"A strong man and a waterfall always channel their own path"
If the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy could have been shot in any place other than New Zealand, I'm pretty sure Oregon would have been the first choice. The Columbia River Gorge is so incredibly beautiful with lush greenery and an infinite amount of waterfalls in all shapes and sizes. One of my favorites during my first visit here was the amazing Elowah falls. The falls is so huge that if you get close to it, you'll be soaked with spray. The trail is a windy fun hike starting from the highway, and soon, the sounds you hear change from buzzing cars to the chirping sounds of the forest. Near the end of the trail, you'll hear the falls thundering down, much like hearing an orchestra in an amphitheater. I tell you, I will visit this place again and again and again...
How was this shot taken:
There is a bridge in front of the falls that lets you walk across, but I found that to be a distracting element in a natural landscape. Being my typical crazy self, I jumped head first into the bushes, tripod and camera dangerously above me. I got into the water and thought this should be a no brainer. The more I waded in, the deeper the water got. Eventually, thigh deep in water, and surrounded by the friendly neighborhood mosquitos, I set up shop to take this shot. I had to take multiple exposures here, both for Depth of Field for which I used various focal points, and also for dynamic range. The sun was casting a harsh plane of light on the giant rock face near the falls. I had to wait for the sun to hide behind the clouds to capture that part of the image. My routine was quite simple. Focus, wipe lens, click, wipe lens, get soaked, wipe lens, click, etc etc. This was truly a rewarding hike, for I felt like I was in a zen state of mind in this beautiful temple of water.
How was this shot processed:
This is my first attempt at trying Depth of Field blending. Given that I had to use a long shutter speed for the water, the foliage appeared blurry since the wind decided that it would make the flowers dance. I had to take a separate exposure with a fast shutter speed for the foliage. Then using a combination of different focal points, I had to pain stakingly align and blend them for a proper DOF. This being said, each focal point had two exposures, which I blended for dynamic range prior to doing the DOF blend. Then I processed the image using the standard curves, and other adjustment layers. Phew.. I'm exhausted. Need a coffee...
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