POTD: Paradise Falls

Title and Location

Paradise Falls

Location: Silver Falls State Park, Oregon
Camera: Phase One P45, Cambo RS, Schneider 35XL
Settings:f/11, ISO 50, 2 seconds
When: June 2010

Great scenic photography is 90% getting in front of interesting subjects.  (The other 90% is planning, equipment, technique, and tenacity but that’s for another day.)  Sometimes during my travels, I have stumbled into locations or circumstances that were so incredible it simply blew my mind.  Silver Falls State Park in central Oregon is one of those locations.

Imagine having a hole in the ground 175 feet deep with a diameter of a mile or so.  Into that hole in the ground fall a dozen waterfalls from around it’s edges.   Each waterfall has a total different character.  You may recall I mentioned when I was there they had record rainfall and these falls were raging and so beautiful.

There is a 9 mile trail at the bottom of the hole taking you to visit all of these waterfalls.  The trail goes behind the veil of several.  Simply stunning scenery and I understand it is even better in Autumn.  Often referred to as the “Crown Jewel” of the Oregon park system.  Silver Falls is truly a paradise which inspired this photograph of the North Falls.

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POTD: Swirled

Title and Location

Swirled

Location: Antelope Canyon, Arizona
Camera: Phase One P45, Cambo RS, Schneider 72L
Settings: f/11, ISO 50, 20 seconds
When: October 2010

Lower Antelope Canyon sits below a dry riverbed near Page, Arizona.

As you walk across the sandy riverbed, you won’t see anything except sand.  Suddenly you notice a small crack in the sand.  In a few feet it is about the width of your foot and you step in.  Each subsequent step gets wider and deeper until, waist deep in the sand, you climb down a ladder into the slot canyon.

Lowe Antelope Canyon is one of the most artistically stimulating locations I have experienced.  To photograph “Swirled” I had the camera pointing nearly straight up to use the circle on the ceiling as a compositional element.

Exposure and focus are both manual on a technical camera so it was a little tedious getting the shot accomplished.  With every try a 20 second exposure and a 20 second dark frame it took quite a while to get what I was after.

Light in the canyon is dim and a flat pink color to your eyes.   Fortunately, the camera captures the true colors with a long exposure.  You don’t know for sure what the color looks like until you see it on the camera LCD which makes the experience an awesome adventure.

My take on canyon colors:  Since the canyon is pink sandstone it is very light reflective.  (After all, sand heated turns to glass.) The light is reflected from wall to wall deeper into the depths of the canyon.  Sunlight hitting the canyon is worthless to photograph but each subsequent wall it is reflected on becomes cooler and cooler until the deepest shadows which reflect the ambient light.

Every visit to the canyon is totally different because the light and colors change with the angle of the sun and amount of cloud cover.  Summer has much deeper reds while autumn has peach, purple and blue colors.
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POTD: Tenacity

Title and Location

Tenacity

Location: Escalante National Monument, Utah
Camera: Mamiya 645d, Phase One P30+, 28mm
Settings: ISO 100, f/16, 1/8 sec
When: March 2008

This cottonwood tree picked a difficult place to survive.  Each year into the drought it struggled losing more and more green.  Even so, it still hangs on.

Photographing this scene inspired me to never give up.  Success doesn’t require luck or even skill in most cases.  With the “Tenacity” to just keep trying you can accomplish almost any goal.

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