Spring Color in the Gorge

Last week I wanted to show Luisa, our German high school exchange student, just how beautiful the Columbia River Gorge is in the spring time.  Photographers travel here from around the world in the spring and the autumn.  It's world class beauty, and we're so fortunate to have this treasure in our back yard.  So, after school and work, we headed out in spite of Luisa's protest.  The rain was pouring down, and this trip wasn't shaping up to be any fun in her mind.  The rain didn't let up the entire drive out to the Gorge.  It poured!  We first went to Latourell Falls where we caught a break in the deluge, letting us shoot a little before the rain gradually resumed and made it too difficult to make photos without getting rain drops on the front of our lenses.

But these wet conditions are so rich and vibrant in color when a polarizing filter is used.  Extra saturation doesn't even need to be added in processing, this wet spring scene was just that rich.  The passing rain brought some misty clouds near the top of the falls that I think adds a lot of interest to the photos that included them.

From Latourell Falls, we planned to get into the Oneonta Gorge.  I'd been once before, though that was in August, when the water levels were not close to as high as during the spring runoff.  Once on the far side of the log jam, we realized that the water was simply too deep and that wet suits and dry bags were required to get the photos that I longed to capture for myself.  It was not to be.  I think I'd rather just enjoy other people's photos of this hidden treasure rather than to get my own extreme gear in exchange for a few more photos.

The trip was by no means a bust, even though we only photographed Latourell Falls and got soaked, I am pleased with the photos taken, and am more settled knowing I stood on a wet log in front of a pool too deep and saw the narrow Oneonta Gorge just beyond my reach.  Hopefully I'll try again later this summer.