I’ve been evaluating the 30-day trial of Adobe’s Lightroom the past month and as a part of that was reviewing some pictures I took in Wyoming in 2004 and 2005. I knew this Steller’s jay picture wasn’t sharp due to camera shake, but it was sharper than I remembered and works OK at web resolutions. It does show off the the large crest of this beautiful bird and the little blue stripes that run up above the bill.
We also have Steller’s jays here in Oregon, I rarely see them in our neighborhood but they are more common in the forests. I saw a handful when hiking in the Columbia River Gorge last weekend but they were all too far off for pictures. Given how often I see them, I’ve not been too successful photographing jays of any species, either the blue jays from when I lived in the east or the scrub and Steller’s jays of the Northwest.
I think this is Ecola Falls, one of the waterfalls on the trail above Multnomah Falls. I say think because I didn’t write the name down, thinking I’d remember. I never remember. What makes me think I’ll remember?
The water level was pretty low at the end of August, I’d like to see how it looks in the winter or spring when the water is higher.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1
This is the same mountain stream as the previous picture, but with the camera pointed just below that scene and zoomed in further. I wanted something more abstract for this picture, and this 30 second exposure reminded me of earth being created from nothingness.
The waters of the mountain stream in this tranquil scene are moments away from plunging over Multnomah Falls, the best known of the many waterfalls in the Columbia River Gorge. After reaching the bottom of the falls, they will flow into the Columbia River that divides Oregon and Washington and continue their journey down past Portland before finally emptying into the Pacific Ocean.
I like to shoot handheld whenever possible but needed a tripod here since I used an exposure of 15 seconds. In addition to the tripod, to minimize camera shake I locked up the mirror on the camera and used a remote cable release to trip the shutter.
The trail above Multnomah Falls follows the stream for a while, leading past other beautiful falls (real ones, not the baby falls shown here). A real treat was getting to see an American dipper both on the hike up and the hike back down. At one point on the trail on the hike up, a log had dammed up the stream, and a dipper was diving down into the clear still water to feed. I’ve seen dippers dipping in streams before, both in Oregon and in Wyoming, but this was the first time I had seen one swim. I was surprised at how easily and gracefully the little gray bird could swim, whether paddling on the surface or swimming underwater. It was too far away for a picture but I watched it for several minutes and it was a highlight of the hike.
Another in my line of goofy self-portraits while out hiking, this one taken last weekend on the trail from Multnomah Falls to Larch Mountain. I didn’t make it all the way to the top of Larch Mountain and took this on the way back down, a fallen tree made a nice bench in front of the large tree.
This is a whimsical take on Rodin’s The Thinker, I also posed in the classic pose but I didn’t like the shot as much since my hat threw my face into shadow. I didn’t get the classic pose quite right anyway, my right elbow was on the wrong knee and my left hand was wrong as well. I guess I’m not only no Rodin but no Dante in front of the gates of Hell either.
It’s funny how when you see the self-timer light on the camera blinking, you realize you can’t remember the details of a famous pose. This happened to me in the Tetons a couple of years ago, I was trying to do the Heisman pose and realized I didn’t remember the details of that one either.
This was only my second time out hiking this summer and I felt all of my 40 years by the time I got back down to Multnomah Falls. I was sore all over and pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to move the next day, but thankfully the only thing still sore 24 hours later were my calves, and even they weren’t doing so badly.
Perhaps I don’t have one foot in the grave after all.