Columbia River Gorge has a lot to offer with hundreds of hikes, spectacular views of the river and mountains and plenty of waterfalls. I did a lot of hiking past two years but I still have lots of places I need to discover and I want to come back to some of the hikes I've already did (f.e. since hiking up the Angel's Rest earlier this year I always wanted to go back there for the sunset).
This time I've made a trip to three waterfalls that are quite close to Portland, I've started by driving the Historic Columbia River Highway (US route 30) to the Portland Women's Forum hoping to take some pictures of the Vista House only to find it completely covered in clouds, after 30 minutes of waiting I've moved along (only to discover that by the time I actually got to Vista House the clouds have cleared).
I've then reached the Latourell Falls shortly after leaving Vista House. The waterfall is particularly difficult to capture, since the best vantage point is located quite near to the waterfall requiring a wide angle lens due to its height when at the same time the water spray is so heavy up there it's extremely hard to keep up with cleaning the front element. I think I'll have to try this one again late in the summer when the waterfall is not as strong as it was this time. I tried few other points but this one came out the best.
Pentax HD Ltd. 20-40mm/2.8-4.0 @20mm f/8 0.3s ISO 100
Next on the list was Elowah Falls located some 10 miles East. This one requires a small hike of about 0.8 mile in order to get to the waterfall. The waterfall itself was very strong this time with a heavy cloud of water spray blowing on the trail and a small bridge over the creek. I've found a good vantage point on a rock located quite high and to the right of the trail, where there was very little water spray from the falls and you can see a pine in the view to balance the composition.
Pentax HD Ltd. 20-40mm/2.8-4.0 @20mm f/8 0.6s ISO 100
I've found one more vantage point down the stream, although it's a little obstructed I enjoyed the view with the river flow.
Pentax HD Ltd. 20-40mm/2.8-4.0 @20mm f/8 10s ISO 100
Finally I've arrived at Wahclella Falls, the hike is a little longer (just above 1 mile) and turns into a loop toward the end. Similar to the two waterfalls before that this one was very strong with lots and lots of water spray coming my way which made it quite challenging when trying to capture it up close. I've found one vantage point on a rock to the left of the trail and then one more a little to the right. I had to spend a minute after each shot wiping clean the filter on the lens to keep any usable quality but overall I'm happy with the results.
Pentax HD Ltd. 20-40mm/2.8-4.0 @20mm f/8 1/6s ISO 100
Pentax HD Ltd. 20-40mm/2.8-4.0 @20mm f/9 0.8s ISO 100
And the best for last - the most interesting viewpoint of Wahclella Falls I could find was a little downstream past the wooden bridge from the river level, the waterfall is a little obstructed but instead you get so much more of its beautiful surroundings.
Pentax HD Ltd. 20-40mm/2.8-4.0 @24mm f/8 3s ISO 100
Pentax HD Ltd. 20-40mm/2.8-4.0 @24mm f/8 1s ISO 100