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Emerald Panther - Panther Creek Falls



Getting down to this vantage point of Panther Creek Falls on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge took some effort, mostly scaling down about a 15ft ...
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Getting down to this vantage point of Panther Creek Falls on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge took some effort, mostly scaling down about a 15ft near sheer rock shelf, but it was totally worth it at the bottom. Still one of my all time favorite photos I've ever taken, and it hangs proudly in my own home.
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Awards

Contest Finalist in Covers Photo Contest Vol 39
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Peer Award
Superb Composition
BLUEwalkerXV marylloyd_3239 MichaelMorse amyholley NoelSalisid CraigThomsonPhotography photoflea +29
Absolute Masterpiece
photosue50 shawnstutsel skippy4280 RLP073 Kailuajac larryollivier henrychao +13
Top Choice
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Outstanding Creativity
Hood fonvancho wendyroske_9600 alyssamelder photolifejournal Atheights
Magnificent Capture
stephenbraunginn schnetzky Jack_Key CamiMcQ
All Star
brianbaitystudio JohanVoogd khadijaelabidi
Superior Skill
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Shutter Speed Experiments Photo ContestTop 20 class
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My Best Shot Photo Contest Vol 3Top 10 class
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Covers Photo Contest Vol 39Top 10 class
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Covers Photo Contest Vol 39Top 10 class week 1
80 Stays Around the World Photo ContestTop 10 class
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Covers Photo Contest Vol 38Top 10 class
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Earth Day 2017 Photo ContestTop 20 class
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My Best Shot Photo Contest Vol 2Top 10 class
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3 Comments | Report
staceestracnerseverino
 
staceestracnerseverino July 03, 2018
Absolutely gorgeous shot!
brianbaitystudio PRO+
 
brianbaitystudio January 27, 2019
thank you for providing a title and location. I feel this is super important for location photos like yours. I travel a lot and photos like this help me choose new destinations
Marjanjoshua
 
Marjanjoshua August 31, 2019
So serene

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Behind The Lens

Location
This is Panther Creek Falls, located on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge in southern Washington State. A short and very worth while drive from Portland or Hood River, Oregon.
Time
This was around 6pm local Oregon Time based on the time stamp I have which is almost always set to CST. Being mid-summer at high-latitudes in the Pacific Northwest, there was were still several hours of daylight left, but thanks to the direction which the falls face and a nice layer of upper level clouds the lighting was both even and soft while still providing plenty of light for shadows and contrast.
Lighting
All natural light, that magical light that seems to be everywhere in the deep forests of the Pacific Northwest. One really has to shoot there to understand it. And once you do, you'll never want to shoot anywhere else.
Equipment
This was shot with my Canon 6D with the 16-35 F4L lens at its widest focal length. The decent down to this location along the falls is not the easiest (at least the route I took consisted of a steep rock wall) so it is very likely that I was packing my smaller MeFoto GlobeTrotter tripod instead of my larger Induro model. Shutter speed on this shot was around 5 seconds, which suggests that I was using the excellent Breakthrough X4 ND filter to get that shutter speed at f/13 and ISO 100.
Inspiration
I do a lot of research before major trips on locations, compositions, time of day, etc. I had seen many shots of Panther Creek Falls before departing and knew approximately from where I wanted to shoot it. While on location I first shot from the ledge seen in the top far right of this image, then moved down to this location. Seeing the moss covered logs along the edge of the creek I knew that they would provide an excellent foreground interest point and I liked the angle of the falls going in one direction and then the stream coming back across the other way.
Editing
I edit all of my photos in a combinations of Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. This image, as one of the 'crown jewels' of my Pacific Northwest 2016 portfolio received a lot of attention during edit. I describe my style as enhanced reality when editing my photos. They should never look 'over done' or obviously modified, but should help bring out the most of what nature has created in the scene captured. That was certainly the case on this photo. Methodical use of contrast and dodge/burn tools accentuate the areas of the frame that I want to draw attention to and diminish those areas of the photo the eye should not dwell on. This helps aid the viewer's eye navigate the image as a whole while viewing it.
In my camera bag
My primary set of lenses consist of the 16-35 F4L, 24-105 F4L and 70-200 F4L paired with one of two Canon 6D bodies. Other lenses such as the new Rokinon SP 14mm f/2.4 or Samyang f/1.4 or the Canon 100mm 2.8 Macro get rotated in and out of my primary bag as the location and time of day requires. I typically use a two-bag system on trips, keeping the bag with me as small and light as possible so that I stay mobile and looking for the ideal composition. I also carry a set of Breakthrough X4 ND filters and a CPL filter in my bag at all times. Camera stability comes from either the MeFoto GlobeTrotter Carbon for longer days of hiking and travel, or my larger and rock solid Induro 304L.
Feedback
Waterfalls are one of my weaknesses, if I travel somewhere that has a waterfall within an hour's drive, you'll likely find me there sooner or later. And for someone who loves to capture waterfalls, few places on earth are more enjoyable than the Pacific Northwest. The light often makes capturing waterfalls a breeze (just avoid days with a strong breeze and or direct sunlight!). Even with some overcast you'll still want at least a circular polarizer or stronger filter to slow down shutter speeds. Depending on the falls and the look I want to capture I vary my shutter speed between 1/2" and around 10 seconds. Only fairly still water really needs shutters over 10-15 seconds to capture a smooth silky look. Longer shutter speeds also give foliage a lot more time to move around (note the ferns on the left of the frame and the little bit of green up in front).

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