Somehow I knew there had to be a great image lurking in the depths of that gorge. I could hear the waters rushing over the falls and down the gorge below as I hiked up the trail from Toketee Falls in Oregon. It was afternoon, and we'd just stopped there on our way to Crater Lake National Park from Portland after spending a week hiking in the nearby Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. All the other hikers passed right on by, but I decided to take a look. Jumping the guard fence, I found my self on the edge of a steep embankment that descended several feet to the edge of a 30 foot cliff that formed the edge of the gorge. Sliding down on my rear, I managed to make my way down to the edge of the drop very carefully. I'm not good with heights, so it was with much trepidation that I carefully lowered my center of gravity as much as possible, before delicately setting up my tripod in such a way that my camera would have a good vantage point overlooking the gorge. And the scene that greeted my lens is the one you see here.
On days 2-3 of our 24-day road trip up the west coast, Erica and I camped at Bandon, Oregon. The day after we arrived, we went exploring and found this incredible area near the Coquille Lighthouse entirely shrouded in fog with this beautiful cool light. There was an abandoned wooden pier where you could walk out and disappear into the mist walking out into the ocean. The sand was silky smooth and very pale in color, and the coastal grasses sprouted from the rolling dunes like tufts of fur, gradually puttering out into a perfectly flat sandy beach that stretched out into the distance, disappearing into the dense fog. As we walked down the beach, we found 4 messages in bottles, and also a very cool fort made of driftwood. This was Erica’s favorite spot on the trip.
For this image, I wanted to capture and preserve the cool coastal mood of the scene, so I went with a film-inspired style based on Fuji Astia, and used a manual cool white balance to help convey the feel of the cool ocean breeze blowing in off the Pacific Ocean, the deep blue of which can be seen disappearing into the fog in the background.