This has been an unusually wet winter for us.  It’s May, and we’re only just beginning to see some truly sunny days.  It’s been cold and dreary and miserable.

This does not make for good photographic conditions.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

What’s a photographer to do?  Well, I try to get away from home if I can – steal a semi-dry afternoon whenever I can find one.  I’ve been itching to hike all winter, but I’ve been confined to the city and what urban excursions I can put up with from under the edge of a dripping umbrella.  Needless to say, I haven’t been shooting a whole lot since Yosemite.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

We did manage a quick jaunt down to Abiqua Falls, however.  Granted, this hike was postponed at least twice due to rain, but we managed to find one Saturday that wasn’t completely drenched, if not entirely dry.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

I love this hike, because it’s fairly off the beaten trail, it’s somewhat challenging to get to (think serious four-bying to get to the trail and ropes to assist in the steep descent to the creek), and it boasts no formal trailhead.  It also rewards with a beautiful waterfall.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

With all the rain, you can bet that trail was a slick mess of mud.  Fortunately, I wore clothes that could easily be washed.  Unfortunately, the same couldn’t be said for my camera.

abiqua-falls-1-2

This was after I had already wiped quite a bit off.  Photo courtesy of Duane Bolland.

While attempting to back down the muddy incline, I of course slipped (despite the rope), sending my beloved camera straight into the muck.  I luckily had a rag on me that I could use to try to clean it up, but I’m still picking mud out of the cracks (battle scars of an adventure well had?).  I was smarter on the way back up, tucking the camera away, but the damage was done.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

Contrary to our last visit to Abiqua, it was quite cloudy, affording relatively even lighting.  This made photography considerably easier than when we had to contend with the glaring sun.  I’ve also since acquired an ND filter, so I had lots of fun playing with long exposures.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

We didn’t stay very long.  Apparently the hike has become more popular since our last visit.  More adventurers showed up, and before we knew it, the small rocky bowl was quite crowded with selfie sticks and neon jackets doing yoga poses smack dab in the middle of our serene shots (in a compositionally crushing way).  Good thing we were pretty much done by that point anyway.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

It was really good to stretch my legs and get outside for a bit of fresh air.  Now that we’re starting to see sun again, I should hopefully be able to go exploring more – preferably with less mud!


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