2014, #7 … The Gorge

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“The Gorge”
Arca Swiss Rm3di/Phase One IQ180 back, Rodenstock 40mm HR, 5.0 secs at f/11, iso 35

In October I made a trip to Oregon in hopes of getting a better shot of the famous Japanese Maple tree in the Portland Japanese Garden.  Last year I was a day or two late, and although I did manage a nice image which is a little unique compared to most, this year I went a few days earlier so I could get the more traditional shot with the deep red leaves backlit by the mid afternoon sun. Alas, not only was I early, I was so early it hadn’t even started to change yet. Seems this year the maple peaked nearly two weeks later than it did last year (and I was told last year it was late). Here’s what it looked like this year, and the gardener told me the slight reddish color is how it looks all the time. Still a nice shot, but not what I was hoping for … maybe next year.

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“The Tree”
Arca Swiss Rm3di/Phase One IQ180 back, Rodenstock 40mm HR, 4.0 secs at f/22, iso 35 (2 shot stitch)

But I did manage to get into the Columbia River Gorge, and one of the places on my list was Oneonto Gorge.  I’ve seen images from this location and was looking forward to capturing my own version. While a pretty short hike, getting there is a little bit of an adventure, because the mouth of the canyon is blocked with a massive log jam that needs to be navigated … a little hazardous. I made the mistake of trying to get around and over the log jam without getting my feet wet, balancing precariously in a few spots, until I finally could see the other side and realized there was no way to shoot in the canyon without getting feet and more wet. Not worrying about staying dry made the trip out much easer.

The white ripples in the water on the sides are caused by the constant water dripping down the canyon wall sides. It is a remarkable place, and further up is a waterfall that may be interesting to shoot.  The water was freezing cold, and by the time I had captured some nice images my feet were numb enough I was concerned about getting frostbite, and it was getting late … I wasn’t climbing back over that log jam in the dark.

I’ve seen an image of this location taken when it was raining and it was amazing.  Not sure if I’m adventurous enough to try it … but next year when I go back I’ll at least check it out.  (Spend a few days in Portland and it will rain at least one of them 🙂 )

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