Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls – Wet and Wild

From left to right: Shawn, John, Mahesh, Eva, Cindy at Punchbowl Falls

Recently, Cindy and I took our students to the Columbia River Gorge for waterfall photography.  First of all, a huge thanks to Sony for providing us with amazing gear that not just survived but totally thrived under some pretty harsh conditions. All images posted here were taken with the Sony a7RII full frame camera and Sony lenses.  I also want to extend a debt of gratitude to Kind Snacks for keeping our bellies full with tasty, healthy treats.

The streams were remarkably high and the falls were absolutely gushing. During the 2-day workshop, we explored a total of six waterfalls and hiked about 12 miles.  There was a lot of heavy rain, bad jokes, and great conversations.

Fairy Falls

Eva at Wakeena Falls

Day one found us starting with Latourell Falls, a majestic ribbon-like beauty. We then drove a short distance to the world-famous and extremely crowded Multnomah Falls.  Mid morning, we headed up the trail to Wahkeena Falls and hiked as far as Fairy Falls, one of my personal favorite Gorge cascades.  We ended the day by exploring Eagle Creek, home to Metlako an Punchbowl Falls. We dawned our waders and ventured into waist high flowing water to get unique perspectives of Punchbowl Falls.  By the time we got back to our cars, everyone was ready for a hearty dinner and a comfortable bed.  We ate at Ye Olde Pub, a fun, casual restaurant in Troutdale, OR.  Their cheese sauce was amazing…I put it on everything…nachos, burger, salad…a little of it even made it into my beverage.

Wahclella Falls

On day two we explored just two waterfalls, Wahclella and Elowah.  Many on the trip agreed that Wahclella was the highlight of the workshop.  It’s such a beautiful cascade and only about a mile from the trailhead.  We again found ourselves in waders, braving chest-high rapids, in search of compelling compositions.  Tripod legs in acrobatic positions, umbrellas over our equipment (rather than ourselves), and wash clothes wiping lenses every few seconds, I’m sure we must have appeared quite comical to observers on the trail.  What we as photographers won’t do for a good shot!

John at Elowah Falls

We concluded our photography adventure by driving to a coffee shop in Portland where I spent the remainder of the afternoon teaching post-processing techniques.  Bulk of the teaching session was focused on techniques to create natural-looking, high dynamic range images by combining exposure bracketed shots.

Metlako Falls


Comments are closed.