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Marion County, Oregon, USA

The directions to the trailhead for this waterfall said the last two and a half miles of "gravel" road was rough, but drivable in a normal passenger car. I began to question that assertion as I tightly gripped the steering wheel and continued further down the steep, tire chomping road. I had taken my Prius on some questionable dirt roads before, but this one definitely raised the bar. Not to mention that it had been a while since I saw anything that wasn't a pickup, 4 wheel drive or ATV, but I somehow made down to the trailhead.

The trail to the falls was barely half a mile, but so steep in some areas that some kind souls saw fit to install ropes so photographers hauling 30 pounds of gear could pull themselves back up. But it was all worth it when I rounded the corner and saw the water plunging into the beautiful basalt amphitheater. I spent two hours shooting and wiping spray off of my lenses and filters and made it back up with the help of the ropes.

Driving out of there was a bit more dicey and when I got to the first steep section, the wheels started spinning. Somehow on the way down, I forgot I had to get back up! I backed up about ten feet hoping the tires would avoid all the sharp rocks, put it in drive and gently pressed the gas and made it five feet further and started spinning again. I repeated this process several times and somehow made it out with all four tires intact and a card full of images.

Processing this one proved almost as challenging as getting to the location where I shot it. I had a clear idea of the look I wanted and after converting the source images to black and white, worked on it to get the light the way I wanted it. Most of the image is from a 365 second exposure and the falls were masked in from a 20 second exposure. Yes, I could have used a shorter exposure on everything but the falls, but the ND filter made for more pleasing light.

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