I’ve made many posts over the past few months lamenting over the effects that last year’s mild winter and this year’s insane summer had on water levels up here around the Columbia River Gorge. Creeks and streams that you’d normally have to tread carefully across—or get soaked up to your knees—were completely dry. You could stroll across them with no effort at all. And this went on for months on end. Giant waterfalls that normally send so many gallons of water crashing down every second were barely throwing down a trickle. It all resulted in a long-standing draught—pun intended—for my landscape photography.
All of the changed recently. With the return of some pretty strong rainstorms and the general on-and-off showers that this region is famous for, I got the hunch that things might be returning back to normal. When we were making our final approach into PDX airport the other week, I noticed that Mt. Hood had returned to its full snow-covered regality and my heart was filled with joy.
So, yesterday, I packed my camera bag and headed out to one of my favorite spots, Gorton Creek. The last time I visited, the conditions were terrible as it related to the water levels. Yesterday, though, things were completely different. As I approached the area, I could here that familiar sound of water rushing down. I ran over to make sure it wasn’t all in my head. Nope, there it was: lots and lots of rushing water! It was all I needed to get into action. It had been so long since I photographed a proper exposure in this area and it felt great.
To celebrate, I’d like to share this pano I took of the wooden bridge that spans the creek. It’s a stitch of eight vertical photos taken with my Sony a7R II and the Sony FE 16-35mm f/4 lens. I had my beloved Formatt-Hitech circular polarizer on, as well, to cut the surface reflection of the water and bring out the richness of the foliage color.