Let me just put it out there – I. Really. Hate. Heights. Especially when they’re presented with sheer drop offs. Vertigo sets in, a cold sweat begins to form and, well, the rest is history. It’s something that I’ve been affected by and have been trying to overcome for many years. I don’t want this neurotic fear and I think I’m slowly beating it into submission.

This past weekend, I returned to Panther Creek Falls in Washington for my third time. The first two times resulted in a panicked failure with my feeble  attempts to hike to the base of these exquisite falls. Within a minute, literally, of arriving here, +Brian Bonham was already bounding down in his Vibram foot-shoe thingies. +Jason Jakober was soon to follow after him. A few minutes went by and then +Lars Gustafson began his trek down. And then +Anna Lowry in her Converse Chucks of all shoes.

And then there was me.

I could see Brian and Jason obliterating this scene with awesome shots. Both Lars and Anna gave me play-by-plays of what this relatively mild climb down involved. I decided to go for it. Sort of.

I made it down the first set of rocks relatively quickly. After a narrow scoot down a path, the second set of rocks is what almost did me in. You see, I shut down whenever I encounter a path that I cannot see down. However, all credit goes to Anna and Lars for sticking it out and pushing me (figuratively, and partially literally) to overcome my fears in baby steps all the way to the base.

And you know what, it was totally worth it. This is just one of several images from the base that I am so happy to be able to share. I’m not saying that I’m totally over my fear of sheer heights but I do know that this experience has certainly helped. It’s a classic example of risk and reward and I’m already excited about Visit #4. :)

In terms of processing
This is a mild two-exposure blend. One exposure took care of the darker shadow areas while the other was metered for the bright, flowing water. Both exposures were taken with my Canon 5D Mark III and Canon 24-105mm lens with a Lee 3-stop 4×4 full ND filter mounted. Exposure blending was done in Perfect Layers by +onOne Software.

Stylization was done in Perfect Effects 3. Not much was done, though. I globally added the Green Enhancer, Deep Forest Glow, and Lighter effects. I also masked in some Tonal Contrast and Blue effects onto the rock face and water, respectively.

Final touches were applied in Lightroom 4.1

In album Pic Picks Over The Years (1 photo)

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