



After lunch, I transferred hotels to the Hyatt House in downtown Portland.



Pretty nice room.



Some nice condos in downtown Portland.



With the final few hours of daylight, I decided to go out for a walk around Portland and for dinner.



Really liking this new 16-35mm lens.



Walking around South Waterfront Park.



Marina.



Bridge.



Boat.



I settled on Lechon for dinner. I started with the fried Piquillo Pepper Empanadas, which were excellent.



Chose lamb for the main, which was also excellent.



I drove up to Pittock Mansion for a view of Portland around sunset. Unfortunately, you couldn't see Mt. Hood, which would normally be right behind the city. Hopefully my luck is better the next morning...




Day 3



Alarm: 4:00 AM. I'm not a morning person, but I've always wanted that picture of Mount Hood you always see on Instagram, magazines, TV, etc. I checked the weather for Trillium Lake (my destination to view the mountain) and saw overcast/fog. That was certainly disappointing, but somehow I still rolled out of bed. Don't worry, the thought of canning it all and going back to sleep was very much a possibility. Around 4:15AM, I set off on the 75-minute drive out to the lake.

On the way to the lake as twilight started, I could see that overcast seemed like an accurate prediction. However, as I got closer to the lake, the sky began to clear, and drastically at that. By the time I was ten minutes away, there wasn't a single cloud in the sky.

This trip finally sold me on the need to get some graduated ND filters (which just recently arrived) just because of how hard it was to shoot at the lake this particular morning with the sky being so bright. I prefer to get shots right in camera versus having to spend time in post playing around with things. After settling on a horizontal composition, I decided to switch it up a bit and go vertical. Normally I like wide, horizontal shots in landscapes, but I'm glad I decided on the vertical in the end.

The sky exploded with pink pre-sunrise.



Currently my favorite picture I've ever taken. I used my only ND filter I had, a 10-stop, along with a polarizer to reduce glare on the water. That resulted in a 76-second exposure at f/11 / iso100. Everything just worked out perfectly, the water was perfectly flat (greatly helped with the long exposure), the exploding colors in the sky and the cloud in front of the mountain came out of nowhere. This is why, no matter what the weather prediction is, you always get up and shoot if it's your only chance. You never know what's going to happen.



Also shot a mountain portrait at about 100mm.



The roads in Mt. Hood National Forest were very scenic as well. I left the lake around 7:00AM to head back to Latourell Falls to see if I could get a shot of the lower falls this time.



I stopped at a viewpoint along the way for another view of Mount Hood. The smoke in the sky became much more pronounced than it was the day before.



Enroute to the falls.



Latourell Lower Falls. I liked how this looked in-camera, but not so much now. Since I only had a 10-stop ND filter, the exposure was around 70 seconds which was far too long, and without the filter, far too short. I finally picked up a 6-stop so at least I have the option next time.



Hiked up behind the falls which was, well, wet.



Latourell Lower Falls.



That was the last picture I took as after Latourell Falls, I headed back into town for a nap before my flight. I ended up flying one-stop back home via Atlanta, which was much more convenient than flying down to Los Angeles and then taking a redeye home followed by work in the morning.

I thoroughly enjoyed my weekend in Portland and I look forward to returning one day once the other trails/waterfalls are once again accessible. Not to mention, I'd love to head out to the Oregon Coast as well. I learned a few things on this trip; always get up for the sunrise shoot and buy some grad filters. Thankfully, I finally did #2 .

Next up is my week-long trip to the Caucuses.
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Old Sep 10, 2018, 9:51 am
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Lovely pictures - I guess I'll have to add another US state to my to-go list
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Old Sep 10, 2018, 6:18 pm
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Beautiful photos! I used to go to Oregon for work a ton - and loved exploring Multnomah Falls on one of my visits to Portland. Thank you for sharing!
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Old Sep 10, 2018, 7:54 pm
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Spectacular photography! I am a local and it never gets old seeing how beautiful the Pacific Northwest truly is!
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Old Sep 11, 2018, 9:33 am
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Wow that Mt.Hood pic is perfect. Submit to Nat Geo!
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Old Sep 12, 2018, 9:02 am
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Originally Posted by Tocsin
Lovely pictures - I guess I'll have to add another US state to my to-go list
Thanks. Oregon is indeed a beautiful state, certainly worthy to be added to the list.

Originally Posted by 757
Beautiful photos! I used to go to Oregon for work a ton - and loved exploring Multnomah Falls on one of my visits to Portland. Thank you for sharing!
Thanks!

Originally Posted by Life in coach
Spectacular photography! I am a local and it never gets old seeing how beautiful the Pacific Northwest truly is!
Thank you!

Originally Posted by tennislover9
Wow that Mt.Hood pic is perfect. Submit to Nat Geo!
Thanks! if only it was that easy to get published with Nat Geo!
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Old Sep 12, 2018, 9:15 am
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Beautiful pictures, happy I came across your trip report, cant wait to see more
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Old Sep 12, 2018, 9:40 am
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Some very nice images there. I think the Trillium Lake set are show-worthy.

For those wanting to retrace your steps or for your next trip, a suggestion regarding shooting the Columbia Gorge: a mile or two west of Vista House is a pullout called the Portland Women's Forum viewpoint. The virtue of the shot of the Gorge from there is that you can include the Vista House, sitting on its clifftop, as well -



Finally, an hour east of Multnomah Falls on the Washington side of the river is the community of Maryhill. Originally intended as a utopian community, it never took off, but the home that the sponsor, Sam Hill (as in, "what the Sam Hill") built but never occupied is now a remarkable little museum, the Maryhill Museum of Art. Its collection is quite eclectic, ranging from a number of Rodin sculptures and plaster studies for the "big ones," it also has a fabulous collection of Native American arts, some excellent art glass, and a remarkable collection of miniature fashion mannequins from 1946 Paris, intended to allow the big fashion houses to get back on their feet after World War II. The museum's setting - on the clifftops overlooking the river, is spectacular. (By the time you get to Maryhill the landscape has changed completely to sagebrush and red rocks - the Cascades stop the rain.)

A couple of miles east of the museum, near the junction with US 97, is a replica of Stonehenge - as it was imagined in the 1920s to have looked like when erected - which Hill dedicated as a memorial to local men killed in World War I. At the time it was thought that the real Stonehenge was a site of human sacrifice, so the memorial was meant to condemn the sacrifice of young lives in war. It's a spectacular sight, especially at night when inevitable clear skies give you some amazing views of the stars. Here's a couple of pictures (not mine) -



strickerj likes this.
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Old Sep 12, 2018, 11:59 am
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Beautiful TR and photos. Loads of beauty in Oregon and the coast! We enjoyed 10 days in cannon beach, Lincoln city (salishan), and Portland in August. Fun weekend for you!!
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Old Sep 13, 2018, 3:35 pm
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Loved the pictures of my home state. As a kid, we would go to Gorge all the time. On your next trip, and it is waterfalls you are looking for, go about an hour south of Portland to Silver Creek Falls State Park. There are 20 falls just waiting for your photo opportunities.
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Old Sep 14, 2018, 11:46 am
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Impressive nature pictures!
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Old Sep 15, 2018, 12:27 pm
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Originally Posted by fotographer
Beautiful pictures, happy I came across your trip report, cant wait to see more
Thanks! More to come, my trip to the Caucuses just wrapped up and it was fantastic.

Originally Posted by gaobest
Beautiful TR and photos. Loads of beauty in Oregon and the coast! We enjoyed 10 days in cannon beach, Lincoln city (salishan), and Portland in August. Fun weekend for you!!
Thanks. Glad to hear you enjoyed your time in Oregon. 10 days sounds awesome, plenty of time to relax and take in the scenery.

Originally Posted by HawaiiTrvlr
Loved the pictures of my home state. As a kid, we would go to Gorge all the time. On your next trip, and it is waterfalls you are looking for, go about an hour south of Portland to Silver Creek Falls State Park. There are 20 falls just waiting for your photo opportunities.
Thanks, I do have a bit of a soft spot for waterfalls lol. Someone on my return flight actually mentioned Silver Creek, so it's definitely on the list for when I return. Hopefully, by then some more of the trails in the Gorge are re-opened as well.

Originally Posted by offerendum
Impressive nature pictures!
Thank you!
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Old Sep 15, 2018, 12:30 pm
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Originally Posted by Gardyloo
Some very nice images there. I think the Trillium Lake set are show-worthy.

For those wanting to retrace your steps or for your next trip, a suggestion regarding shooting the Columbia Gorge: a mile or two west of Vista House is a pullout called the Portland Women's Forum viewpoint. The virtue of the shot of the Gorge from there is that you can include the Vista House, sitting on its clifftop, as well -



Finally, an hour east of Multnomah Falls on the Washington side of the river is the community of Maryhill. Originally intended as a utopian community, it never took off, but the home that the sponsor, Sam Hill (as in, "what the Sam Hill") built but never occupied is now a remarkable little museum, the Maryhill Museum of Art. Its collection is quite eclectic, ranging from a number of Rodin sculptures and plaster studies for the "big ones," it also has a fabulous collection of Native American arts, some excellent art glass, and a remarkable collection of miniature fashion mannequins from 1946 Paris, intended to allow the big fashion houses to get back on their feet after World War II. The museum's setting - on the clifftops overlooking the river, is spectacular. (By the time you get to Maryhill the landscape has changed completely to sagebrush and red rocks - the Cascades stop the rain.)

A couple of miles east of the museum, near the junction with US 97, is a replica of Stonehenge - as it was imagined in the 1920s to have looked like when erected - which Hill dedicated as a memorial to local men killed in World War I. At the time it was thought that the real Stonehenge was a site of human sacrifice, so the memorial was meant to condemn the sacrifice of young lives in war. It's a spectacular sight, especially at night when inevitable clear skies give you some amazing views of the stars. Here's a couple of pictures (not mine) -



Thanks for the kind words. Maybe I'm a bit harsh on myself, but I wasn't initially very happy with the Mt. Hood shot, but with the praise I've gotten on FB, IG and here, I'm lightened up a bit with it.

Re: the Vista House shoot location. Damn. That was the shot I was looking for lol. Next time.

Someone on my inbound flight was talking about the Stonehenge thing, I just forgot to add it to the list. Would certainly make for a great location for some astrophotography.
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Old Oct 5, 2018, 12:42 pm
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I see a face in there.

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