close iframe icon

If a tree falls in the forest

behind the lens badge

Went on an off-trail hike through the forest and came across some massive trees that had fallen across the river. Shortcuts are fun to explore....
Read more

Went on an off-trail hike through the forest and came across some massive trees that had fallen across the river. Shortcuts are fun to explore.
Read less





Community Choice Award
Contest Finalist in Unique Locations Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in A Low Vantage Point Photo Contest
Editor's Choice
  View more
Peer Award
Superb Composition
robertnoeljr LonesomeRambler Steelshooter90 Giana James-Evans asiayapdubois Lolo_1230 +34
Absolute Masterpiece
Roy_Egloff silvinodasilva farzadtalanavard dj8065 annjimenez dsjr051 Grahamwhitty +20
Top Choice
Maja997 Mosoni DELETED_eagle50 Ami_Ek_Jajabar Jphoto RobKWatson sunsetter +16
Magnificent Capture
Vitaliy_SN Sylvain_JC_Collin lucygoose Michel_Luvison FrancoisHorne olivierjoly Dino_Sirica +5
Outstanding Creativity
amanbabu dennisrathbun kathyaiello78 shelleytemplelarter Road-Runner brianmerry michelefoster +1
All Star
LorisPhotography cristinacovas
Superior Skill


alexdah bryannamurphy simonwilson_5249 rereajeng

Top Ranks

World Photography Day Photo Contest Speed SeriesTop 20 rank
ViewBug Photography Awards 2018Top 10 rank
ViewBug Photography Awards 2018Top 10 rank week 2
ViewBug Photography Awards 2018Top 10 rank week 1
Anything People Photo ContestTop 10 rank
Anything People Photo ContestTop 10 rank week 1
Unique Locations Photo ContestTop 20 rank
A Low Vantage Point Photo ContestTop 10 rank
A Low Vantage Point Photo ContestTop 10 rank week 1
Image Of The Month Photo Contest Vol 30Top 20 rank week 2


Alwolfe Platinum
Alwolfe February 16, 2018
Awesome shot!
peternestler February 16, 2018
Thanks! It's nice being married to someone who is photogenic, plus the landscape was awesome :-)
Luptak April 27, 2018
peternestler June 12, 2018
marcbaechtold May 13, 2018
cool photograph with nice details and good contrasts, keep shooting!
peternestler June 12, 2018
Appreciate it!
Katraz May 28, 2018
You wouldn't get me up there there should be a award for foolhardiness I'll take the long route.
peternestler June 12, 2018
Everything we do in life has some level of risk assessment, this fell within acceptable levels for us. I took the long way so I could get to the floor for the shot.
Pencilsmudge November 22, 2021
marysorberdye Ultimate
marysorberdye January 11, 2023
Stunning. All that green.
Steelshooter90 June 17, 2023
Fantastic shot
See all

Behind The Lens


My wife and I went hiking in one of the many national forests in Oregon. There are a ton of traditional trails to explore, but we like to go off trail from time to time to see spots that very few people will venture to. We followed the stream upriver on a quest to find some waterfalls when we came across a series of massive logs that were crossing the gully. My wife took to walking across this one, but I had her wait for a few moments as I headed down below to get a shot of her as she was walking across it. There was a patch of moss across the top side of the log so she had good footing for most of the way (except where she happens to be standing when I shot this).


I primarily shoot during sunrise and sunset. I like to explore areas during the day so I'm not always in a hurry to find the perfect composition. This was shot mid-morning so the lighting wasn't as harsh as it would be around noon. I've found that shooting in forests and areas with a lot of canopy can take great images during this time period since there isn't a lot of direct light from the sun that makes it's way through.


It was a mostly sunny day with strong light high up in the trees. This can be a challenge if there are large breaks to deal with, but in this case there were only a few small patches of open sky. Shooting in the forest can get some really nice soft light that filters down under these types of days.


I shot this with a Canon 5DsR. I love shooting with this camera due to the sharp details it can produce if you have good technique. It also allows me to print very large images if I get an awesome shot that's worth selling. I used a 16-35 f/4L lens at 16mm for this shot at f/6.3 with a 1.3 second shutter speed. I'm a big fan of using polarizers and ND filters when shooting water (especially in a forest). The greens take on an awesome life with a polarizer under the right conditions. I used a 3-stop ND to get the shutter speed where I wanted it for the water movement. It's possible to pull this off by changing your aperture, but the camera I'm using runs into diffraction softness past f/6.3 so I try to shoot everything I can at that aperture so the images are as sharp as possible. I am physically incapable of pulling off a handheld shot. I don't know what my problem is, but I can't shoot anything sharp without a tripod. I carry a gitzo 1555T travel tripod since it's lightweight and folds down to 14" for travel. I've had bigger tripods, but with the weight of the gear I carry, I prefer the lightest option available that does what I need.


As soon as I saw the size of this log going across the gully, I knew I needed a picture of it. My wife wanted to walk across one of them so I wanted to take advantage of that for scale. I was on the hunt for waterfalls already so I knew that using a low angle with soft moving water would be an awesome comp.


I used 2 exposures to process this image. Everything except the brightest parts were from a single shot and then a -2 highlights shot was used for the sky. I used a luminosity mask to bring down the highlights to a more reasonable level. The challenge is to not overdo the blend so it keeps a natural look to the image. I then created some mid-range curve layers to create some more contrast in areas that needed it. I like to finish my images with a selective color adjustment layer. I work through the various colors to tone down anything that contrasts too strongly and get just the right tone on the greens/yellows. I also use a high-pass filter on the moss and leaves to really help them punch through the soft look of the water. For the areas in the sky where there is a heavy contrast between the bright sky and darker trees, using an orton effect can really help those areas blend together better and subtly deal with the harshness issue that exists there. Using sharpness and softness along with color and contrast can really help set the mood for the image.

In my camera bag

Tripod, camera, extra batteries, cleaning cloth, flashlights, gps, extra socks, 16-35 lens, 50mm and 14mm lenses. Polarizer, ND filters (3, 6 and 10 stops). I recently switched to square filters so having the adapter for each lens size and the filter holder are important. After using screw on filters for quite some time, I love the speed of square filters when you're in a dark area. You can focus and shoot a faster motion image without the filter then just pop on the filter holder with everything already in place and you're ready to go. I also keep a baseball cap in my bag to cover my lens between shots (they are decidedly helpful). If you're going off trail, get a spot or garmin inreach. They're great to have if you want to keep track of where you ventured to find that awesome spot...and they're great to have if something happens so that rescuers can find you.


Be willing to explore areas that aren't on everyone's radar. We just drove up a service road that is rarely used, then wandered over some logs into the woods until we found a stream and started following that. The bottom of the stream had a wonderful waterfall that everyone sees. We found some epic spots by going a mile upstream and wandering around.

See more amazing photos, follow peternestler

It’s your time to shine! ☀️

Share photos. Enter contests to win great prizes.
Earn coins, get amazing rewards. Join for free.

Already a member? Log In

By continuing, you agree to our Terms of Service, and acknowledge you've read our Privacy Policy Notice.