Fall in the Falls

Fall color is short-lived and tough to capture in a stunning way. I don't have a ton of time to go out and shoot either which all makes what I was able to see recently that much sweeter! 

 The fog and low clouds creeping across the pass and Old Cornelius Pass Hwy.

The fog and low clouds creeping across the pass and Old Cornelius Pass Hwy.

The weather in Oregon has turned dark, cloudy, and rainy. Typical for the winter, but also not good for fall colors to be able to stick around. As soon as I saw the storms coming in and the colors in the leaves turning away and falling to the ground I knew it was time to take the camera out at least one more time.

 The Upper Beaver Falls with whirlpool during the start of the fall color as the orange leafs swirl in the water.

The Upper Beaver Falls with whirlpool during the start of the fall color as the orange leafs swirl in the water.

Heading out along Highway 30 away from Portland I was on my way to a favorite spot of mine to shoot nearby. A little-known set of waterfalls each with its own uniquely beautiful traits. First, Upper Beaver Falls is a smaller waterfall that is usually just a trickle over a 7 foot drop. It isn't an epic landscape, but it has a neat little whirlpool effect nearest the road making for a very interesting foreground element. Unfortunately, the amount of rain we have been having in Oregon has caused the creek to be a force to be reckoned with. The whirlpool was not to be seen during the peak fall color... 

 Same composition as I would normally shoot of the waterfall minus the whirlpool that is normally in the bottom of the image.

Same composition as I would normally shoot of the waterfall minus the whirlpool that is normally in the bottom of the image.

Since I was skunked out of a good photograph at the Upper Beaver Falls I decided to go to a location I haven't been at for a little longer amount of time. Beaver Falls is down the road just a bit more and has a slightly tougher hike into. The first spot is a short and easy hike to the top of the falls along with a slightly steeper and strenuous short jaunt past the river and down to the bottom of the waterfall. The rain swelled the river to being a bit wider and deeper though which scared me off from the river crossing part.

 An image from a prior trip to Beaver Falls.

An image from a prior trip to Beaver Falls.

My only option to get an image was to take the second path to the waterfall that does not include a river crossing. However it does go down along a steep cliff with loose rocks and many places you could easily roll an ankle becoming stuck. Not a great option as I was hiking this alone, but I was determined!

Luckily, there weren't any stumbles on the way down setting me up on the near side of the river about 50 yards from the waterfall. I ended up shooting this image about 30 yards from the waterfall just as the last bit of sunlight peaked from behind the trees. After feeling a drop or two land on me I knew it was time to pack up and head back to the car! It clouded up while I was there and began raining 20 minutes after I took this image. 

 My favorite image from the trip out to Beaver Falls with the fall color being backlit by the last bit of sunlight!

My favorite image from the trip out to Beaver Falls with the fall color being backlit by the last bit of sunlight!