Winter is not always the best time of year to photograph in the Pacific Northwest. We so seldom get the beautiful snow I love so much; instead, it’s a lot of rain and drab cloud cover. However, when we can find a reasonably dry day, we love to use this time of year to escape into the mountains. There, we can find some snow – and often ice – and the landscape is much more photo worthy.
This fortnight’s Biweekly Wow hails from such a trip.
A failed snowshoeing hike
We originally set out with snowshoeing in mind. And with an average year’s snowfall, we wouldn’t have had any issue with that. However, snowfall was scarce. And what was there was completely packed down into slick ice. So we left the snowshoes at home and opted instead for the crampons.
The Tamanawas Falls trail is ordinarily a lovely snowshoe trek across wooden bridges and up along a bubbling creek to the towering falls that give the trail its name. On this occasion, I was actually glad for the cloud cover, as it mellowed out the landscape and made for better long exposures. There was a time when I didn’t care about that, but I have since found that waterfalls simply look better when not completely frozen (in motion, that is).
Better than the main attraction
Interestingly enough, however, the photo this week is not Tamanawas Falls. While the final falls was beautiful, with the bland lighting and late morning hour, it wasn’t particularly photogenic. Instead, the lesser falls drew me in along the way. And I’m glad I took the detour; I wound up spending more time at the more beautiful falls.
I’m used to getting left behind, but for these photos, I didn’t mind. I settled in with this minor cascade, experimenting with a few different angles. I found I ultimately favored this view. And once I got it back home, I cooled the white balance a bit to be left with a truly calming scene. Smooth cool water, a log in the foreground for framing, and just a dusting of snow.
Feeling zen yet?
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