Saturday, May 28, 2011
Spring in western Oregon is an amazing time to be out photographing waterfalls. The new foliage is so green it practically glows, wildflowers are popping up everywhere, and the falls are at their peak flow.
Located in a temperate rain forest in the foothills of the Cascade Mountain Range, Oregon’s Silver Falls State Park is one of the state’s premier locations for photographing waterfalls. Its 8.7 mile Trail of Ten Falls is the star attraction, passing by more than ten falls, four of which can be accessed from behind and all of which are photo worthy.
The weather was perfect on this particular Saturday. It poured rain in the morning which served to increase the flow of water even more than the typical spring day—as well as to create interesting opportunities for macro photography. This is one area that is relatively new to me. I couldn’t imagine a more beautiful place to practice although Darla and Lewis would have probably preferred that I spend less time practicing and more time making my way down the trail. At one point Darla started calling me “Marilyn”, a little joke that will come back to bite her once her mother-in-law reads this post.
By early afternoon the rain had let up leaving me with sometimes sunny-sometimes cloudy light. It was sunny when we arrived at Lower South Falls. As a rule, direct sun is not particularly desirable when photographing falls; in this case, the sunlight on Lower South Falls was gorgeous and the leaves on the surrounding trees looked as though they were illuminated from within. I wouldn’t have changed a thing.
After Lower South Falls we had a decision to make. The 8.7 mile trail is not a loop so at some point one or all of us would have to turn back. Darla decided she would walk back to the camper and meet us further down the trail. Lewis decided he would stay with me. He paused for a quick portrait among some ferns as we headed toward Lower North Falls. With so many different falls to take in, we spent quite a bit of time ranking them and discussing their pros and cons.
By the time we all arrived at the North Falls, Darla included, it was starting to get dark. It had begun to rain again—harder than ever—but I was able to set up my final shot of the day out of the rain. North Falls flows over a massive overhang creating a conveniently sheltered location in which to capture a unique view of the falls and the valley beyond (featured image).
[Click on the featured image or any link to view the six-image gallery.]
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