It’s no secret that the Columbia River Gorge is one of my favorite places to shoot in the Pacific Northwest. Over the years I have shoot in the gorge every opportunity that I could. I recently posted a blog post about an image of Multnomah Falls that I recently licensed to be used on a jigsaw puzzle. While there is no doubt that Multnomah Falls is the star of the gorge, it is far from the only waterfall in the area. This image is of Horsetail Falls which is just “down the road” from Multnomah Falls.
There can be a real problem though when shooting in the gorge. Everything is VERY easy to get to and there is even a dedicated freeway exit for parking at Multnomah Falls. If it is a nice summer day, there is a very good chance that you will have a very difficult time even getting to a vantage point to shoot any of the falls in the area. There is an alternative to that though, plan your visit in the late fall or winter months. There are actually a number of advantages to visiting during the “off peak” times of the year.
First off is you will have many of the falls pretty much to your self. I shot this image on 6 Nov. 2012 and had NO TROUBLE at all getting a great vantage point and was never asked to move so someone else could get a shot. The second great thing about shooting this time of the year is that more than likely it will be overcast. This helps a lot in getting your shutter speed slowed down enough to get that “silky” look in the water that we are all shooting for. Finally, there is a great chance that there will be some fall colors in the area, even if they are just leaves that have already fallen, but they still give a little color to an area that is normally just many shades of green.
If your travel plans only allow you to get to the area in the peak tourist season, by all means still go, it is a magical place, but if you can visit during the off season you might just have an even better trip from a photographic standpoint.