Pacific Northwest water and greenery

The Columbia River Gorge is full of waterfalls and
this time of year is very green (and wet), with varying shades of green as well. I was looking forward to trying out my variable neutral density filter and getting some classic silky water shots. I think this is the best of the day, which is Horsetail Falls, just to the east of Multnomah Falls, which everyone and their brother has photographed.

A variable neutral density filter is a necessity to get this degree of silkiness in running water. It acts much like a second aperture, effectively closing off even more light, allowing long shutter speeds in broad daylight, rendering waterfalls and rapids into a soft silky appearance. Of course, a tripod is a necessity, but since I didn’t have the room for one, I brought my monopod. In the case of this image, I used a bean bag type of support, on top of a stone wall surrounding this waterfall. It let me adjust the camera position and held it as securely as a tripod, thus not blurring the long exposure. Another problem I ran into was the sheer amount of air displacement from the force of the water on some of the falls, which caused the vegetation to blur due to its movement. I got a few nice shots despite this.

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